Stories & News
Shabina: “Curse” Lifted with Literacy and Jesus
Shabina is a mother of two who lives in a village in Bihar. As was customary among the poor there, she could not attend school and, instead, engaged in various domestic duties for as long as she could remember. After marriage, Shabina worked as a daily laborer to supplement her husband’s income.
Being a religious person, Shabina worshipped the gods of her culture. In fact, she was so passionate about her beliefs that she cut ties with some of her relatives who worshipped Jesus as the one true God.
Growing up illiterate presented many challenges for Shabina. She found herself vulnerable to those who cheated her and exploited her ignorance, including her landlord and money lenders. Her inability to defend herself against this treatment was agonizing to Shabina and left her family struggling financially.
Shabina was a good daughter-in-law, and she took good care of her husband’s parents. She also worked hard to raise her children well. For the most part, her life was stable and good until her father-in-law developed a serious illness and passed away.
The family followed the rituals of their culture and had the body cremated. After the thirteenth day of mourning, they invited the community in for a meal, which they had to borrow money to pay for.
Shabina thought she could pay off the debts within a few months, but before she knew it, her mother-in-law also fell sick and died within a few months. This was when things went from bad to worse. Not only did this cripple the family financially, but they began to fear they were under demonic oppression and started to look for ways to break the curse.
The family pleaded with their gods for mercy and blessings, but nothing improved, and soon, the family was crushed under a pile of debt. Hopeless, they had no peace or joy.
Circumstances worsened when the COVID-19 pandemic locked everything down. Lack of employment, coupled with soaring prices, made it impossible for the family to make ends meet. After the lockdown, they continued to struggle to earn enough to cover their basic household expenses.
Shabina was heartbroken and became emotionally distraught. She was desperate to find a lasting solution to their problems. This was when she discovered an Adult Literacy Class near her home and immediately enrolled. With hard work and determination, it wasn’t long before Shabina was reading at fifth-grade level!
Shabina also participated in a health education program offered through the Literacy Class, where she was liberated from many wrong beliefs she had clung to. She learned the importance of washing with soap and gained an awareness of many social issues, such as child marriage. She also learned how to eat a nutritious diet and the difference that would make in her family’s health.
Through training she received in the Literacy Class, Shabina learned how to make various domestic products, like candles, detergent, shampoo, pickles, jams, and more. Selling these products increased the family’s income and enabled her to clear up their debts more quickly.
In the Adult Literacy Class, Shabina learned of the power of prayer through many Bible stories she heard. She began to seek Jesus for healing and blessing. With many prayers offered on behalf of the family, Shabina began to see the dark clouds lifted and health restored to her family. They started living in peace again, and Shabina re-established her relationships with her relatives who followed Jesus.
It took almost 30 years, but Shabina finally overcame illiteracy, and more importantly, she found salvation when she received Jesus as her Lord and Savior. Shabina is now able to read, write, and perform basic math. Her newfound skills have boosted her self-esteem and self-worth, and she is thankful to God for saving her life. She continues to pray for her husband’s salvation and that he will soon see God’s love and plan for his life, too. Please pray for Shabina’s spiritual growth and that the rest of her family will receive Jesus as she did!