India (MNN) — Malati gaped at the balance in her bank account and was shocked to find that the 2,500 rupees she went to deposit just three days ago were not there. In fact, it was like they never even made it into her bank account.
Three days earlier, Malati had gone to a bank in India to make her deposit. Equivalent to roughly $34 USD today, the 2,500 rupees were a large sum for the average Indian family.
However, there was one problem at the bank. Malati couldn’t read or write. Not that this was unusual. Around 35 percent of women in India are illiterate. So Malati asked a seemingly kind young man to assist her with the deposit. He graciously listened as she told him what to write and filled out the deposit form for her.
Now, Malati realized what had happened. The young man, so willing to assist her, had written down his personal bank information and routed all 2,500 of her rupees to fill his own pockets. When Malati’s husband found out, he was furious. There was nothing she could do.
Mission India’s Adult Literacy Classes are year-round and led by indigenous teachers who are trained through the ministry.
Erik* with Mission India explains, “The goal educationally at the end of these Adult Literacy Classes [is] that these adults will have a fifth-grade education level. So they’re able to proficiently do math and read and write, which all then translates into success in terms of those adults’ daily lives.
“The best part of it is they…get introduced to Jesus — some for the very first time. So it’s just amazing to see the kind of transformation these classes can bring to their communities.”
As for Malati, when she heard about the Adult Literacy Class, “She signed up right away. She was just so excited. She didn’t want to lose any money anymore. The teacher, Sunitha, helped Malati in many ways and Sunitha would actually visit the bank with Malati to teach her about the transactions and how to fill out the deposit form so she could do it on her own now.”
Erik says, “One day, as Malati was listening to Sunitha talk about the lesson, Sunitha started talking about Jesus. She shared the Gospel with Malati and her classmates. Malati was just so moved by hearing about the Gospel and what Jesus did for her, that day…Malati gave her life to Jesus.”
Today, Malati has graduated from the class and learned how to start her own vegetable garden. She sells the produce from her garden in her village and is earning her own income.
“As I’m saying this, I have a smile on my face,” Erik reflects, “because you’re getting to see really the Kingdom of God come forward! You are seeing people who are transformed emotionally and physically and also spiritually through these classes.”
There are many women and even men in India who would benefit from access to an Adult Literacy Class with Mission India. You can be a part of connecting them with educational tools and spiritual hope that could change their lives! Malati’s story is just one of several that Mission India hears every month on the holistic impact of their classes.
“First and foremost, we believe prayer is the first work in missions. So we would ask your readers and listeners to join us in praying for people like Malati, and also for people like Sunitha who are taking up their time in teaching these men and women how to be literate.”
You can also support an Indian woman or man in an Adult Literacy Class! All it takes is $40 for one enrollment.
“During that time, you’re going to give them a year-long transformation,” says Erik. “It’s not just a week, it’s not just a day — $40 enrolls one person for the entire year where they not only learn how to transform themselves, but they get to learn how to transform their families and communities.”
Click here to give to Mission India’s Adult Literacy Classes.
Header photo courtesy of Mission India.
*Name changed for security purposes.