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A Determined Woman Overcomes Illiteracy

At just 23 years old, Shujana felt stuck, waiting for her life to start. She had watched her six older siblings grow up, get married, and move on. Yet years later, she was still doing what she always had—helping her mother with household chores. She longed to do more with her life, but her parents were more concerned with finding her a suitable husband.

Shujana had always longed to go to school like the other children in her village, but their poverty made that impossible, and her parents didn’t see any value in education. Although Shujana’s father worked hard to provide for their family, they regularly suffered from various illnesses and much of his earnings went to doctor’s bills. They were very superstitious and blamed their illnesses on bad luck.

When Shujana saw a group of women walking with books in hand one day, she stopped them and inquired about their books. They explained that they were walking to their Adult Literacy Class and invited her to join. Shujana was delighted, and her mother gave permission, so she began attending. She learned quickly and was a great student, but when her father Dalip found out about the Literacy Class, he was outraged. He declared it a waste of time and forbade her from attending.

A few days later, Amitha, the Literacy Class teacher, visited Shujana’s house to see why she had been missing the class. Dalip was not shy in expressing his disdain for education, but Amitha calmly explained the many benefits and advantages of having literacy skills. She patiently answered Dalip’s questions and countered his doubts by sharing the success stories of other students. Finally, he relented and agreed to let Shujana attend!

Shujana thrived in the Adult Literacy program and graduated with pride. With her newfound self-confidence, she is now searching for a job. However, she is already changing her family’s financial situation using knowledge she gained in the Literacy Class. A special health training enlightened Shujana to the source of her family’s constant illnesses—poor food safety practices and a lack of personal hygiene. Now, her family knows how to prevent illness through regular handwashing, proper food storage, and keeping a clean home. Praise God that Shujana’s determination to learn helped her overcome illiteracy and improve her and her family’s lives! Please pray that Shujana and her family respond to the Gospel and receive Jesus.