Stories & News
Marala: A Joyful Life Cut Short
Today we’re sharing a story that’s tough to read but leads into an important prayer request. Will you join us in celebrating Marala’s legacy while praying for her family?
Marala’s family was among the poorest of the poor. Her family of eight lived in a tent made of discarded tarpsgether with sticks and rope. Begging was their primary means of survival. Marala’s father, Nakash, went door to door asking for money, holding pictures of their gods as a play for sympathy. Bhamini, Marala’s mother, made and sold bamboo winnowing fans. The children helped by collecting wood for fuel, and the boys worked small jobs whenever they could.
Their desperate situation was made worse by Nakash’s addiction. He regularly wasted the money he received through begging on alcohol, and his drunkenness prevented him from finding real work.
As the baby of the family, Marala knew no other way of living. In fact, her innocent and playful manner brought the whole family joy, and she was dearly loved. So, when Marala asked Nakesh and Bhamini if she could attend a nearby Year-Long Children’s Bible Club, they couldn’t help but say yes.
Little did they know, this decision would save all their lives.
Marala loved every minute she spent at the Bible Club! She enjoyed making friends, singing actions songs, and playing games. She learned about Jesus, and she felt a newfound joy.
When the pandemic hit, Marala and her family were confined to their tent. Due to lockdowns, Nakash couldn’t go out and beg, so the family starved for food, surviving on water alone. But because Marala had taken the initiative to attend the Bible Club, Parina, the Bible Club leader, knew their desperate situation and gave them a Relief Kit containing a month’s worth of food, along with hygiene supplies. The family was saved from starvation!
During this time, Marala got terribly sick and was diagnosed with anemia. But after a blood transfusion at the hospital, Marala was well again. So, after lockdowns lifted, Marala returned to the Bible Club, along with some of her siblings. Her parents were inspired, so they attended some prayer groups at nearby homes, and the knowledge of Jesus’ love spread through their family.
As a result, the family had Jesus to cling to when Marala fell sick again. She received another blood transfusion, but with no funds available to investigate the anemia’s cause, the family was left to hope for the best.
More recently, a surge of COVID cases caused another lockdown in Marala’s town. Her family was again in dire straits. Marala was sick, but hospitals were only open to critical patients.
When Marala took a sudden turn for the worse, her family rushed her to the hospital. But the doctors couldn’t revive her, and tragically, she passed away.
Poverty often deprives its sufferers of a happy ending on this side of eternity. Although those who knew Marala dearly grieve her death, her legacy of hope and joy remains. Praise God that Marala knew Jesus and shared Him with her family, who now have Christ to turn to in this difficult time. Pray that, as her family processes this devastating loss, they will fully embrace Christ and receive the eternal hope found in salvation.