She was given away by her Mother as a baby because her Mother had wanted a boy! Can you even imagine a Mother doing this?! Her parents had already lost two babies after they were born. Now, Cari, a girl, was not what they wanted! Fortunately, they did not just throw her away in some place like a dump, as some parents had been known to do.

Instead, they sent her to live with some relatives, who were willing to take her in. She lived with them until she was five years old, then her birth parents wanted her back to help care for the baby boy that they now had.

From the age of five until she was twelve years old, she worked! She cared for the baby, she cleaned their house, and she cooked! All during this time there was not much love, if any, coming her way. Even to the time we were with her, she still suffered back problems from all of the beatings she had received for not doing something, or for not doing it good enough! There were also cracked ribs from the treatment of her parents.

At the age of twelve, she decided that she could make it on her own better than in her parents' house. Also, she wanted to go to school and become a teacher, as she wanted a better life than she had experienced so far! She knew that if she stayed in her parents' house there would be no school for her!

How did she make it on her own at age 12? She knew how to cook and clean, so she was able to get live-in jobs and study. She made her way, a hard way, but she worked her way through life and through school and was able to earn her teaching credential!

Soon she started teaching, instead of cooking and cleaning for other people! Somewhere along the way, during her hard life, she met the Lord and He began healing the hurts she had experienced throughout her life. He brought her to the place of being able to forgive her parents and of being able to take the initiative of reconciling with them when she was about 35. What an amazing miracle that must have been!

After that, God called her to teach in Asia! It was so amazing for us to see, at least partially, how God had healed her emotionally and was using her past experiences to help others to be healed and freed of the terrible hurts that they had experienced in their lives!

You see, nearly all of her University students, who were girls, had very similar back-grounds to hers. Their parents did not really want them because they each wanted a boy to help on the farm or in the family business. Girls generally were not valued and were often mistreated. The girls who managed to be able to go to University had terrible pressure put upon them to succeed so they would be able to help the family in the future. They would need to repay them for their sacrifice of letting them go to University. There would be pressure to repay the money that had been invested in them - maybe even to the whole village community who might have gone in together to send them. And, in these parents' minds, it would have been so much better if they had been boys!

Cari had been able to share her own story - the forgiveness and reconciliation she had experienced in her own life, and the freedom and joy and ability to love that came with it. Through that sharing many of the girls at that University had come into the freedom that having the right relationship with God brings. They had shared and cried and rejoiced together.

Wow! Just think! God knew all of these things from the beginning of time, and His hand was on her all of the way! It was a blessed privilege for all of us to be there with her and with her students.

So there we were, in her apartment. Her cellphone was off and put away. Her wall phone was disconnected. I had just taught the group about non-verbal communication. For fun, we had the students act out different scenarios, demonstrating how to show feelings without words.

Then came the knock on the door. Instantly, there was total silence in the room.   

                                                                                                (To be continued)

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