WARNING – The following story is true and graphic. Please do not read this story if you do not accept that it is graphic and details the effects of sin. It is no more graphic than certain stories in the Bible. The intent of the story is to provide a window into culture and worldview of fallen man, as any lost person is capable of such acts, the Tanala people in particular.
Previous Posts in This Series:
Each weekday Vola* walked forty minutes one way to Ambatolava*. Her father thought that she was spending her time there studying in school. Instead she met her “sipa,” or boyfriend, in the fields. Somehow Vola had hid it from her family and friends that she was pregnant. Not even her sister seem to know that she was carrying life inside of her. The enemy had convinced her that this reason for celebration was her badge of shame that she must endure. The burden of shame grew so heavy that one afternoon afternoon she decided to rid herself of this shame.
Vola left early in the morning as she normally did for the fields, her father thinking she was going to school. However, this time she did not meet her boyfriend but was alone. There in the field she ended the baby’s life and covered it with brush to hide her new shame. When she returned to her village she could not hide her distress, covered in blood, sweating, shaking and realizing the horror she had just committed. She confessed to her sister who ran to her father for help. Together they returned to field to find that indeed the child was dead. Her shame now became the family’s shame.
*The name and location in this story have been changed for their protection.
Tim met with Vola recently and heard her story. Vola is quiet, reserved and it is evident now that she carries a burden. Tim shared the gospel with her and encouraged her that even an offense that great is forgiven through the blood of Jesus. The death of the child is not known to many in her village but it has raised questions about salvation and unborn children, evidence that they are thinking through how merciful God may be in the middle of tragedy. Moreover, the bones of the child never made into that village’s crypt, an essential part of the Malagasy ensuring they have passed well from this physical life to the spiritual one and are remembered as the razana (ancestors).