Literacy training paves the way for villagers in India to change their lives, economically and spiritually.

By February 24, 2005

India (MNN) — The devastation of the tsunami traumatized many people, and survivors in fishing villages in India have been so traumatized that they don’t want to go back to work.

Dave Stravers with Mission India says that many people have been re-evaluating their lives and desiring to have greater stability than before. That has led them to seek literacy training to help improve their economic situation. Mission India has been doing literacy training in the region for about 20 years, with great success. Villagers are coming to the program and Mission India is not only helping them learn to read, but also teaching them about Christ.

Stravers says, “In the process the first words they’re reading are right from the Bible, and people are hearing the witness that goes on by the Christian teachers. And about 40-percent of the graduates end up committing their lives to Christ and joining a church. So we’re really very optimistic that God will use all this tragedy to some good in the region.”

Stravers says literacy training is very economically effective, “A person can reach a fifth grade reading level in 8-12 months. And on average we’ve found people increase their income by about 50-percent, just during the training.”

Mission India have funding to reach about half of the literacy students they are committed to reaching, but they need your help, says Stravers. “The real need in India right now is for this follow-up training, and for helping to minister to people’s needs in a way that puts these Hindu people in connection with Christians who are working in the region.”

A Christian husband and wife in one village lost their three children when the wave swept them out to sea. Their church was also washed away in the disaster. But this couple have opened their home to the church to meet in, and they have reached out in love to their neighbors. Many people have come to Christ through the witness and testimony of these faithful believers. Stravers says, that’s why Mission India is helping, because, “When you pray or give for this, you’re in partnership with very special people.”

To help, contact Mission India by calling (877) 644-6342 or go to their website,

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