Girls in India are lucky to live beyond childbirth

By October 10, 2012

India (MNN) — Maybe you grew up with parents, or a parent, who didn't want you. You could probably relate to girls in India, whose culture essentially views them as worthless. Young girls are sold as prostitutes to Hindu temples, where they take part in sacred worship services and generate revenue for the temple.

"Temple prostitutes are called devadasis," said Dave Stravers with Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India. "It's a government-recognized profession."

This is a common future for girls who survive childbirth. Stravers said mothers are often pressured to "get rid of" their newborn baby girls, either through abortion or infanticide. Hear the account of one woman who overcame through the power of Jesus Christ.

"A very common name for a baby girl, if the girl survives, is 'Nekoosa.' It's a Hindi word, and translated it means 'Unwanted,'" Stravers explained. "This is not just a personal thing with parents making a decision; there is very strong community pressure to value boys over girls."

Tomorrow, it's all about giving girls honor: October 11 is the international Day of the Girl. Participants gather to discuss issues facing girls worldwide, such as gender stereotypes, discrimination, and opportunity. The Day of the Girl movement started after the UN General Assembly resolved to address girls' rights every year on October 11.

"Our work is really important for helping to sensitize people to the fact that God loves girls and boys," Stravers stated. "We're all created in God's image."

Mission India demonstrates this truth year-round through their Children's Bible Clubs. Each day, village kids receive help on school work, memorize Bible verses, and learn how to pray to Jesus.

"Our workers are saving literally thousands of lives in India just by teaching the basics of the Scripture and God's love for all children.

"Most of our volunteers go to the village or the community every single day," added Stravers. "They'll spend two to three hours every day with the children and their families."

These volunteers are the hands and feet of Christ; ask God to give them strength and encouragement. Children who attend these Bible studies often share what they learn with their families, becoming "mini-evangelists."

You could send a dozen children to Bible camp for just $12. Click here to support the work of Mission India.

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