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Bangladesh: Runa Finds Peace


Runa’s family had no peace. Her mother was expecting the family’s seventh baby. None of the children in the family had ever been to school because the family was too poor.

They lived together in Bangladesh in a house with walls of dried mud. The roof was made of grass. The entire house was just 10 feet wide and 15 feet long. (Measure off a 10 by 15 foot space to see the size of their house.) Runa’s parents earned one meal of rice and about 75 cents each day for their work in farmers’ fields.

Every Friday, Runa’s father went to the mosque to pray. A mosque is a building where Muslims worship, and Friday is their holy day. Runa and her family tried to be good Muslims.

But they still had no peace.

The Horrible Thought
Runa’s mother did not think she would ever have enough food to feed her seventh child. She had a horrible thought. “What if I took some poison so the baby would not be born?” she thought. Other women in Bangladesh had done just that. Sometimes the poison killed the mother as well as the baby.

The horrible thought gave her no peace.

Finding Peace
One day a friend of Runa’s family brought a Christian man to visit them. Runa had never seen a Christian before. Everyone in her village was Muslim, and she had never traveled outside the village.

Bangladeshi people enjoy hearing and telling stories. The Christian visitor told the family many stories. He told them about Adam and Eve, King David, Daniel and the lions, Moses, and Jesus.

The story Runa’s family liked best was the story of the woman at the well. “The woman in the story was a Samaritan, and many people didn’t like Samaritans. The woman had done some bad deeds. But Jesus didn’t hurt her or yell at her. He was kind to her and showed her the way to follow Him.

After many visits with the story-telling Christian, Runa’s family decided to commit their lives to Jesus, who forgives horrible thoughts and other sins. He gives His followers hope for the future.

Now Runa’s family had peace. They were still poor and they knew they could be persecuted for their faith. Muslims in Bangladesh often persecute people who leave Islam, the religion of Muslims.

“The Only Savior”
News about Runa’s family traveled quickly through the small village. A mob of Muslims came to their house and chased them away with big sticks. Then they tore down the little house.

Other Christians came and helped them build a new house. But their troubles did not end.

One day a Muslim relative invited Runa to her house. When Runa arrived, she discovered that her relatives wanted her to marry a Muslim man who already had two wives! (Muslims may have up to four wives.)

Runa was only 13 years old, and she did not want to marry a Muslim. She moved to a safer place to escape her Muslim relatives. A tutor began to help her learn to read.

Muslims have tried to force and tempt Runa’s family to return to Islam. But they will not return. A Christian friend of the family said, “The peace they now have inside them has made them sure that Jesus is the only Savior of the world.”