“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it from you.”
Imagine the sight. Women- mostly mothers carrying babies on both hips,
grandmothers, and great-grandmothers with wrinkles that seem to shine when they
smile, leaning in close as we practice alphabet sounds. Ah..Ah…A. Buh..Buh..B.
These literacy classes happen on what feels to us like holy ground. These women
have every reason not to be there and every excuse not to even try. Most of them
have lived over half of their life never reading a single word or knowing how to
write their own name. They have laundry that needs to get washed and hung out to
dry while the sun is still hot. They have farms ready for harvesting so their 9
children can eat. And husbands who expect them home soon to start the fire for hot
coffee. Culture tries to shame them; convincing women they’re too old and they
shouldn’t embarrass themselves with something so childish.
And yet, they still come. To learn…to laugh…to dream.
Our literacy classes were actually birthed out of a desire to get a Bible into the hands
of every family. We longed for the women we sit with in Bible Study every week to
be able to leave our circle and continue learning and reading the Word at home by
themselves or with their kids, but we knew this would never be possible until they
knew how to read.
So we started meeting weekly before Bible Study to practice phonetics and
handwriting. And slowly, as they learn and become more confident in their abilities,
they start to smile more and stand a little taller. We believe these women,
empowered by Jesus Christ, have what it takes to succeed in their pursuit of literacy.
And we are excited for what that means in the future as we strive to see homes and
families saturated with the truth of God’s Word.