“Oh, Amma! Amma! Do not pray! Your prayers are, troubling me!” We all looked up in astonishment. We had just had our Band Prayer Meeting, when a woman came rushing into the room and began to exclaim like this. She was the mother of one of our girls, of whom I told you once before. She is still in the Terrible’s den. Now the mother (A devote Hindu) was all excitement and poured out a curious story.
“When you went away last year I prayed. I prayed and prayed, and prayed again to my god to dispel your work. My daughter’s heart was impressed with your words. I cried to my god to wash the words out. Has he washed them out? Oh no! And I prayed for a bridegroom for my daughter, and one came; and the cart was ready to take her away, and a hindrance occurred; the marriage fell through. And I wept till my eyes well-nigh dissolved. And again another bridegroom came, and again an obstacle occurred. And yet again did a bridegroom come, and yet again an obstacle; and I cannot get my daughter married, and the neighbors mock, and my Caste is disgraced” – and the poor old mother cried, just sobbed in her shame and confusion of face. “Then I went to my god again and said, ‘What more can I offer you? Have I not given you all I have? And you reject my prayer!’ Then in a dream my (demon) god appeared, and he said, ‘Tell the Christians not to pray, I can do nothing against their prayers. Their prayers are hindering me!’ And so, I beseech you, stop your prayers for fourteen days – only fourteen days – till I get my daughter married !” “And after she is married?” We asked. “Oh, then she may freely follow your God! I will hinder her no more!” Poor old mother! All lies are allowed where such things are concerned. We knew the proposed bridegroom came from a place three hundred miles away, and the idea was to carry the poor girl off by force as soon as she was married. We have been praying night and day to God to hinder this. And He is hindering!