Despite a recent surge in literacy over the past ten years, just over 75% of Indians are deemed literate. Literacy is a vital foundation for opportunity and development all around the world—if a person cannot read and write, they are unable to access quality information and ideas that can help them improve their standards of living and better care for themselves and their families.
In order to help the local people learn how to read and write, our ‘boots on the ground’ team members in India have been leading adult literacy programs. This program is in addition to our main method of reaching people through global radio broadcasts that share the Gospel in listeners’ heart languages, or the languages they were born to speak.
These adult literacy programs provide an essential need for the people in these regions by giving the local people a valuable skill they can utilize in their day-to-day lives, as well as provide them with the ability to teach others in their community.
It can be difficult to continue programs like this during an ongoing global health crisis, but through perseverance, God has been faithful to provide a way. Over the past three months, the team has reached over 600 students to not only teach literacy, but also health and safety, gardening, and generally cleanliness.
These additional efforts are already making an impression. One social worker reached out to ten villages in just over two months, with 24 people coming to Christ and five of these new believers getting baptized. The adult 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 provided some livestock to villagers, such as chickens and goats. One goat has already given birth to two kids, which allows the villagers more be more self-supportive.
It is so encouraging to hear that despite the current events of the world, peoples’ lives are still being touched by the teachers in our adult literacy programs. We hope that it reminds the locals that they are important to us — and even more important to our heavenly Father. We hope this outreach will continue to grow and change lives, all for the betterment of the Kingdom.