How literacy changed a man

Living life on the sidelines

Imagine being cut off from the Bible’s loving guidance and direction.

For the first 36 years of his life, that was how Sun of northern Cambodia lived. Unable to read or write, he would watch his wife reading her Bible and feel frustration and sadness. He wished he could at least write his own name. Feeling hopeless, he would drink heavily with his friends and fight with his wife. Whenever she invited him to join her at church, he refused.

There are people like Sun all over the world. People who are held back from building a better life for themselves and their families – and from accessing the wonderful blessings of the word of God – because they cannot read or write. It is our duty and privilege as passionate Christians to open God’s word to all people everywhere, by all means possible.

One of those means is by equipping them with life-changing skills through Scripture-based literacy programs.

From despair to purpose

You will be glad to hear the rest of Sun’s story, which demonstrates God’s glorious word in action – and shows just how much impact you can have by helping others to access and engage with the Scripture.

Sun’s life began to transform when Bible Society’s Learning through Listening literacy program was introduced to his community. One of his sons was invited to be a class facilitator, so Sun decided to watch his son in action – and see if it could be a chance for him to learn, too.

As you can imagine, Sun was welcomed with open arms and without judgement. He began to learn basic Khmer literacy alongside the children. Before long, he was able to read basic texts and write the alphabet.

Most wonderful of all, he had been introduced to Jesus – and the next time he was invited to attend church, he went gladly. Now, he says he is unrecognisable from the man he was two years ago. “I am a changed man!” said Sun, as he proudly read his Bible aloud for the Bible Society team who visited his village. “I don’t drink or smoke now and my wife and I don’t argue so much.”

Skills for life

Literacy brings dignity and independence and opens up vital opportunities for learning and employment. Bible Society literacy programs that incorporate Scripture not only help people to build better futures – they are also an incredibly powerful way to Open The Bible to those who are cut off from the hope, love and comfort of God’s word. Our programs in Cambodia and also in Egypt, Mozambique, Lebanon and Rwanda give thousands of people the opportunity to gain life-changing skills and to receive the blessing of God’s word.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you too can Open The Bible and the wonderful world of knowledge to more people like Sun?

Prayer Points

* Pray that together we can give thousands the gift of literacy this year

* Pray for students to easily understand the lessons and to put their new knowledge into practice

* Pray that the Bible will become real to them as they hear about it through their lessons

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