In Southern India, Prabha, president of Gypsy and Tribal Empowerment (GATE), recently gave tailoring training to four 17-24 year old women in a small Tribal village. Gypsies traditionally make jewelry, but they don’t know very much about tailoring. Prabha taught them to make small bags, handkerchiefs, petticoats, etc. She checks on them regularly and helps them in their business.
Banu is one of the women who received the training. Below is her beautiful testimony!
"Banu Madi was 21 years old and begging every day. She had leg pain as well as she roamed from place to place. Banu was married at the age of 17. Her parents had her marry her uncle, her mother’s brother.
In gypsy culture, when people marry, a baby is expected by the next year. Four years into the marriage, and she still had no child. People in her community gossiped about her health, saying 'you are not honest, so the gods do not allow you to have a child.'
Due to Banu’s inability to conceive, her mother-in-law arranged for another woman to marry her son. Banu was depressed by the impending second marriage and the gossip, so she planned to commit suicide.
At that time, Prabha and Selvam (Prabha's husband) went to teach the children at the center where she lived. Banu explained the situation to Prabha and asked for prayer. Banu said 'You can pray, but I cannot follow your Jesus; if I do, my family will persecute me. My reputation is bad among them already.'
Prabha and a church believer went to the center to pray for Banu. They prayed, and God spoke to Prabha’s heart that Banu would have children. Banu wept as Prabha explained that Jesus came for her as well, not just for the people who were already Christians. Banu accepted Christ and had joy on her face. She said, 'Though I don’t have a child, your words make me happy.'
Prabha told her she would have a child within a year. She told Banu to pray the Lord’s prayer that night before bed, and instructed her to pray to God for her pregnancy. Banu did this for one week. After that, she told Prabha she wasn’t getting her normal cycle. Prabha realized Banu might be pregnant. She went to the center to take Banu for a pregnancy test.
When Prabha arrived, Banu’s mother-in-law was belittling her, saying 'you aren’t beautiful, you can’t have kids, you don’t have money…' Prabha told Banu not to fight with her mother-in-law. Gypsies don’t like to go to doctors, so her family did not let her to go for the test. After two months, however, she was able to use a home kit for a pregnancy test. The result was positive, but Banu didn’t say anything because her mother-in-law had already arranged the second marriage.
After the child grew enough for her to be visibly pregnant, Banu told her mother-in-law she accepted Christ and that the pregnancy was a miracle. Her mother-in-law accepted Banu because of the baby and then stopped the second marriage.The mother-in-law now trusts in Jesus." Banu is now 24, has two young children, and is no longer begging. Banu was eager to make clothes for her baby, and
Prabha selected her as one of the four women to learn tailoring.
Thank you for you continued prayer and support!