India has one of the largest indigenous populations in the world. Chanchal, 11, belongs to one of the indigenous groups in central India. Her father earns a living as a laborer, loading and unloading tools, assembling scaffolding, and other such tasks.
As a young girl, she was vulnerable and faced numerous challenges. She had to work hard with her siblings as there was not enough money to feed a large family. Chanchal faced a grim future due to a lack of good food and health treatment, as well as a lack of parental affection and care.
“My parents preferred a baby boy over a girl,” she explains, which is typical for a daughter in rural India. She was the family’s third daughter. Without sufficient care and love, the children struggled.
“Every day, my parents fought over money and our growing needs. They would hit us and vent their anger on us,” she recollects.
Drinking was a common practice in the villages for men and women, including Chanchal’s parents. Their alcohol addiction was combined with smoking, abusive language, and habitual fighting. Their children bore the brunt of the problems.
“The painful experience in my family made me wonder why I had to be born in a family like this,” laments Chanchal.
However, she found a light at the end of the tunnel when a Bible League-trained Christian and pastor gave her the Gospel of John booklet. While reading the book, she was overwhelmed by the words of Jesus, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51).
She observes, “Bread has always been in limited supply. This made me curious to know about Jesus.”
The pastor encouraged Chanchal and her family to participate in the Bible study. Chanchal’s life began to change as she put her faith in Jesus. Her sisters accepted Jesus, and her mother also started going to church. Initially, her father objected to them attending church, but not anymore. She now feels confident as a daughter and is passionate about following Jesus. “Please pray for my parents to receive the Lord into their lives,” she says hopefully.