Happy to Learn to Read

The Bible comes to life as woman learns to read

August 10, 2020

Samia is a 60-year-old Christian woman who lives in a poor area known as ‘the Airport’ in her Egypt. If you see her these days, she will always be wearing a black dress, which is the tradition for a widowed woman in her culture.

Though Samia first accepted Christ as her Savior during a weekly church service, learning more about God’s Word was hard because she didn’t know how to read or write in Arabic. She notes, “I attended the weekly church service to hear the Word of God and to pray. But each time they began worship, I would feel a bit sad because I wanted to read the hymns. I tried to memorize the words so I could praise God with the others.”

One day, after the service was over, the pastor announced that an Arabic Bible-based Literacy class was about to start. Samia explains, “Inside of me, I felt two different things. One was enthusiasm—I would have a new chance to learn. The other feeling was frustration—I was too old to start learning. But I prayed about it and decided to join. This was the best decision I have ever made.”

Today, Samia is still learning to read, but she can already read some words of the hymns. She beams, “That makes me so happy! I can even read a bit in the Bible already. Each lesson, we learn a new Bible verse, which helps us to know more about Scripture, especially when we share our thoughts about it.”

Like others in her country who can’t read or write, Samia used to get a stamp every month to use to sign off for her pension. However, last month she didn’t need it. She smiles, “When I went to get my pension and the officer asked me for the stamp to sign my pay slip, I told him, 'No, sir, I will sign it by myself!' I got out my pen and signed my name after reviewing my account.”

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