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“I don’t want this girl. If it’s possible, you kill her,” the man fumed. Before him stood his wife and, in her arms, their newborn daughter. This child was a disgrace to them— especially because she was their fourth girl. In their culture, daughters are deemed worthless, only bringing financial burden to their families. Months before this happened, the parents visited temple after temple, desperate for their gods to give them a son. The family sold a piece of their farmland and gave the money to a priest, who then prayed and assured them of a son. Father Devastated by Daughter’s Birth Eventually, they had another child, but when the father realized this child was not the son they had paid for, he erupted. Their newborn daughter, Ruth, survived that day but would live her entire childhood paying them back for the son she was not. Ruth began working in her parents’ fields when she was 5 years old. She watched her older sisters wear nice clothes while she dressed in rags. Her father wouldn’t let her eat, so her mother had to smuggle her food. 18 | Gospel for Asia | gfa.org Hope Rises in Abused Girl When Ruth was 14 years old, she met a Gospel for Asia pastor and some women missionaries in her village. They visited Ruth’s family often, discussing spirituality with her zealous parents. Afterward, they would spend time with Ruth, showing her something she had never known before: love. ‘You Should Have Been a Boy’ One night, Ruth was allowed to eat dinner in her father’s presence, and she mustered up courage to ask the question she had been wondering about for years. “Why are you not loving me?” she asked. Her father exploded, “You should have been a boy!” He threw his dinner at Ruth and got up, shouting abusive words at her. Afraid for her life, Ruth hid behind the house the entire night. Ruth Finds Her Heavenly Father When she told the women missionaries what happened, they assured her of their help and even invited her to church. At the worship service, Ruth listened to the pastor share John 1:12 and John 3:16. “These two verses touched me so much,” Ruth shares. “I cried out . . . ‘This many days I was like a beggar for love, [hoping] somebody may love me, somebody will care for me, somebody can ask me, “How are you?” . . . but [they] never did.’ After knowing these [missionaries], I came to know Somebody loves me.”