Seeing the failure of many literacy ministries in her area in Upper Egypt, 23-year-old Mariam was reluctant when her pastor encouraged her to join Bible League’s Bible-based Literacy training. “I only accepted not to offend the pastor,” she says, “and even during the training, I thought the curriculum would be too difficult for the intended participants.”
Still, she finished the training and was ready to lead her first Bible-based Literacy class. Much to Mariam’s frustration, the registered participants didn’t show up at the first group meeting. It turned out they were discouraged by a great deal of social disapproval.
“If it weren’t for my mother, who said I should persevere, I would have quit,” Mariam says. She encouraged those who registered, and this time, they came. Soon, Mariam discovered that the training materials were beneficial after all. “I saw the interaction between the students and their progress in learning,” she recalls. “They told me how inferior they used to feel for not being able to read and write. The education made a significant difference in their lives.”
But challenges remained. Some participants developed serious health issues after receiving the Arabic easy-to-read Bible and beginning to read it. “My students were exposed to Satan’s tricks,” Mariam notes. “Only then, I realized the importance of prayer!”
Despite all the stumbling blocks, the students remained faithful. “I think they wanted to stay because of the Scripture part in every lesson,” Mariam continues. “They just loved that! Even when I would forget to pay attention to the Scripture verse, they would remind me to read and discuss it. Sometimes, we spent the entire lesson reading the Bible only.”
Mariam realized how hungry her students were for the Word of God and, with your support, you helped satisfy that hunger! Being the first member of Bible League’s volunteer team in Upper Egypt, Mariam follows up on other literacy classes in villages around her. Please pray for all she is doing in the ministry. Pray that God opens her eyes for other people who need the message of the Gospel.