More Than Enough Rice to Fill Their Plates
Agna and her husband were never rich, but they had enough each year to live on. Along with some bamboo crafts that they made and sold in the village, they both labored in their rice field. Their field always produced more than a year's worth of rice for their family to live on, and they never had to purchase any from the market. In fact, they even had enough to give a generous offering to their traditional religious priest once a year.
Depleting Rice Increases Poverty
But in 2014 all this changed. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, their paddy field did not produce a sufficient crop. They only had enough rice to last them four months. Because of this lack, Agna called for the priest to perform magic over their field, hoping it would cause the land to produce more. The priest did many rituals, but the next year, their crops grew worse. This time, they only had enough rice for two months.
Agna and her husband felt they had no choice but to call their two children home from their boarding schools in order to help the family stay afloat.
As a mother, Agna struggled to see her children forced to forsake their education, and as a wife, she observed her husband grow discouraged due to her lack of income.
As a mother, Agna struggled to see her children forced to forsake their education, and as a wife, she observed her husband grow discouraged due to her lack of income. On top of this burden, Agna found herself doing something she never had to do before: beg.
Mother Begs for Rice
One day, despite her timidity, Agna decided to ask Pastor Biru for a little rice. He seemed to want to help others in his village; maybe he would help their family too. Agna didn't know it, but her unfortunate situation would lead her to the greatest gift she could ever ask for.
When Agna approached Pastor Biru, he noticed there was something wrong just by the expression on her face. With compassion and a desire to help, he welcomed her. It was difficult for Agna to get the words out, but Pastor Biru, sensitive to her emotions, assured her she could share anything she wanted. Agna then opened up and talked about the condition of her family.
"Right now we do not have rice to cook," she said. "If you can give me enough rice to cook for one time, next time I will go and beg from others."