Usha returned home after a long day selling garlic on the streets of Mumbai, India, where she lives.
She placed her basket on the dirt floor inside the family’s one-room home. The box where she kept the family’s few clothes was open, its contents strewn about. She knew that her husband had searched it for something to sell to buy alcohol. He had already sold everything else the family had owned—a chair, a blanket, her cooking pot. She folded the remaining clothes and replaced the box top.
Usha worked hard to feed her growing family. Her husband’s meager earnings went to buy alcohol. And when that wasn’t enough, he took Usha’s earnings as well. If she resisted, he beat her. Her hope for a better life spiraled into desperation.
One day she heard singing from a neighbor’s home. She heard singing the next day, too, but she was too shy to ask what was happening. So she listened from her doorway.
When Usha heard singing again, she walked to her neighbor’s home and sat down on the packed earth to listen as the women sang about someone called Jesus. Who is this Jesus? Usha wondered.
A man stood to talk. As he spoke, she felt peace wash over her. She returned the next day to hear more. She found hope and faith amid the despair of her life as she learned about the Savior who loves her. She accepted Jesus as her Redeemer. Life was still difficult, but her heart was at peace.
Usha’s husband became sick from alcohol-related disease and died, leaving Usha and her three young children. The pastor visited her and urged her to send her children to school. But Usha could hardly feed them. How could she pay their school fees?
There’s a way, the pastor said. “If you can pay half of your children’s tuition, a sponsor can pay the rest. They can study at Lasalgaon Adventist School.” Usha allowed herself to hope that her children might have a decent future after all. With no one taking her money to buy alcohol, perhaps she could earn enough to send her children to school.
Usha misses her children, but she knows they are safe and will have a better life. Often she sacrifices her own food to pay the children’s tuition, but she knows that God is caring for her.
A recent Thirteenth Sabbath Offering is helping to build a new classroom block at Lasalgaon Adventist School, where Usha’s children study. Thank you for helping to make it possible for children in northwestern India to prepare for a brighter future and find hope in Jesus.