22 Feb Out of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light
My name is Gowramma Swetha. I was born in Bangalore, as the fifth daughter to my parents, who were waiting for a son. My disappointed father told my mother to choose to leave either me or him. My mother left me with my grandmother, and went to him, while he got married to another woman for want of a baby boy. My maternal aunt took care of me and sent me to school, while I was asked to earn to pay my fees, and do household works as well. I also had to sell knitted flowers to earn, and only after finishing all the works would I get food. My day would begin at 4 am and end at 12 midnight. My aunt would beat me severely to make me work harder. Whenever I would cry because of severe beating, the name ‘Jesus’ would flash in my heart, and I would feel comforted by it. I did not know anything about Jesus at that time. I used to spend half an hour every morning and evening at temples worshipping the idols. My aunt would often remind me that because I was a girl child I was forsaken by my father. For this reason I hated men to the utmost.
When I was 11, my mother came to Bangalore because of a rift with my father. There came a day which I would never forget in my life. I returned home happily with my cousin brother from school completing my 7th standard exam. I was shocked to see my aunt vacating her house. She had packed everything. The vehicle was ready to move. I was hoping that they would take me with them but she took her son, threw a bag of my clothes from the moving vehicle and left me crying profusely.
My mother and I were left on the streets having no shelter, food and harldy any relatives. My mother did not know any work. I wanted to study more and achieve something in life. Hence, I requested my school teachers to pay my fees and in turn I would do all their household works. She agreed to that. I would work in five houses after school, and then sell flowers in the evenings. A packet of biscuits would be my whole day’s food. Sometimes my friends shared their food with me. I used to feed my mother with whatever I got from the houses where I worked. With the hectic work, I would get exhausted and unable to concentrate in my studies. I was highly devoted to idols and whenever I was distressed, I would mutter the word ‘Jesus’. We lived on the platform for about 3 years, in a very difficult situation. I completed my schooling, and by this time, with the help of one of my aunts and with whatever I had earned, we got a rented house. By then my mother learned to knit flowers from me, and she also started doing household works.
I was actively involved in sports. I wanted to do all that the boys do, and prove to my father that girls are in no way inferior to boys. In athletics, I mostly won first prizes. I learned boxing. I became the youngest Karnataka state boxing champion in 2005. I used to beat any boy commenting badly about girls. In college I had a friend named Sandhya. She heard me using the name Jesus. She was a Christian, and inquired how I know the name Jesus. She took me to her home and explained to me everything about Jesus. One Bible verse they quoted got my attention strongly. “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.” (Psalm 27:10). On hearing this I started crying and said to myself that only Jesus is “the Lord”.
Later my friend Deepa took me to a church. My mother scolded her badly for taking me to a church. There I learnt many things about the Lord, and got involved in ministerial activities too. After my schooling I did my B.CA. I continued my flower business as well. After completing my BCA, I did PGDCA. I worked in a college as a warden. God helped me to minister to the students there.
In 2011, God called me for the full time ministry. My mother did not accept this and she was very angry on me. She had expected me to do a good job and earn well. But my decision thwarted all her plans. When I decided to join FMPB as a missionary, I got a job opportunity as boxing coach also. But God led me clearly and helped me to face my furious mother whom I had to leave alone. She stopped talking to me and would scold everytime I used to call her up.
I never wanted to marry, because I hated men a lot. God gave me spiritual parents during my training in FMPB. The Dean family understood me well and treated me as their daughter. They counselled me a lot. They convinced me for marriage saying whatever God has for me I should accept and abide by His will. After completing my training I was placed in Jharkhand. God taught me many things there. My spiritual parents proposed a person for me who was a missionary in FMPB. God confirmed this proposal through a dream. I consented to the proposal. My mom refused to accept that person because he was not from our caste, but a Christian and a missionary. After a long time she agreed for our marriage, but unhappily. I did not have any money, and nor anyone to help me. I prayed to God, “I should not borrow money from anyone but my marriage should not lack anything because you are the only Father I have”.
Till the moment I got married, my mother was creating problems and making demands. At the last moment she said she will not come for the wedding. I arrived to the hall with tears. But God made my marriage a testimony to many. The Lord took care of all the needs. I got married to Amarenthiran on 5th June, 2014.
By God’s grace we are serving the Lord presently in FMPB Field Office, Nagpur. I had no one in my life to care for me. But now God has given me many friends and well-wishers who love me and stand with me. May the Lord’s Name alone be praised.
Sweta is a Missionary with FMPB based in Nagpur