Committed teacher continues classes through the pandemic
Suffering comes in many forms. The personal stories shared with us from the Beacon of Light Literacy program in Pakistan demonstrate the release from past hardship and pain which can come when people learn to read and write. Literacy helps with small things, like reading the cost of a packet of flour. It also helps with the big things like an entrée to the formal job market, instead of a life trapped in servitude.
Amna is enslaved, working in the brick kiln industry and spending her days making mud bricks. She is married and has three little boys; the youngest is only ten months old. Like 80 per cent of women in rural Pakistan, Amna never learned to read.
In February, she joined Bible literacy classes and became a student of the Beacon of Light literacy program for women. “When I joined the class, my son was three months old. It was hard for me to manage my work, home, little children and learning at the same time – but I wanted to be able to read,” Amna explains. Not long after Amna started the classes, her job stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. She was grateful when the literacy teacher committed to keeping the classes going. “She gave us face masks and hand sanitisers and asked us to keep our distance. She wanted me to follow the rules to keep my baby safe.”
“Now I am glad that I have had much time to revise my daily lessons. I am thankful to the Lord that I can read my lesson book very easily now. I am glad that no-one is affected with COVID-19 in our area.”
Shaping mud into bricks is an arduous, repetitive process. The work is physically hard and most workers are trapped in a perpetual cycle of debt that is often passed on through generations of the same family. Please pray that Amna’s new skills will enable her to find other work that is safer and less gruelling.
The wonderful thing about teaching one woman, is that it impacts others. Because mothers teach their children, helping 8,000 women to read this year will impact up to 50,000 lives in rural Pakistan. Your gift of literacy means that women will find fullness, families will build foundations on the word of God, and whole villages can be transformed. It’s a gift for life.