Miriam learns about the Bible in literacy class

“I guess I am in my twenties,” Mariam says when she’s asked about her age.

Like many people in Upper (southern) Egypt, she doesn’t know her date of birth.

All she knows is she’s been married for eight years. Mariam never attended school because her family denied the education of girls.

Mariam Has Two Children. When Her Daughter

“I joined a literacy class once but couldn’t complete it,” Mariam recalls. “As the eldest sister, I had to care for my siblings.”

Mariam has two children. When her daughter went to school and needed assistance with her homework, Mariam couldn’t help.

“It made me feel inferior,” Mariam remembers. “I tried to request help from my husband’s family, but they only mocked me.”

Mariam lives with her in-laws in one house. Even though it’s a traditional Christian environment, the social status of women is deplorable.

“Because of my upbringing, I knew about Jesus,” she says. “One day, I turned to Him in despair. Crying like a child, I asked Him, ‘Please send me someone to teach me how to read and write.’”

While bringing her daughter to school the next day, someone informed Mariam about a literacy class that would start at the church.

Mariam rushed to see the teacher, who allowed her to join the class.

“I promised her I would study well and commit to attending every class,” Mariam says. “After every lesson, I went through what I had learned with my daughter, and she helped me as a friend.”

Mariam’s father-in-law still makes fun of her, but her husband is supportive.

“He encourages me to keep going and improve myself,” she notes.

“I simply ignore my father-in-law. One of my relatives came with me and joined the class, so we encouraged one another to continue.”

Mariam has already learned to read and write letters and even some words.

“My husband said he could see me improving. Now I am so confident in myself,” Mariam beams.

“I have found a new family in the teacher and my classmates that I’m proud to be part of. We always pray for each other as one family.”

Mariam expresses her gratitude to Bible League International. “You searched for me!” she exclaims. “I was like a blind person, but now I can see. It’s a miracle. Thank you for the biblical content in all the lessons; they are like private messages from God to me.”