Urja’s Story

Date: March 26, 2024
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Urja was married at the age of 13, a practice not uncommon in the rural areas of Nepal. By the time she was 16, she already had two children. Then she learned the tragic truth that her husband actually already had another wife. Shocked and betrayed, Urja ran away. Alone, with two small children, and with no means to support herself, Urja turned to prostitution as a way to survive. It was not a life she would ever have chosen for herself, but she saw no other options. She continued working in prostitution for a decade until the summer of 2023, when she heard the good news of the gospel and decided to leave prostitution to follow Jesus. She found community through the local church and received ongoing discipling and Biblical teaching. Since then, she has shown tremendous spiritual growth and maturity, but life has been very difficult. Urja lives in remote west Nepal, right on the boarder with India, a literal gateway through which countless girls are sold into prostitution. The relentless stream of human trafficking through this village is a constant reminder of the life Urja left and the life she is even know only footsteps away from. She now instead works in road construction, but it is an extremely physically demanding job and keeps her away from her children for a large part of the day. She also lives in constant fear that her landlord will find out that she is a believer. If he does, he will kick her out of the small mud hut she rents from him, and she will not even be allowed to draw water from the local well. In spite of the challenges and danger of persecution, Urja and her daughter celebrated their new life through baptism during our team’s visit in February. Urja’s dream has been to receive training to allow her to work as a cleaner in an office or hotel. Thanks to the work of Hilltop of Hope, we have been able to connect Urja with a Christian safe house in Kathmandu, where she will be able to receive the vocational training she needs to have a fully restored life free from prostitution. This house will accept Urja and her daughter, but not her son. She plans to move there as soon as her children, now age 12 and 13, finish their school exams. Hilltop of Hope is still working diligently to identify safe accommodation for Urja’s son.

*Name changed for security

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