Literacy odds are stacked against Indian women

By October 31, 2019

India (MNN) — It’s one thing to hear about a crisis, but seeing crisis with your own eyes is life changing.

Lynn Cowell, author and speaker with Proverbs 31 Ministries, recently traveled to India and met with Mission India partners. There, Cowell learned one out of four Indian adults is illiterate, “which is hard for me to wrap my mind around because that population equals nearly the entire population of the US.”

Women account for 68 percent of illiterate adults in India, largely due to gender disparities and early marriages that force young girls to drop out of school.

(Photo courtesy of Mission India)

Mission India is removing the barriers facing adults — and women, in particular — with their Adult Literacy Classes.

During her visit, Cowell got to meet one of Mission India’s Adult Literacy Classes. They teach reading, writing, and math so that by the time students graduate, they are at a fifth-grade level.

This doesn’t just change the lives of adult students; it redirects the stories of entire families as parents place greater value on education for their children, including young girls. It also means parents can get better jobs themselves with higher income. They may even be able to start their own businesses.

But the impact doesn’t end there. “The very words that are inside the booklets where they’re learning to read is God’s Word. As they are being introduced to reading, they are also being introduced to the Son of God,” Cowell says.

“As a result of that, 40 percent of the students in these literacy classes typically become new Christians. Then…typically three out of five [literacy classes will] plant new churches.”

(Photo courtesy of Mission India)

Cowell especially enjoyed meeting Sunita, a former Adult Literacy Class student.

“After going through that class, she became a believer in Christ,” Cowell says. “It changed her life so much that she next became a project manager, which means that she managed over five different classes. She began to become a leader in her community.

“When we met her, her face literally just beamed with confidence — a confidence that had come from knowing Christ and from the skills that she had gained through not only becoming a member of these classes but becoming a leader in her community.”

 Cowell left her experience with Mission India motivated to get involved.

“Even though I am not a missionary, even though I spend my days serving God here in America, I can still have an impact on what God is doing around the world.”

(Photo courtesy of Mission India)

It’s not hard to support educational and spiritual transformation in India. You can sponsor a literacy student with Mission India for just $40!

“For me and my husband, $40 can easily be a night out that we choose to stay in to change the life of someone forever!” Cowell says.

Even if you can’t give, your prayers are powerful. You can sign up for Mission India’s emails here to recieve regular prayer requests and impact stories.

Please pray for Adult Literacy Class students like Sunita to know the life-changing love of Jesus. Ask God to bless Mission India’s teachers who are representing the Gospel as community leaders.

Mission India also released a four-day devotional today to help you pray for the persecuted Church in India. Sign up for your IDOP devotional here!



Header photo courtesy of Mission India.

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