When people looked at Lajita, they saw a teenage girl who refused to speak and who acted like a child. However, when God looked at Lajita, He knew the deep struggles she had been through, and He saw a beautiful girl whom He loved.
By age 17, Lajita had lived through many difficulties. She lost her father at a young age, forcing her and her mother to move to an aunt’s house in search of financial stability and an education for Lajita. With some effort, her mother was able to borrow money from her sister, secure a job at a garment factory and send Lajita to school.
While preparing for an important school exam, Lajita experienced a series of circumstances that triggered a downward spiral in her mental health.
Lajita befriended a boy from another school; but when her mother learned of her daughter’s new acquaintance, she strongly opposed the friendship. Lajita’s mother ordered her to stop seeing the boy and to focus on her studies. She even talked with the boy’s parents, demanding their son break off the relationship.
Unfortunately, the boy did not take these instructions well. He began to harass Lajita. It grew so serious she was forced to stay home in order to avoid him. She missed her classes and, eventually, her exam.
Fear and shame consumed Lajita, leading her into a deep depression. Her health declined, she stopped talking altogether and began to act like a young child. She spent her days watching the world around her without interacting with it or even moving.
Lajita’s mother worried over her daughter’s decline and sought medical attention. A local doctor diagnosed her with an illness that produced results akin to Down Syndrome, caused by the trauma she had endured.
This diagnosis required constant attention for Lajita. Her mother saw no other choice but to take her to live with another aunt who could provide more care. Even there, however, life was difficult for Lajita. Her uncle was an alcoholic, and the only person who paid attention to her was her aunt.
One day, GFA pastor Hardik and his wife, Meher, visited the home. When they heard of Lajita’s struggles, they took time to talk with her. Though Lajita did not respond, Meher gently told the young girl she was loved by Jesus. The couple prayed for Lajita’s complete healing and promised to visit her again.
Hardik and Meher continued to visit Lajita, talking to her and praying for her healing. During one of those visits, they found Lajita home alone and crying. Despite their entreaties, she refused to tell the couple what caused her tears. Hardik and Meher sat with Lajita and shared with her about God’s love while they waited for her aunt to arrive.
Hardik and Meher’s hearts broke seeing Lajita so alone and seemingly unwanted, and they decided to offer Lajita a place in their own home. They wanted the opportunity to embrace her into the love of their family.
A Family’s Embrace
Lajita’s aunt accepted Hardik and Meher’s offer, and Lajita soon moved into the couple’s home. Hardik and Meher had daughters around Lajita’s age and they welcomed her with open arms.
Together, the family incorporated Lajita into their activities. They prayed daily, continuing to ask God for Lajita’s total healing. They also sang songs, read God’s Word and loved one another. After just two weeks, Lajita’s condition began to improve. Slowly but surely, she went from silently observing the family happenings to beginning to mumble words slowly and joining in some of the singing.
After all the love and care she received from the family, Lajita made the decision to receive the love and care Jesus provides. She has begun praying and reading the Bible for herself, and she continues to heal and escape the depression that had entrapped her.
“I am happy because of Jesus’ love,” Lajita now says.
Please pray for Lajita’s complete healing and for GFA workers who continually exemplify God’s love to their neighbors as Hardik and Meher’s family did for Lajita.
Read Matali’s story and discover how her friendship with two GFA Sisters of Compassion provided much needed comfort and support as she grieved loss and helped her learn how to hope again.