Spread across South Asia is a group of forgotten people too numerous to count. Despised by their countrymen and viewed as subhuman, even the shadows they cast are believed to be cursed because of their perceived filth. They are the Dalits (“Untouchables”) of South Asia, the lowest of the low.
Estimated at over 300 million in number, you would think they have great political might. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Divided into many smaller groups that speak numerous languages, they find organization almost impossible. Many of the people reached by Gospel for Asia are Dalits.
One young woman named Tarala had endured this discrimination her whole life. Her family was so low in the caste system that occupations were chosen for them. The false gods she worshiped gave her a horrific responsibility.
Tarala’s religion determined that she and her family would be beggars. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, whether rain or shine, they begged for their livelihood. There was no discussion, no pleading their case to a higher authority. This was their lot and there were no other options.
Asking for money three days a week barely fed Tarala’s family. When her parents became seriously ill, Tarala knew that, as the oldest daughter, she must do something. Money had run out. Despair was growing. Starvation was coming.
A Normal Job Didn’t Help
Between begging three days a week and the abuse she faced at her job, Tarala’s life appeared hopeless
With nowhere else to turn, Tarala found a job in a factory. She worked on the days she wasn’t assigned to beg, but her co-workers didn’t approve of her presence because of her low caste. They harassed and humiliated Tarala, constantly reminding her of her place in the world. The abuse grew so intense, she had to leave the job and lose the income it provided.
Christmas Gift Catalog Offers Her Hope
Then a miracle happened. A pastor in the area met Tarala, and she shared with him all her troubles. He offered to enroll her in a sewing class, and she learned the trade quickly. There was just one problem: Tarala couldn’t afford a sewing machine.
That’s when a person donated a sewing machine through GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog. Upon receiving the gift, Tarala was amazed that someone cared enough about her to provide her with a means for a livelihood.
One Sewing Machine Transforms an Entire Village
Tarala opened a dress shop, and business boomed! From the income she earned, she was able to purchase a second sewing machine and teach her younger sister to help. Now Tarala can work from home and take care of her sick parents.
Now Tarala is using her sewing machine to earn income and to teach others in her village how to sew!
Tarala is now teaching others in her village how to sew. One small gift has literally changed the lives of an entire village. But best of all, she is learning about Christ and His amazing grace.
Help others like Tarala, low-caste people who are sometimes forced to find employment removing carcasses from the street, or cleaning human waste out of the sewers.
On average, the Western consumer spends over $500 on Christmas. This year, consider setting aside 10, 20, or even 50 percent of your Christmas budget to reach a lost and dying world. — Gospel for Asia