It’s not just a hymn her teachers taught her. The fifth-grader is singing a song she wrote that reflects the story of her life.
About a decade ago, this cheerful girl—who loves learning about math and arts inside the classroom, and playing with her friends outside—almost didn’t make it. When she was just a few days old, she was found abandoned in a netted bag, with vines wrapped around her neck, a victim of traditional beliefs still prevalent among her tribe at the time.
In her village deep in the mountains of Indonesia’s easternmost province, the Moi tribe still held traditional beliefs back then about pregnancy and how a fetus is nurtured in the womb. Because of this, Emma Grace’s father was shocked to return home after four months away and find his wife’s pregnancy still thriving. The baby, they thought, cannot and should not survive.
Fortunately, the villagers were able to alert foreign missionaries in time. Thanks to them, Emma Grace has been reunited with her parents, who now understand that their beliefs were wrong. At home, her parents say she helps out when it’s time to harvest their crops. In school, teachers say she loves learning about math and cultural arts.
Today, as one of the 65 bright students at SLH Daboto, Emma Grace is getting the education she needs not only to challenge the long-held mystical beliefs that nearly took her life, but to hope for a brighter future.