Six Little Indian Girls

A Christmas Story From India

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Six girls sat under a banyan tree, talking excitedly about the Christmas program coming up in just three days. More than anything they loved Jesus—and here was their chance to tell the neighbors how wonderful He was.

Moti, Jayawunthi, Chandra, Premi, Mirji, and Jaruli were happy girls.  Jesus was their Savior. That was enough to make them glad no matter what was going on in their lives. But they also lived at the Spring of Joy Mission Home with Mrs. Snyder and the other missionaries. Someone loved and cared—and that was unusual for girls like them.

Each of them had been rescued from dreadful situations. Moti and Jawunthi were sisters, eight and ten years old. They had been sold by their parents to a Hindu priest who was taking them to live in the temple, a common practice at that time.

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But it wouldn’t be fun living in a temple. It would be a hard, sad life. One of the missionaries had rescued them.

Chandra was a widow, even though she was only twelve years old.  Can you imagine getting married at twelve years old?  But that was normal, too. When her husband died, Chandra’s mother in law forced her to leave. Mrs. Snyder found her on the street begging.

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Premi, Mirji, and Jaruli were orphans. Their mother and father had died and no one in their village wanted them.

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But the girls hadn’t thought about their old lives in a long time. They couldn’t think of any place they’d rather be than the Spring of Joy Mission Home.

Only one thing made them a little sad. They would love to have new dresses for the Christmas program. They had been given clothes when they arrived at the Home but their saris were getting worn and faded now. And there was no money for new ones.

“Why don’t we ask God to send you new saris for the Christmas program. If that’s what He wants, he can certainly do it,” said Mrs. Snyder, who wished it even more than they did.  She loved her happy girls, but all of them liked pretty, bright colors. And it really was time for new dresses.

“We don’t really need them,” Mirji said to the other girls. “We have food, and a house to live in, and the missionaries to take care of us.”

“They’re not torn or dirty—just worn and faded.  We can still wear them for a long time,” said Juaruli.

But they all knew that God didn’t just give the necessities—He gave nice surprises now and then, too.

But one day passed….no new saris. Two days passed…no new saris.  It was Christmas Eve. The program was that night. And no new saris.

“Let’s not even think about new dresses. Let’s practice our songs and our verses so they’re perfect. It’s more important that our neighbors hear God’s Word, and understand the meaning of Christmas,” said the wise twelve year old Chandra.

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She was the oldest. They all listened to her. So they went out to sit in the garden, and rehearse one more time.

 

Meanwhile, the missionaries were rather sad.

“It’s all right,” said Mrs. Snyder.  “They’re still happy even without new saris.”

“I did so hope God would say yes,” said another missionary lady.

Just then a truck rounded the bend, and roared up to the porch. It screeched to a stop and the driver stuck his head out the window.

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“Mail….” he called.

He handed over the letters and packages. “Wait, there’s one more.”

He reached into the back of the truck and pulled out a large, long, heavy box.  “Here you go!”

The man tossed it out, and it landed on the porch with a thud.

“Happy Christmas!”  said Mrs. Snyder. “Come back tonight for our program. They’ll be cookies afterward.”

“Maybe I will.” He roared off in his truck.

“What could this be?  It’s from America.” Miss Marilyn was examining the box.

They opened it and gasped in astonishment. Rolls of cloth—red, orange, green, yellow, purple, blue.

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“Thank you, Father!”

“Thank you, Lord!”

“Come on, we’ll surprise them!”  Mrs. Snyder took the red cloth, and draped it over the porch railing. They took the rest of the bolts of cloth and did the same.

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The girls trooped back up to the mission house.  It was time to help with supper.

“Look!  Look! Look!”

“What is it!  All those beautiful colors hanging on the porch railing! What could it be?”

They broke into a run.

“It’s cloth!” exclaimed Mrs. Snyder, “from a friend in America! Just for you!”

“God said yes!” said Miss Marilyn.

“Come pick the color you want!” said Miss Charlotte.

That night, people came from all over the village—and even the next town—to see what the Christians were up to.

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The program was a great success and in their bright new saris, the girls sang and recited the Christmas story. Best of all, some of the visitors understood that Jesus had died on the cross for them so that they could have forgiveness of sin and eternal life.

That night six little Indian girls lay in their beds, happy that Jesus was their Savior and that they could proclaim the good news.

And thankful that God had given them such a wonderful Christmas present.

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From Under the Red Bows and Other Christmas Stories

By Theresa Worman, 1955

Used with permission

 

Note: The images in this story are general pictures, not the real girls who lived in the Spring of Joy Mission Home.