Dhiya,* a fifth-grade girl from a poor village, dreamed of a better life. In order to get that life, she needed to do well in school. She studied hard, and even begged her parents to allow her to take lessons at the tutoring center near her house. Her parents agreed, but at the beginning of last year they told her they no longer had the money to pay for it. Not long after, India’s COVID-19 lockdown started and both the tutoring center and the school were closed.
Dhiya was disappointed. How was she supposed to learn now? Dhiya’s parents saw how sad she was, and suggested she go to the local evening school. The evening school had been open for several years, but as devout Hindus, Dhiya’s parents had not been willing for her to attend. Dhiya hadn’t wanted to go either, and she still did not want to go. She was afraid the teachers would judge her or try to convert her. She thought they would try to take her beliefs away and give her something else.
Her parents continued to suggest she at least try going to the evening school; after all nothing else was available.
When Dhiya finally decided to go, she was surprised to discover that the evening school was nothing at all like she expected. Nobody looked down on her because she was poor or Hindu. Nobody tried to stuff their religion down her throat. Instead, they were kind and welcoming.
Dhiya wasn’t sure what to think at first, but she decided to come back the next day, and the next. She grew to really like the school. It was so different from her old tutoring center where the kids were rude and disruptive, and where the teachers didn’t take time to help individual students. Here the children were friendly to her and respected the teachers; the teachers cared for each child and made sure everyone understood the lessons.
Now Dhiya is one of the most involved kids in the school. She is enjoying all the lessons including Bible memorization and songs. She even wants to invite her friends from the tutoring center to the evening school!
The teachers’ and students’ kind accepting attitudes toward Dhiya are helping her see who Jesus really is. Please pray that she and her family will grow a desire to learn more about Him.
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