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The people of the Mozambican village of Mazoe followed a long-held tradition. They would give their daughters in marriage while they were still young girls, often to grown men. As chief, it was Malemba’s duty to ensure that the traditions of his people were preserved — including this one. But one day, a girl who had been given in marriage against her will escaped and ran to the chief. She begged him to help her. She didn’t want to be married. She wanted to go to school. As Malemba looked into the girl’s eyes, he suddenly saw the traditions of his people differently. Malemba had become a Christian after hearing the Gospel from EHC Pioneer Missionaries and he had been studying his Bible closely. His new faith allowed him to see the injustice of the situation for the first time.

Chief Malemba called the families together. He told them that the marriage was dissolved and that the young girl should be enrolled in school. He then announced to the entire village of Mazoe that child marriage was a violation of children’s rights. “He informed them that the Word of God teaches people to respect and love one another as Christ loves us,” the EHC team reports. “From that time, life in Mazoe has been different.” Before the Gospel reached this village, young girls’ rights had been trampled for generations. But the revelation of Jesus’ love set their most vulnerable people free.

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