People across the world have been struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to affect millions of lives. Most people are longing for a time of “normalcy,” when masks, vaccines and other pandemic-related issues are just a thing of the past. But for our ‘boots on the ground’ in India, a global pandemic is not enough to stop their mission where they have been leading literacy programs to help the local people learn how to read and write.
We use the literacy program in addition to our main method of reaching people — global radio and television broadcasts that share the Gospel in listeners’ heart languages, or the languages they were born to speak. The literacy programs provide an essential need for the people in these regions. It gives the local people a valuable skill that they can utilize in their day-to-day lives, as well as provides them with the ability to teach it to others in their community. The added benefit is the students are able to hear the Gospel through these classes, as they are taught using Biblically based material.
It can be difficult to continue programs like this during a global health crisis, but through God’s help, our team has persevered. Although staff members were unable to meet in large groups to continue the literacy program, they creatively found a way to still pour into the lives of the students as the teachers went to the individuals’ houses regularly to meet with them, provide COVID information, as well as preach the Good News of the Gospel.
These additional efforts are already making an impression. 548 people attended literacy classes in the last quarter. One social worker was able to reach out to ten villages over the past two months, with 24 people coming to Christ and five of these new believers getting baptized. The literacy program workers also provide COVID and hygiene education, as well as preparing people to start their own gardens in the months ahead. The staff even provide some livestock to villagers, such as chickens and goats.
It is so encouraging to hear that despite the current events of the world, peoples’ lives are still being touched by the teachers from our literacy programs. We hope that it reminds the locals that they are important to us — and even more important to our heavenly Father. Hopefully this outreach will continue to grow and change lives, all for the betterment of the Kingdom.
We thank you for your prayer and support of the ministry. An additional way to support the ministry, specifically the literacy classes in India, is through the Your Soles ~ Their Souls shoe drive. By donating your new and gently used shoes you will help fund these classes, allowing even more students to learn about God and how much He loves them. Find more information at thetide.org/shoes.