“More precious than anything”

Huddled in a circle around a lantern, a group of sari-clad women eagerly scratched out letters on their slates. Only partway through their class, these students had amazingly already mastered writing the alphabet in their local language—which looks infinitely more complicated than English to me!

Soon, one middle-aged lady proudly turned her slate around to show me what she had written: her name!

Instead of marking an “X” or impressing their thumb in ink, this woman is thrilled she can now sign her own name on documents. Writing her name is a small thing—but I saw in her bright smile that it brings such joy and self-confidence!

I know I’m not *supposed* to have a favorite between our three programs, but can I tell you a secret? Literacy is my favorite.

A 5th grade education. Business skills. And hope in Jesus. All in one life-changing year.

What’s NOT to love about that?

I love that the Bible-based lessons introduce every student to Christ. And the life-change experienced by the graduates of these yearlong classes floors me every time (and has brought me to tears more than once!).

But Sarika, a 42-year-old Adult Literacy Class graduate, says it best:

“I came here to read and write, but I came to know something more precious than anything.”

Sarika came to know Jesus as her Savior! And that is the most precious gift of all.