Can you imagine not knowing how to read or write at the age of 32? This is Nadia’s reality as a mother of five in her Middle Eastern country. Her husband works as a carpenter and Nadia works at home, taking care of the house and children. She notes, “I hadn’t been to school before. However, I knew the alphabet and some math because I used to observe what my siblings were learning.” Since she never learned to read or write, her husband would insult her and call her clueless.
Recently, Nadia’s sister-in-law heard about a Bible-based Literacy class that was beginning at their church. She insisted Nadia go and signed her up. At first, Nadia refused to go. She felt like it was too late for her to learn because that is what others always told her.
“However,” Nadia explains, “Mrs. Randa, the Bible-based Literacy teacher, convinced me to give it a try. When I joined, I told her that I would not be able to read a word in the curriculum. But now, I can read it all!” Before, when Nadia would go to church, she felt ashamed and treated unfairly. She recalls, “Sometimes I even cried because I couldn’t read the Bible.”
Today, after finishing the class, she can read the Bible and hymns at church. She beams, “I feel like I’m a new person. I can now help my children with their studies, too.” Recently, Nadia and her children began writing down the New Testament for practice. She began with John and has already written seven chapters. She says, “My children wrote down Matthew through part of John. We will continue as we feel that this helps us to understand the Scripture well. Each time when I get upset, or my husband quarrels with me, I open my Bible and wait to hear God’s Words.”