Being born into a poor, illiterate, idol-worshipping family of farmers in a small village is not uncommon in India. Being born into a poor, illiterate, idol-worshipping family of farmers who become baptized Christians, however, is incredibly rare.
That was Pia’s life from her birth to her early teens. Being both poor and female with no chance at an education, she began to work in the farm fields at a young age. After her family began following Jesus, Pia attended church with her parents as an obedient daughter, but she had not yet personally received Him as her Savior.
Still in her early teens, Pia was given away by her parents in an arranged marriage. Though the couple was blessed with three daughters and a son, Pia’s family become more and more destitute as the years passed. Desperately wanting to help lift her family out of crushing poverty but with seemingly no way to do so, Pia had all but given up hope.
But hope arrived nonetheless.
An Adult Literacy teacher happened to be in Pia’s village in search of new students. She encouraged Pia to join the local Adult Literacy Class. Even though Pia’s own husband, illiterate himself, was skeptical, she seized the opportunity and immediately enrolled.
A hard worker since she was a child, Pia poured herself into the Adult Literacy Class as diligently as she did working the farm fields. Determined to release her family from the yoke of poverty, within a few months, Pia learned the alphabet and basic math.
But most life-changing of all was the day the Gospel of Jesus Christ, words of gold she could now read on her own, opened Pia’s heart in the Adult Literacy Class. For the first time ever, Pia understood salvation was personal. That same day, Pia repented of her sins and, with tears streaming down her cheeks, received Christ as her personal Savior.
This new hope in Jesus spilled over into every aspect of Pia’s life. Today, she is a confident, courageous, educated mother who regularly leads her family to a worshipping group. She is an inspiration to her children and to her entire village, who now have a living, breathing example that a literate Christian woman in India could—one day—not be so rare after all.