Published Wed, Mar 16, 22.


The words were agonizing. The note was delivered by the policeman.

“A teenager has been abandoned by her parents on the railway platform. Is there a possibility the Mission would give her shelter?”

Soon the forlorn girl arrived at the Mission’s front gate, accompanied by a pastor and his wife, who had written the letter. The girl’s clothes were torn, patched, and dirty; her hair had not been combed for several days. She hobbled along with a long stick, barely able to walk. In early childhood, a high fever had wracked her body. The fever flared out of control, leaving her weakened and handicapped. Extreme poverty made proper medical attention impossible. Her name was Kalyani*. The Mission’s arms opened wide to embrace her.

Later she recounted her story.

“I wondered where my parents were taking me,” Kalyani relates somewhat painstakingly due to a speech impediment. “I had never traveled by train before so it was exciting for me to see a railway station. As we reached the platform, my parents found me a shady place to sit and told me they were going to fetch some things for our journey and would be back in ten minutes. But they never returned.” 

“As the sun began to set, I became terrified of being alone in that strange place. If I’d had two strong legs, I could have run and searched for my parents. During my panic and sorrow, I felt a kind touch: it was a policeman. I told him my story. My words were slurred and confused, but somehow he understood my desperate condition. He took me to the pastor who brought me here to the Mission.”

“I wondered if the girls here at the Mission would make fun of me because my parents had abandoned me and because I am handicapped. I didn’t need to worry. The girls accepted me. They, too, had sad stories. Many were orphans or had been hurt by poverty, abuse, or neglect.”

“I was placed in the Jasmine Flower Family. I have been lovingly cared for and feel like the girls in my Family are my true sisters.”

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For some time, Kalyani went to regular school but she couldn’t cope with her studies. She was offered a chance in the Special School, and she feels it’s a privilege to take part there: “I am learning how to make scented candles, unique paper bags, and other handcrafts. I also am receiving special coaching classes to try to improve my skills.”

Her house-mother is a blessing. Her love and care are helping Kalyani develop and overcome many obstacles.

“My parents have deserted me, but I’ve found the One who loves me. Mukti is my new home.”

This loving assurance fills Kalyani with peace and rids her of bitterness. Kalyani’s wish is to find her parents and share with them the love and tender mercies of the One who saved her.

 

*Names changed for privacy and security. Images representative.