Chittoor District, Andhra Pradesh
The life story of Renuka: She is a temple prostitute no longer.
I would like to present this article about one of the events from the mathomas (temple prostitute) community. Renuka was a temple prostitute. At the age of 4 she fell seriously ill and her parents named her as mathoma. When she reached maturity the village elder tied the tali (mangalsutra). Her parents allowed her to study up to 9th standard. She lived like a temple prostitute and underwent a lot of suffering and rejection. She got two daughters by an unnamed father. I came to know her situation about eight months ago and felt sorry for her. I told her to learn tailoring work. She has followed a four months course. Now she is able to stitch clothes and earn her livelihood. She saved some amount and got her own tailoring machine. Her way of life was transformed because of the tailoring project we have started. Now she has been appointed as tuition teacher to a village. I am happy to share this good news and thank God for this ministry. Her entire life has been changed and she is now no more a temple prostitute. During the day she stitches clothes and in the evenings teaches children in Rajulakandriga. Monthly she is earning money to support her family. She can work at home. This is really a success story that has brought community transformation. She gave up temple prostitution and lives a kind of new life. She loves Jesus and believes in Him.
Process of transformation: Knowing situation, interaction and introducing them to a community learning project. Changes: no more a temple prostitute- learned tailoring work-became a tuition teacher. So society respects her, she does not depend on prostitution.
Outreach programs: My children can pray and heal people. They pray for nations, pastors, families and for orphans. In each tuition center we have 10 praying children. We have 220 praying children from 22 centers. In this way I can raise up a praying generation.
Installation of Cross on the mountain
We have installed the cross on the mountain where prostitution often takes place. This was the place of destiny for sin and adultery but now it has become a mountain of prayer and holy ground. People have respect for this mountain and prostitution has eventually stopped. I thank God for this place.
I would like to share the love of God with this generation. At present I live in a rented house and exercise this ministry. God brought me to this place with a purpose.
Why do we have ministry among Dalits, gypsy and temple prostitute communities?
Indeed it is a good question to ask ourselves and reflect upon our basic ministry among these communities. Basically this generation is a community cursed and despised by other higher caste groups. And they live outside villages and they are untouchables and rejected. God loved the world and gave His only Son to us. (John 3:16). And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us: and we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father: fullness of truth and loving-kindness. (John 1:14). We have tuition as our basic approch to reach out through children to parents. We need to remember our biblical foundation. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers (Malachi 4:6). In fact temple prostitute children might have seen number of fathers coming to their homes. And even could not find a father who has the Father’s heart. But this ministry laid a foundation and shared the Father’s love to a fatherless generation. So it is our ministry and prayer to ask Almighty God to turn the hearts of fathers to this generation.
Fr. Jayaraju, Ap.