Introduction / History Asha broke into a cold sweat at the medical clinic. "Asha, you are going to have a baby," repeated the kindly doctor while Asha sat on the examining table with an ashen look. Her husband's thundering voice echoed in her head. "Another girl and we won't be able to live! Where will I find the money for the dowry?"
After what seemed like an eternity to the puzzled doctor, Asha slowly broke into an insincere smile. The older woman's eyebrows furrowed as she asked, "What is the matter?" Asha wasn't sure if she could trust the kindness of this elderly doctor, but in her vulnerability, she needed a shoulder to cry on. She sobbed, "If I have another girl, my husband will harm the baby."
Like other women within the Merat Rajput community, Asha is under pressure to give birth to sons rather than daughters. According to their customs, Merat girls must marry men from a higher caste. Marrying into a higher caste means paying a larger, often unaffordable, dowry to the groom's family. Although the Merats are Muslims, their culture and religion is a hybrid of Hindu and Muslim traditions.
Prayer Points * Pray that dehumanizing cultural beliefs and practices would be overturned by a saving knowledge of Christ.
* Pray for God's Kingdom to come to the Merat community in such a way that righteousness, justice, and love would define them, and Christ would be glorified.