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Nyamale, A human child’s gift to the church

By James Gatdet Dak

"My dream is to assist the orphaned and street children if I get the means after finishing in school," Nyamale.

September 8, 2009 (JUBA) – Nyamale, 11, was given to the church as a human gift by John Dhil and Mary Chol when she was only a few months old. Her friends call her the daughter of God.

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Nyamale: A human child’s gift to the church (photo by James Dak - ST)

It was in 1998 that John Dhil and Mary Chol, the biological parents of Nyamale, whom they named ‘peace’, decided to give to the Church their newly born baby as a human gift to God. She is now an adolescent eleven years down the road. The baby daughter was handed to a Presbyterian Church of a Nuer congregation in Fangak County of Jonglei state, Southern Sudan.

He parents explained that they both decided to give their friend, Jesus, a human gift instead of material gift. "Our friend is Jesus to whom we owe every thing; our lives, peace in the family, and peace for the nation," John said.

"Yes, we agreed to give to Jesus this precious gift of a human child," added Mary, the mother of Nyamale.

They said she is no longer their daughter but the daughter of God, grows up in the church of God and should devote all her life to the service of God.

Traditionally dowries are always paid to a girl’s parents in form of cattle ranging from 30 to 60 heads, or money when the girl is married to a man. However, Nyamale’s biological parents said it was up to the church to decide to allow her to get married, and if she gets married, her dowries would be paid to the church as part of the church’s assets.

"We may get only one cow which is traditionally given to a friend of the girl’s father when the girl is married. In this case the father of Nyamale is Jesus and I am the Jesus’ friend. The rest of her dowries are for Jesus," John further explained.

Nyamale said she was happy about the decision taken by her parents to give her to the church.

She also added she did not have any objection to get married in the future, but her concern would be getting a man who would consider her a devoted daughter of God that would always be busy in God’s service.

"Even if I get married to a man when I grow up, we will first agree in the church and make sure that the man understands I am a daughter of God and must allow me to work for the church for my entire life," she said.

Nyamale, who struggles to follow up with her education in primary three level, as her local church hardly meets her school expenses, said her dream after finishing in school is to establish a center to assist the needy children in her County.

"My dream is to assist the orphaned and street children if I get the means after finishing in school," she said.

(ST)