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On the Run

“I’m leaving.”

It wasn’t a promising start to a conversation with my employee, Miriam.

“My parents are arranging a marriage, but the man isn’t a good match for me. He comes from a respected family in our community, wealthy and devout, so Mom and Dad won’t listen to my worries.

I just can’t marry that man, so I’m going away for a while.”

And just like that, Miriam was gone.

Miriam’s parents rely on traditional rhythms of life, rhythms that have brought stability to their community for many centuries. In their world, children respect the decisions of their parents. Marriage is a duty, an act of obedience. It is not a personal choice.

Miriam went to a good school and graduated from college. She has learned to make decisions for herself, and from my experience, her decisions are usually pretty good.

Miriam’s parents weren’t ready to trust her judgment. So she ran away.

Then a few anxious weeks later, Miriam suddenly showed up back at work. She was all smiles.

After two weeks with a classmate in the next province, her parents had changed their mind. She didn’t have to marry the man they had chosen after all. But she did have to leave our small company to work somewhere bigger, that could give her more security and a better salary.

Is she moving on to bigger and better things? Will she find a more suitable marriage partner?

And how far away will Miriam run the next time her parents want to organise her life for her?

  • Pray for young people along the Silk Road, balancing the pressures of modern city life with the traditional values of their parents.
  • Pray that they can find healthy ways to talk through their differences, rather than resorting to coercion or emotional tricks.
  • Pray for Christians who live and work alongside Muslim peoples to love them well by being culturally sensitive.

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