Bijili, 16, works with her family on a vast tea estate that dominates the landscape of her village in eastern Bangladesh. Like many tea plantations, the landowners let families stay on their fields while they work as day laborers. But the conditions for the workers are grim. Working each day from dawn until dusk, they make little money.
They live in makeshift tents and must never question the orders of tyrant-managers. For Bijili's family, things became worse when her brother, who worked multiple jobs to provide for the family, broke his leg and her mom became so ill she had to stay home
"I love reading the Bible. It has transformed my life. I will continue to read it every day. Thank you."
"That spelled doom for the entire family," she says sadly. We had to plead with our managers for help. We got help on time, but our work got harder by the day." Recently, life began to look up for Bijili when she received an invitation to a free Bengali Bible-based Literacy class.
Bijili had to drop out of school to help at home, so she was quick to join the nearby class. She says, "After every class, I was introduced to a story in the Bible." She learned many Bible verses that encouraged her.
Bijili loves reading her Bible and is fascinated by the stories. Although she was brought up as a Hindu, she had no difficulty accepting the truths in the Bible. However, her parents were not welcoming of her new interest in Christianity. She shares, "My parents do not like me talking about Jesus, but they do not prevent me from going to study since I had to drop school." Bijili is very grateful for the Bible she has received. She beams, "I love reading the Bible. It has transformed my life. I will continue to read it every day. Thank you."