India (MNN) — Literacy can mean
the difference between life and death in some places.
Dave Stravers is with Grand
Rapids, Michigan-based Mission India. Their Bible-based literacy classes often introduce the students to the
Gospel for the first time, as it did with Sunita. "She was recruited into
the literacy class and began to learn to read. At a certain point, the teacher,
who was a believer, shared with her that she could pray to Jesus about her
problems. She decided to pray, and two months later, they're both
Stravers tells us about another
woman whose situation was similar to Sunita's. "In this case, we got there
too late. A literacy learner–a young
woman named Surekha–had two children and also had a husband who beat her and
Two weeks ago, Surekha came home
from her literacy class and found her husband there, drunk. An
altercation turned into another beating, but he was enraged this time. Stravers says, "Her husband set her on fire. Neighbors
came and took her to the hospital, but she died." Surekha had not yet come
to the Lord. While her husband is in
prison for her murder, she leaves behind a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl,
who are in the care of relatives.
It's stories like this that drive Mission India toward expansion. Learning to read, by itself, is not the life
saver. Rather, it's the inevitable introduction to Christ that is fueling the
The class materials include three Bible-based lesson booklets for each
student, slates and chalk, a large chalkboard for teachers, and a
Mission India developed a 12-month, five-nights-a-week, and 2-hours-a-night
literacy course designed for areas where literacy is low. This course is now
available in 17 languages and can be effectively taught by instructors from
depressed areas who have little formal education themselves.
There are hundreds of requests for clubs, but growth is hindered by
lack of funds. $30 USD provides teacher
training, a stipend for the teacher, and class materials in a regional Indian
language. Click here if you can help.