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An Outcast Teen Finds Unconditional Love

Adana was a joyful young child who loved school and earned excellent grades. Her parents, Rafaz and Maridah, had hopes of a bright future for Adana. But all that changed when Adana was barred from enrolling in high school because of one simple problem—she had no fingerprints.

The school system required all high school students to obtain a Unique Identity Number (or UIN) that was linked to one’s fingerprints, but Adana was born without them. Rafaz and Maridah tried to find a way around the problem, but no one was willing to help them. They even prayed to their gods for help, but none came.

As the years passed, Adana’s family slipped deep into poverty and depression. Rafaz, who worked at a nearby shoe factory, began suffering from joint pains, so he was unable to work as fast, and the manager decreased his wages. The family struggled just to survive.

Adana felt as if she was stuck between childhood and adulthood. Her friends had completed school and moved on with life; many of them were even married now. But Adana was less educated than her peers and stigmatized because of her lack of fingerprints. She had no prospects for a job, education, or marriage. Adana became so depressed that she barely even ate.

When the pandemic hit, life went from bad to worse. Rafaz lost his job in the factory, and he couldn’t get work in the agricultural fields because of his age. Maridah began working in the fields, but because she was older and a woman, she was paid less than others. The fear of dying, from either the virus or starvation, was an ever-present threat.

One of their neighbors noticed their plight and visited them with her pastor, a man named Aravan. He listened to their story of struggle and responded with compassion. Though he could not solve their worldly problems, he offered them eternal hope. Aravan told them how Jesus lived, died, and rose again all so He could have a relationship with us!

The idea of a God who would sacrifice Himself for His followers was so beautifully counter-cultural to Adana and her family. Aravan prayed for them that night, and for the first time in a long time, they felt hope. Right away, the family began attending church together to learn more about Jesus.

Aravan was able to arrange an exception for Adana to attend a nearby Year-Long Children’s Bible Club, even though she was 19. The Bible Club leader did not exclude her because she was different or less educated, but instead showed Adana the love of Christ. Although unofficially, she was able to continue her education through the academic assistance offered in the Bible Club.

Rafaz, Maridah, and Adana now live in the joy of salvation and the hope of new life with Christ one day. Though their daily lives remain difficult, the strength of Christ sustains them and gives them greater purpose. Join us in praying that God continues to open doors for Adana and that Rafaz secures consistent employment.