The holiday season can be difficult for missionaries who are separated from their loved ones and family traditions. Yet this family with roots in Mid-America is sharing with their chosen people groups the most valuable of all gifts—the love of Jesus Christ.

Beauty from Pain

By Jared Wright, AFM missionary to the Gorkha people of Nepal

We met Malina a few months ago while we were leading a week of spiritual emphasis at a Christian school in the Kathmandu Valley. She is a high school student who has lived at the school since she was a little girl. Her bright smile and friendly demeanor drew us to her immediately. Malina has a jagged scar that runs from just below her left ear to her mouth.

“Malina,” I asked, “how did you get the scar on your face?”

“When I was a small girl, I lived in a remote village with my mother and younger brother. My father was a soldier, and he used to get drunk. He also had other wives and girlfriends with children.

“One day he came home after being away a long time. For some reason he was very angry at us. Maybe one of his other wives was jealous and didn’t want him taking care of us anymore. He came into the house yelling and swinging his khukuri (a large, curved knife). He grabbed my mother and cut her face and head. She was bleeding so much. Then he hacked my little brother in the head so fiercely that he crumpled to the floor. He also cut me in the neck. Then he left. My mother and I survived, but my brother didn’t.

“After that, some Christians from Australia sponsored me to come to this school to study and live. I sometimes go and see my mom in the village. I try to help her because she can’t take care of herself very well anywhere. Her mind works slowly now. She is like a child. Some of my aunties try to help her also.”

Is Malina shy about the scar on her face? “No,” she says, “because if my father hadn’t cut me, then the Australians probably wouldn’t have learned about me—and I wouldn’t have been sponsored to this Christian school.”

To the question “Are you a Christian?” she answers: “I haven’t been baptized, but I want to be someday. I love Jesus very much, and I know He loves me, too.”

There is so much ugliness and pain in the world. But God is always working to create something beautiful from the ugliness—healing wounds and restoring stolen innocence.