Introduction / History
Nila's wrinkled hands clacked the loom against the fabric throwing first one color and then another into the pattern of the cloth. When she finished her work, the Belai woman pulled up two chairs, and called her grandson to come and listen to her. She said, "You children spend far less time working than we ever did. India did not have child labor laws that they are beginning to talk about now. We were isolated, because the caste Hindus thought our presence would contaminate them. We could not even share water sources with others. Water was poured into a separate bamboo tube for us. We had to listen from outside the school, for we were not allowed inside. We were not allowed to go into the Hindu temples. You have it so easy now!"
What Are Their Lives Like?
Though these traditional weavers have lost their livelihood to factories, most are living better than they did before India's independence in 1947. Many are able to make a living off of the land the Indian government has given them. Some Belais, whose name means "messenger," are acquiring education and government jobs. However, there is no spiritual progress among these 775,000 people. They are still worshiping a myriad of Hindu gods and goddesses, and are separated from the One True God.
* Pray that the Belai people will have access to the good news of Jesus Christ and be raised up spiritually.
* Pray that they will accept Him and truly become messengers of Christ.