My name is Laxmi Sunar, I’m 30 years old and live in a town called Mahendranagar, in the Far West of Nepal. My husband and I live in the local slums where hundreds of other landless people also live.
I moved here when I was 14. My parents arranged for me to marry my husband, Kisan Sunar who was a labourer in town. I didn’t want to marry him and move away from home. I was so young and wanted to stay with my friends but I couldn’t disobey my parents. When I was little I never got the chance to go to school, our family was very poor and I had to work for my parents’ masters so that we could eat, arranging a marriage for me meant my parents would no longer be burdened with looking after me and would benefit from a dowry paid by Kisan’s family.
After our wedding Kisan often struggled to find work locally and so he travelled to India to earn enough money for us to survive. I would be left alone at home because we lived separately from our families. Life was very hard, I felt lonely and had very little money, sometimes I couldn’t afford to buy food and if I got sick I struggled to buy the medicine I needed.
One day some people from Bersewa Church of Mahendranagar (who had received Integral Mission training from Sagoal) came to our village and told our community that they were interested in providing some piglets to the five poorest families. They asked us to suggest who these five families should be. I was invited to be a part of the committee to help decide, as a group we chose 5 woman headed households, as without husbands these families had no one to provide them with any income, making life even more of a struggle than it was for others, including myself.
The women raised the piglets and started to earn an income for themselves by selling the pigs. Bersewa Church asked that when the piglets started producing young that each family would pass a piglet onto another family in the village. A year later I also received a piglet.
7 months later my pig gave birth to 13 piglets. I passed one onto another family. After 4 months I sold 10 of them and earned 50,000 rupees (£315). After covering all my costs of rearing the pigs I was able to spend the rest of the money to build a roof for my small hut.
Not only have the church given me hope for a better future on this earth, they also shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with me.
While my husband was away I went to the church and enjoyed singing songs with everyone. I started to attend the church every week and six month later I got baptised. I was nervous of what my husband would say when he came back from India but I asked him to come with me so he could learn and receive the same peace I had received. Now we attend together.
We are still rearing the pigs and they are a good source of income for us, we now have enough money for my husband to stay with me, he looks after the pigs while I have started a job in a small hotel in town where I get a regular wage. We are so grateful to Bersewa church and Sagoal, they have given us hope and a future. We are happy now.
Praise the Lord for we have been given hope through Him.