Skip to main content

‘I hope that I will be able to read the Bible’

Author: James Howard-Smith, 8 March 2024

Share this:

Almost half a billion women are unable to read. There are women who don’t know any other women with this skill. Attending a literacy class takes a lot of courage but it offers transformative change.

In many communities right now, mission workers, teaching volunteers and the Church all work together to open up this new world of possibilities for women who have never opened the Bible before. A teacher and a student in Pakistan share their stories.

‘My name is Marriam and I teach a literacy class. I live in the Balochistan province, bordering Iran and Afghanistan. The literacy rate in this area is very low and is zero among the Christian women. This is the route of the smugglers and a base for terrorists. The Balochistan area is mountainous, so arsonists can hide themselves easily. 

‘Education is considered not important, even for men, because most of the people are involved in unethical activities and earning by using unfair means. That’s why the literacy rate is very low and it is very difficult to motivate the women to learn to read and write. Often, the heads of the families won’t allow their women to go out for education.

‘I am thankful for our priest for announcing the literacy class in the church to join. He visited families door-to-door with me to motivate the women and heads of the families to attend the classes. I am thankful to the Lord that 19 women are continuing in my literacy class and learning to read and write with joy. I am more thankful that the students are very brilliant and now able to read the syllabus books. 

‘I am sharing one testimony of my student below:

“I am Martha and I have lived in this part of Pakistan for the last 47 years. I was married in the 1980s and God has gifted me with four children and nine grandchildren. I have loved the Bible from my childhood but unfortunately could not read. I am thankful to the Lord God for providing me the opportunity to learn to read and write in my old age. 

“Now I can read the syllabus books and hope that I will be able to read the Bible after completing my course. I can talk with others with confidence and I have requested my daughter’s in-laws’ help managing my household budget.

“I am thankful for the people who have arranged the literacy classes and enable us to read and write.”’

These powerful stories were provided by Justus Nassir from Pakistan Bible Society, which runs ‘Beacon in the Darkness of Illiteracy’. Supporters in England and Wales have been investing in this Bible-based programme since 2015, sharing the gift of literacy and God’s word, changing the lives of women like Martha and Haniya and Beena.

You can make a huge difference for women around the world by starting a regular donation today. Put the Bible and the power to read it in the hands of someone like Martha.

Join Bible a Month

Share this:

You might also be interested in:

Read the Bible icon Read the Bible
Open the full Bible