Posted by: janpierce | February 4, 2009

Finding Akanksha

Akanksha, our adopted granddaughter at Dayanilayam left the hostel about  six weeks ago to marry a boy from her tribal group.

The details of when she left and how long her family had been wanting her to go are sketchy.  Her husband’s family does attend church but the pastor there refused to marry them. They are both about fifteen-just children. Evidently they had some sort of ceremony to marry them in the tribal way. So we determined to find them and let Akanksha know we still love her. We aren’t happy about her leaving school and about marrying so young, but we wanted her to know we still love her.

We had information from KM and Jayamani about where she lived. They had tried to convince her to return to the hostel and she did for one day, but then ran away again. It seems she was promised to this boy who is a cousin from the time of her birth. Marrying within the family group is very common in the tribals.  So we set out after visiting some friends in Peddipalli and we headed for a place called the RTC colony near the train station.  We drove down a dusty road past all sorts of building, huts, tents and all the usual conglomeration of dust,litter, animals, children, and confusion. All the people looked poor and are living in poor conditions. After asking several times for the living quarters of this family and having to backtrack several times, we finally found Akanksha and her young husband, Kalyan, on a forlorn piece of land where there was a hut made of tin, boards, bricks and rice sacks. There lives our little girl with her two in-laws who are day workers in the rice fields. They had already left for the day’s work so we didn’t meet them. Akanksha is still a pretty little girl, a little bit disheveled, and Kalyan is a young boy. They both look like middle school kids at home because that is what they are. We spoke to them with the help of an interpreter for just a few minutes, drawing a crowd of neighbors as we did. We hugged her and told her to get back into school if she can. We blessed them and prayed for them, left a wedding gift and then with tears in our eyes, we had to leave her there. At least she knows that we cared enough to find her. We are praying that she will stay in church and learn more about living a Christian life. We were able to give Uma the information on how to find her also as Uma was her mentor at the hostel for a long time and her new home isn’t far away.

We’re sad that these things have happened, but it isn’t the end of the story for Akanksha. Our God is big enough to protect her now and direct her life. Please pray with us for the future of this young couple as they find their way.

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