Literacy erases shame, brings hope

By May 17, 2012

India (GFA) — A Gospel for Asia Women's Fellowship organized a literacy
class to teach and encourage women to read and write. Twenty-nine women
from five local churches attended the class.

One woman named Neela, 40, said she lived in shame among her neighbors
because she was illiterate.

"In my life, I have never been to school and never had the chance to hold a
pencil," she said. "I used to feel shame because I did not know how to read or
write. But through this literacy class, I got the privilege to learn how to
read and write. From today onward, I will not be ashamed [in front] of others
for not knowing how to read or write. I will not be lazy but give my best and
learn how to read and write. After I learn, I will read the Bible and memorize
Scripture verses."

The women missionaries took great care to help each person who came. Their
love and support were a huge encouragement to those attending, especially
Charumati, 35, whose husband is a local pastor.

"My husband asked me to learn how to write, but I used to feel shame and
ignored his words," she said. "But through the literacy class today, and the
sharing from our Women's Fellowship leaders, I am encouraged and know the
importance of writing and reading."

Because of the class, Nami, 32, feels she is one step closer to helping her
children with their studies.

"Sometimes I want to teach my children and help them do their homework when
they are confused," she said. "But I am illiterate, and I do not know how to
help them. Thinking about this, I feel very sad. But through the literacy class
today, I am very happy. I will try my best to learn to read and write so I can
read the Bible and tell others about it, and even help my children in their studies."

Through the efforts of GFA-supported women missionaries, these literacy
classes are restoring dignity to women all over South Asia.


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