Jasmine is a tenderhearted, soft-spoken young girl who has been raised in a Muslim family in the slums of Goa. While her appearance would seem to the onlooker like a typical young girl, an internal sickness prevented her from living a normal life. When we first met Jasmine, we were informed that she “had strange fits”, mostly likely due to an extremely contagious infection called meningitis. After consistent prayer, we were confident that God wanted us to be more involved in her life. For the past several years, Jasmine’s illness has caused her to be alienated from society. She was forced to quit school, and unable to apply for any work to help her family. It is common belief in India that the sick are deserving of their illness because it is a just punishment for their former sins. Due to the shame of her sickness, Jasmine lived a life full of guilt and fear of the future.
After some investigation by Rahab’s Rope staff, it was discovered that Jasmine’s “fits” were not side effects from the fatal infection of meningitis, but were symptoms of epilepsy. After speaking with her parents, Jasmine was given permission to attend our stitching center for women risk in Goa. Though Jasmine was hesitant in the beginning, she began thrive in the social environment with her peers and enjoy practicing the art of embroidery work. For the first time, she was able to experience unconditional love and grew to love herself and appreciate the way that God had created her. In one of our last conversations Jamine smiled and said, “You have helped me to find peace with my sickness. I am no longer afraid. You and the other girls have helped me understand that God loves me the way that I am… For the first time I am happy. Without you, I would not have been the girl I am today.”
Not only did Jasmine find peace with her sickness, but she also found peace in the Lord Jesus Christ. Shortly before leaving Jasmine whispered confidently, “I do not agree with what my parents and what Muslims believe. I know in my heart that Jesus is the only way and that He loves me.”
God is powerful and faithful to work! To Him be the glory, honor and praise!