A Cry of Despair

Dear Shepherdesses, the Lord is calling us to reach out and help these poor, unfortunate girls. They need deliverance from this kind of life. They need our love. They need our help. They need to learn about our Savior.

Birdie Poddar and her husband, D.S. Poddar, are enjoying retiremeat in the beautiful surroundings of Maranatha Colony, Hosur, India. Birdie spent many years as a teacher and office worker.

With delight the girl, Pushba, exclaimed, "Mother, isn't it wonderful that I have completed high school? Now I need to go to college. I can hardly wait for the time when I will he holding a degree in my hand and I will earn enough to support you." The mother stared at her daughter with tears in her eyes and replied, "Yes, Daughter, I am so proud of you, but . . ." her words faltered.

"But what, Mother, but what?"

After a long pause, Mother finally responded. "Daughter, ever since your father died, you know we have been poor. The little money he left behind has been stretched to its limits. I know you have a government scholarship to cover your school fees, but what about food and medical expenses? Worst of all, Daughter, I am very sick. I did not tell you earlier for I was afraid of disturbing your concentration as you completed your exams. I am not able to work anymore, so there is no way we can buy food and medicine."

"Oh, Mother, what shall we do?"

There was silence again, Finally, Mother said, "You have to find work my child."

"But, Mother, how can I find work with only a high school certificate?"

"Perhaps you can find a job as a receptionist. Just go out and try. You must work, no matter how menial the job, if we are to survive."

'That night, Pushpa lay awake in bed, staring at the ceiling. She wondered why her father had to die. She wondered why she had to be an only child. At first, she had felt fortunate to be the only child, but now she wished she had a brother to help her in this crisis. No brother, no father and only a sick mother. Pushpa decided to look for work the very next morning, yet she dreaded the dawn of that day.

After a simple breakfast, Pushpa was ready to begin her search for a job. Mother kissed and blessed her before she went out the door. As Pushpa left her house, she wondered where to go. She thought she would try one of the big hotels in hopes that some manager would take pity on her and hire her.

Putting on a brave front, she approached a huge hotel. Though her legs were trembling, she went to the desk where the manager sat. He looked surprised to see her.

She began, "Sir, I am looking for a job. Can you help me, sir? I need one badly because my mother is sick. I can be a receptionist. Please, sir, I will do my best." She paused and her eyes filled with tears as she waited for his reply.

"Oh yes, yes, I can help you," he said. He picked up the phone, muttered some words, then dropped the receiver down. In a short time, three girls came down the staircase. They all seemed very happy. They were dressed with fine jewelry and lots of makeup. Upon seeing them, Pushpa relaxed. She was happy because the girls looked as if they wanted to help her.

The girls took her hand, talked pleasantly to her and led her upstairs to the top floor of the hotel. She was led to a room and told to go in. After she entered, the door slammed shut. Realizing she was alone, Pushpa tried to open the door only to realize it was locked from the outside. In despair, she cried, "Oh dear, how dreadful for them to lock me inside! Does it mean I am captive? I did not ask for this!"

Pushpa wailed and cried loudly. She kicked the door with all her might. No one seemed to hear her. She kicked until her feet were sore, she banged until her fists were swollen. Her eyes burned with despair, her body trembled with fear. Pushpa was in deep despair.

As evening approached, Pushpa heard the door being unlocked. The door opened and a young businessman appeared. It was his habit to come to that hotel, relax and get some rest from the pressures and demands of his prospering business. He was a bachelor and had no real home to go to. He mostly sought food and rest from hotels. When he registered at the hotel, he was assigned the room in which Pushpa was held captive.

Upon seeing him, Pushpa retreated to one corner of the room. With folded hands, she pleaded for mercy. "Please, sir, do not touch me."

The man came close to her and she prostrated at his feet, crying and pleading. He then gently lifted her up and said, "Do not fear. I will not touch you. Just tell me your problem."

Pushpa told him how she had come to the hotel to find a receptionist job. She told how the man downstairs had promised her the job, then tricked her into coming to the room. She explained how she was locked into the room for hours. She then said, "Please, sir, help me get out of this room. My mother is sick and needs me. I have no father and no brother and I need to find a job to support my mother. She must be very worried because I am not home yet. Please, sir, help me."

The man comforted Pushpa and assured her he would help her. But first, he said she must wait a few moments. When he started to leave, she begged him to stay. Again, he assured her he would be back, then he walked out the door and locked her in again.

It seemed like ages before she heard the door being unlocked. The man reentered and beamed at Pushpa with a big smile. He said he had a plan. He told her he had been to the temple to pray for a way to release her. He told her the only way to get her out of the mess she was in was to marry him. Pushpa was surprised but she had a feeling of peace and security with this man. The man opened two packages. One was a mongol suthra, a gold chain that symbolized matrimony. Then he applied sindhur, a red powder, between the parting of her hair, to indicate they were married. He then covered her hair with a shawl, took her hand and led her down the stairs of five floors to the restaurant below..

As the couple passed, the manager looked at them with angry eyes. In a loud clear voice, the man said to the people in the restaurant, "Attention, please. Today is my wedding day. I want you all to rejoice with me. I therefore order the restaurant to give you all the best food they have and I shall pay the hill!" The crowd shouted and cheered and dapped their hands.

The bridegroom looked at his bride and both sat down to enjoy a delicious meal. Afterward, the bridegroom paid the bill and the couple walked out to his car and left the hotel. Pushpa's mother was well-taken care of and she received love and care as long as she lived.

This is a true story. Unfortunately, there are many other young girls in similar circumstances. These girls end up in lives of servitude and despair. Dear Shepherdesses, the Lord is calling us to reach out and help these poor, unfortunate girls. They need deliverance from this kind of life. They need our love. They need our help. They need to learn about our Savior.