On his early visits home to their village, Suresh would leave his job at the garment factory in Dhaka to visit his wife Pomilla and youngest daughter. Pomilla had been unwell and he was growing concerned.
Whenever Suresh talked with her on the phone, she seemed to grow worse and he wanted to care for her. But it wasn’t easy taking a job in the city to earn wages he couldn’t in the village. He’d travel the six-hour trip, made worse from weather conditions, and worry if his job would be there when he returned.
Once when he arrived home, he found Pomilla’s condition critical. She was not the same person. ‘I prayed to God. “Whatever sufferings you have given, you have already given. Now you must cure my wife completely. You keep her the way you have kept me (in the city)”’. Suresh took her for treatment to the local clinic.
I prayed to God. “Whatever sufferings you have given, you have already given. Now you must cure my wife completely. You keep her the way you have kept me (in the city)”
Soon her health improved—and so did her confidence in the village while Suresh was away. And in more recent years, she has grown stronger still. In fact, he once came back home only to find Pomilla serve him dinner before hurrying off.
‘I would ask her where are you going? And she said to the meeting on savings groups there by Baptists. I cannot stop her from going. I said okay. I worked at home and she went to the meetings. Our daughter goes too.’
For almost twenty years Suresh has worked in the garment industry, sometimes dying material, sometimes cleaning materials to make pants. He’s brushed colours gently, and though some textures were harder than others, he was patient to make products that ‘were good quality’ so the company would take them. He’d meet his targets, always glad for the work, often feeling like his boss would help him if he needed to go care for Pomilla. He knew other garment workers weren’t treated as well.
Sometimes in Dhaka, Suresh would ‘go without’ to make sure his family had food. Rains and floods damaged the region, coronavirus hit and when he finally was able to go home, he noticed how his house changed. A flood had damaged part of it. But he saw how much the Baptist projects had helped Pomilla and Sudhira.
‘Earlier the earning was limited. My salary was less but expenditure more. Now that earning is more, life becomes easier. Every day Pomilla had to take medicine but I took a vow that my wife will be cured. Now she plants vegetables. She has fish at home. She can eat and sell and that is how she can get some money. On holidays I go to village, to see bananas, lemons and coconuts in our garden and fish in our pond.”
And Suresh feels good about what’s happening at their home, that Pomilla stayed back to take care of it even when he had to find work in the city.
‘I like to go back to home to see my wife and daughter. I feel good when I see them. I still have one dream. I want to educate my daughter. And I pray that God blesses her to get a good job. That is my dream.’