A New Prayer

Set in Yemen, this book is the story of Nujood, a ten year old who is forced into an arranged marriage with a man three times her age.    Even though law prohibits arranged marriage of girls this age, tradition and customs sometimes override those laws.   After they are married, her husband abuses her.   Determined that this is not how she is going to live, she escapes to the courthouse where she finds a sympathetic lawyer who helps her fight against customs in order to gain freedom. 

The story is well written, giving the details of her life without being too graphic.   Through out the story, she talks about her siblings and what is happening in their lives at the same time.   Her sister is also forced into an arranged marriage, although not because of poverty, but has struggles with her husband as well.   Her sister's children, her brothers, and her life are all impacted in negative ways because the family has no money.   Forced to beg or left with the feeling that the only answer is to leave home for another country, the family is almost in shambles. 

While reading this story, I was so proud of Nujood that she had the courage to stand up for herself and create a better future for herself.    While she is now famous around the world, she still lives with her family, but with the money that is coming in from her book, she is able to attend school and put money away so that she can become a lawyer in the future to help other girls that end up in situations like hers.

It made me think of our Compassion children.   The extreme poverty that many of these children live in put them in situations that we would find unethical and beyond our comprehension.   It makes my heart break to think that any children are put into these kinds of situations.   My prayer for our Compassion Children this year is that they stay safe, that God, who loves them more than I do, will keep his hand of protection on them.   They have dreams just like my children do, dreams to prosper and succeed. 

Definitely a book worth reading.

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