Stories

Imam: Taking the Lead to Change a Slum

Imam lives with his wife and toddler in a cramped, one-room home in the slums. Their house has no windows and is covered by a metal sheet roof, with a single ceiling fan to cool them in the hot Indian weather—which can average up to 107ºF in Gujarat state during summer months.

These living conditions are normal in Imam’s neighborhood; lack of washrooms, yellow drinking water, unemployment, crime, and prostitution are just a few problems the area deals with. Beyond all of these issues, mosquitos cause outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya, and malaria.

Imam found himself feeling worthless and his family falling sick frequently due to their poor living conditions.

A man named Sabbir recognized the neighborhood’s issues, and was determined to help. So, he started an Adult Literacy Class nearby through your support.

When Imam heard about this opportunity, he eagerly enrolled. Within a couple of months, he could read and write small words—finally feeling a sense of worth. As he learned, he began to notice that Sabbir had a sincere desire to see him succeed. Imam knew that Sabbir was a Christian, and he could see it shine through in his care. Imam became curious to know more about Sabbir’s faith.

Meanwhile, Sabbir could see that Imam had a natural ability to motivate others, so he encouraged him to participate in a special training offered through the Literacy Class, which focused on health and hygiene.

Through health education, Imam learned the importance of maintaining a good diet and keeping his home clean. He went home eager to change his surroundings, ready to start a new lifestyle!

The very next day, Imam began to share what he’d learned with his neighbors. Then, he took his efforts a step farther: he rounded up a group of neighbors to approach the area’s Municipal Corporation, requesting that the slums be treated to get rid of mosquitoes!

Because Imam put his new knowledge into action, the slums and open sewages were treated to address the outbreak of dengue, chikungunya, and malaria. Through the community-wide effort, the number of people falling sick decreased!

Throughout his time in the Adult Literacy Class, Imam continuously noticed how Sabbir lived out his faith. When Imam learned more about Jesus in his class, he received Christ as his Savior! He became so passionate about his new faith that he encouraged Sabbir to start a prayer group in his house with four other learners from the neighborhood.

Through Imam, God is bringing hope to this neighborhood and freeing people from illness and unhealthy conditions. Today, the villagers are trying their best to keep their slum clean.

Please pray that through this Literacy Class, many more people will come to the saving knowledge of Christ.