The Daughter of H Island
Her mother wrinkled her face, gesturing towards the two-year old with her chin and shaking her head in a “no.” Gigi translated with visible hurt in her eyes. “She says she doesn’t love her as much as she loves her son.” The women around the room moaned deeply with disapproval in their throats, but they understood. A daughter just isn’t loved like a son.
The son strutted around the small cement room painted in Nubian blue like the sky. He clutched a long butcher knife, swinging it through the air as if to cut the 120-degree heat along the Nile. Only when he lunged toward his sister did the other women, not their mother, move to take the knife. In angry response, the son ran away, returning with a page in his coloring book—it was an image of a father and son cutting the throat of a ram. Moans of understanding and approval around the room acknowledged that he was just thinking about the coming Islamic festival when he would help his father sacrifice a ram. He was just excited. We were relieved the daughter escaped the blade. Muslim families place a high priority on family honor, but this often breaks down in valuing girls and the women. It’s why Gigi (Rania on our website) plans to use sewing classes for girls to create connections leading them to the deep, deep love of Jesus. The words penned by S. Trevor Francis seem appropriate as our prayer for girls and women in Arabized Nubian communities along the Nile River. O the deep, deep love of Jesus! Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free, Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me. Underneath me, all around me, is the current of thy love; Leading onward, leading homeward, to thy glorious rest above. O the deep, deep love of Jesus! Spread his praise from shore to shore; How he loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore; How he watches o’er his loved ones, died to call them all his own; How for them he intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne. O the deep, deep love of Jesus! Love of ev’ry love the best: ‘tis an ocean vast of blessing, ‘tis a haven sweet of rest. O the deep, deep love of Jesus! ‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me; And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to thee. This month as you look at this photo, you can pray:
For Rania as she develops the outreach team to serve girls and women of the H community.
For the Muslim families who will receive the outreach team, to be open.
For the men of H to cooperate in allowing women to connect with Rania's team.
For the seamstress and doctor who will join Rania to reach the girls of H with the deep, deep love of Jesus.