LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

“I’m the only person for one thousand people,” Kiran reflects seriously. “But if I know how to help, then that responsibility isn’t heavy. I haven’t learned something worth learning until I can share it with at least twenty-five people.”

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LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

What Saroj’s new wife’s family didn’t tell him was that she had a boyfriend in another village of whom they disapproved. They were hoping to get her married off to prevent her from running off with the other boy and so forced her to marry Saroj. It didn’t work. Fifteen days after they’d married, she ran off with her boyfriend anyway.

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LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

Serajul’s disability has meant very few people expected him to contribute to his community. The stubbornness that has gotten Serajul through most of his thirty-some years, however, has made him the perfect person to take on an overloaded system that is too often tainted by corruption. 

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LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

“I was married,” says Ramseki, “when I was still drinking milk. But you don’t move to the husband’s house until you grow up.” By “grow up,” Ramseki means about twelve years old.

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LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

One day, Prabhouti, Pavitr, and their neighbor Sambha were invited to join ten other women from their village in forming a women’s “self-help and savings group. The village had never heard of such a thing and some neighbors warned them against joining. “They’ll just take your money and run,” someone cautioned. “What can a woman do?” others chanted the traditional refrain.

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LENT SERIES | STORIES FROM CHETNA

SIM Stories invites you to journey with us through our Lent Series, featuring stories from Chetna, a community health and development ministry. We hope these stories of advocacy, empowerment, community ties and justice are a reminder of what it means to serve, come alongside, and sacrifice for the sake of others. 

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“They were growing spiritually but something was missing – they didn’t have a way to put food on the table for their families,” Ghie says. “Just giving them food was not sustainable. I wanted them to have their dignity, and to have holistic discipleship."

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For women who have been trafficked and abused, who are overcoming addiction, or struggling under the weight of poverty – or all of the above, there is place for rest, healing, and care. Beauty for Ashes is a home in India for women to reimagine and rebuild their lives with dignity and love. It is a place they call home.

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