My name is Pooja Ghimire. I’m 21. I’ve been living at Asha Nepal since I was 8.
My mother, Shoba, was from the same rural village in Nepal where I was born. She was the eldest of seven; when her father died, she and her mother raised the younger children. At 16 my mom married, and soon I was born; but when I was five months old, my dad married another woman for her dowry and left us without food or money.
Mother desperately struggled to care for me, but life was hard. I was very sickly. Just to survive, she left me with my father and his mother and returned to her own mother. Then a woman offered her a good job in a Kathmandu factory. That woman’s “sister” arranged the trip and gave my mom some dry meat — it was drugged. She awoke as a slave, thousands of miles away in a Mumbai brothel — where she spent five miserable years in pain and darkness, without hope.
Meanwhile, I was also in severe distress. My cruel stepmother beat and threatened me, forced me to do all the housework and take care of my stepbrother. I had no education, proper food, or clothes, while my stepbrother did. I couldn’t even remember what my own mother looked like.
My mom was finally rescued by the team from Shared Hope International’s local partner organization, and went to Nepal to stay with Aunty Bimala [the director] at Asha Nepal. They formed a plan for rescuing me. When she came to my village, my stepmother hid me — she wanted to keep her slave. But one day my mom grabbed me and ran! We fled to Shared Hope International’s Village of Hope, Asha Nepal. There I got everything I had been denied — good education, food, clothes — and lots of love and care.
At 9 I accepted Christ as my Savior. All my painful experiences have helped me realize that God is there for me. Jeremiah 29:11 became real to me: I know that God has a good plan for my life; whatever He does is to prosper me, to give me hope and a future. I’m pursuing a degree in Business Administration, to become a banker and build my own business. I want to glorify God and encourage women who have gone through the same pain my mom experienced. I believe that God will help me achieve those dreams.
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