What do you do when you have a large family with no reliable means to support and care for them?
If you lived in the Tulear region of Madagascar, you wouldn’t hesitate to force your daughter to marry a rich merchant in order to have one less mouth to feed and a little more money to spend elsewhere.
But Grain of Wheat, Madagascar is not content to just know about forced marriage, they are doing something about it. One of the 69 clubs GWI Madagascar holds is focused on coming alongside young girls who find themselves caught in this cultural environment. It’s called the Diamond Club.
Jessica, now age 15, is one of the many helpless girls whose lives have been set free from this dreadful plight. From an early age, her parents showed her very little love. She never heard a rewarding word or experienced a gesture of affection. She had a great desire to learn, but her parents forbade her from going to school, because they didn’t want to pay for her tuition, clothes or food. All they cared about was earning money by selling her.
One day, 13 year old Jessica discovered that her parents were going to force her to marry a police officer. In desperation, she fled to her sister’s home, a place of safety from her parents.
Having no hope, Jessica shared her predicament with a friend who just so happened to regularly attend the Diamond club. Before Jessica even had a chance to go to the club meeting, the leaders came alongside to listen, encourage and love her.
At the Diamond club, Jessica had the most beautiful encounter of her life…she met the Lord Jesus and discovered His never-ending love for her. What great comfort she has found in knowing that Jesus will never leave or abandon her.
Jessica is now a confident young woman who lives with her sister and is pursuing her dream of a good education, convinced that with the Lord, the best is just ahead.
Annick, a GWI Madagascar leader, sums it up, “Young girls caught in the web of forced marriage, long for a life like other girls who have an education and are able to decide who and when they will marry. As Diamond club leaders, our hearts are complelled to help them recover from these overwhelming experiences. In light of this, we are committed do whatever is necessary to help, advise and support them.”