The Power of Literacy


Changing lives in Cambodia

Bible-based literacy programs for the marginalised

Srey’s story

Twelve hopeful young faces beamed at the visitors who had come to start a Bible Society literacy class in their village. The visitors were particularly drawn to a twelve-year girl named Srey who looked very eager to learn. Intrigued, they decided to get to know more about her and why she was so keen.

With tears in her eyes she told them her parents had divorced when she was little and then had both remarried. Her mother, rejecting her, sold her as a servant to another family. Her father paid to redeem her, but couldn’t take her into his new family. He then sent her to live with his parents.

A provider at her age

Srey has been living with her grandparents ever since. She cannot remember her mother as she was so young when abandoned. She doesn’t know where her four siblings are, and her father has not visited for several years. Srey’s lonely life is compounded by poverty. Her grandparents are elderly now, supported only by their daughter who works in the capital, Phnom Penh.

To make ends meet, Srey grows vegetables and forages for herbs to sell at the market. This means she often has to miss school. Though in Grade 3, Srey can barely read. She’s sad to be so far behind others her age, but helping her grandparents is a priority.

When she heard about the literacy class starting up in her village, it was like a ray of hope breaking through the gloom. She knew she could manage the daily hour-long classes, and still have the time to work and put food on the table.

Hope and a future

Srey wants to read and write so that she can get a good job in the future and earn a better living. As she recounts her story and shares her hopes, tears pour down her young face. She hugs her new literacy textbook, kisses it, and then breaks into a smile. “I do not know what the future holds for me, but I will do my very best to study.”

Please remember Srey in your prayers. May she achieve her goals and discover God’s love through your support of our mission work which reaches far across borders.

Prayer Points

* Pray for others like Srey around the world, learning to read through Bible Society classes

*  Rejoice with them as they gain a skill for life, and read God’s life-giving word

*  Pray that they will share what they know with their communities

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