What A Hindoo Girl Suffered For Christ
( Originally Published 1902 )
AT a meeting in behalf of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society, Miss Stevens, a returned missionary, from Madras, India, made an address. By her side in native costume sat a young Hindoo woman of high caste, by the name of Soonboonagan Ammal. Referring to the Hindoo girl,
Miss Stevens said, " At ten years of age she was married. The priests refused to let her read the Bible, but insisted that she should keep her eyes and heart upon the twenty-five pictures and fifty images of the gods she had in her room. She said three thousand prayers every day and six thousand on Fridays. Every week from Friday evening at 6 o'clock till 6 o'clock Saturday morning, she stood in the temple before the gods with clasped hands. Young as she was she had made the journey to Benares, and had thrown her father's sacred bones into the Ganges. None of this worship gave her any satisfaction. She became a convert to Christianity by hearing the Bible read. Instantly her family began to persecute her. The girl gave up her home and her treasures of precious stones, and six years ago she walked into our schoolroom in Madras, and said, ` God has sent me as a Christmas gift to you.' The girl's family tried to get the English soldiers to arrest me for taking the child. They offered her the costliest jewels, and a finer house if she would return, but she refused. They now declared her an outcast, and called on the gods to curse her. Then they counted her dead and held a funeral service for her for eleven days. An effigy of the girl was made of the sacred leaves of the Ganges and placed on the funeral pyre. The husband was married to another girl, and the mother went to the Ganges, a journey of a thousand miles, and stood in the sacred river for days to purify herself of the stain of having a daughter become a Christian." After Miss Stevens had spoken, the Hindoo woman arose, and sang sweetly, " Jesus, I my cross have taken, all to leave and follow Thee." Then in good English, she spoke briefly, saying, " All I have given up for Christ I count as nothing when I think of what he gave up for me, and of what he has given to me. I love him with all my heart and intend to serve him all my life, and give myself up to the work of bringing the women of my native land to a knowledge of the same Saviour." The sacrifices this Hindoo girl endured for her Master appear in marked contrast to the little so many of us are willing to do or suffer for the Christ who has died for us.