The number of illiterate men and women in South Asia is well into the hundreds of millions, with women being the majority of those who have never learned to read or write.
Gospel for Asia pastors and Women’s Fellowship team members look forward to International Literacy Day, on September 8, as a special opportunity to reach out to their communities with programs that explain their literacy classes as well as share the Good News of Jesus.
Last year during the church’s International Literacy Day program, Pastor Radhesh encouraged the women to learn to read, so they will be able to study their Bibles and teach their children to do the same.
“I am a mother and I feel helpless because I cannot teach my children,” a woman from a local church said, “but today I learned to be strong and not give up, to do my best to learn to read and write.”
An Unexpected Listener
In another area, women missionaries shared the same message as Pastor Radhesh, encouraging local women to participate in literacy classes as well. Around 50 women gathered to hear what the ladies shared.
Narayana, a local elderly man, sat away from the crowd and paid close attention to what the missionaries said.
The women missionaries noticed he didn’t move from his spot after the program and quickly approached him. He told them what a good thing they were doing for the community and that their parents should be very proud.
The women gave him a piece of Gospel literature, and his response echoed the struggle that countless people in South Asia face when they want to read something.
“I am illiterate,” Narayana said to the women. “Please tell me what is written in it so I may hear it.”
As the women shared about Christ’s life, death and resurrection written in the piece of literature, Narayana listened carefully. By the time he heard the entire message, Narayana knew without a doubt Jesus is the only living God.
He asked the women to go home with him to tell his wife about Jesus, too. When his wife heard about Christ, she decided to follow Him as well!
International Literacy Day was a special day to Narayana and his wife, as well as to many others, because our missionaries shared the hope of a better future with them—both for this life and the next.
Please pray for our workers, on September 8, as they reach out to men and women on International Literacy Day again this year.
This article was originally published by Gospel for Asia. To learn more about Gospel for Asia, click here.