I wasn’t planning on doing the weekly photo challenge, but then I saw the idea of “abandoned” and had to jump on it. This is an old picture, taken a year ago, of little Rachel.
Rachel’s parents split up and neither one wanted her, so she went to live with her grandmother. But she asked her grandmother, “When you die, who is going to take care of me?” She was sincerely worried about this, as her own parents had truely abandoned her.
This is not uncommon among the Lisu people we work with in Thailand. They have a terribly high divorce rate and even have a saying that, “A Lisu woman changes husbands like she changes her shoes.” But no matter what the culture is, it is the children who suffer most when it comes to divorce. A great many of the children in our village live with grandparents or other relatives because of divorce and abandonment.
Our own nephew was also a victim of this. His parents split up before he was even born and his mother left him with his grandparents when he was six months old. Fortunately, he came to live with us and still has some contact with his real mother (He calls her Mom in Lisu but he calls me Mom in English).
Rachel’s grandmother came to my husband, who is the pastor in their village, and decided to become a Christian rather than follow the evil spirits. When she did so, we heard the little girl’s story. I asked if we could give her a Christian name, which is customary among Lisu Christians, and was allowed to name her Rachel.
The Rachel in the Bible was not abandoned. She was loved. She was loved so much that when Jacob had to work for seven years to marry her, it seemed like only a few days. I told little Rachel that she is loved, and though her grandmother may die, Jesus will never abandon her. She is now loved.