For the last 12 years, Good Shepherd has been supporting Mission India, lately its Adult Literacy Program, which teaches mostly Indian women how to read and write. Recently, we received a report on how one life was affected. I thought I should share it with you to show how our money is working.
Extreme poverty has dragged many of India’s widows into the deep pit of despair. 40-year-old Myrthi was one of them. Selling what little vegetables she could grow at the local market didn’t cover even the most basic needs of her and her three children. Without a husband to support her, her two sons and her daughter, Myrthi decided to end her life because she could no longer bear the hunger, pain, and poverty that marked her life.
That’s when two Adult Literacy Class assistants knocked on her door. They informed Myrthi of a class they were starting in her neighborhood. It was free to attend, and students could learn how to read and write in hopes to start their own home-based business. Myrthi was convinced and enrolled in the Adult Literacy Class that very day.
Though she had never stepped food into a school before, things began to change for Myrthi faster than she could have ever imagined. Within a few months or regular attendance, she was able to read the Word of God on her own. For the very first time, she read for herself that Jesus was listening to her cries of pain and cared for her with an unending love. Inspired by the Gospel, Myrthi dared to be hopeful again.
She started seeking Christ outside of the Adult Literacy Class, and she regularly attends a worshiping group with her younger son and daughter, who are also touched by the love of Christ. Special training offered through the class has guided her through the process of making powered detergent at home, which she now sells at the market along with her vegetables; enough income to meet her family’s nutritional needs and send her children to school.
Ultimately, the Adult Literacy Class was more than a desperate way out that Myrthi initially thought was her only option. It was a lifeline into the Word of God, through which she is now becoming the faithful, fulfilled Christian God has designed her to be.
This is how our mission dollars are spent. Through literacy classes like the one Myrthi took, and Children’s Bible Camps, and church planters, Mission India uses Indians to help spread the Gospel to Indians. To date, we have supported two church planters (who are responsible for 48 new churches since 2007), and two Adult Literacy groups who have reached more than 1300 new families and developed almost 200 disciples.
This month our Newsletter will come out on what is called “Give Tuesday.” I think that’s fitting. As Christmas draws near, the idea of what we can give takes on deeper meaning when we remember how much in Christ we have been given.
For more information on how you can help support this worthy endeavor, or to learn more of what Mission India is doing, check out their website [ www.missionindia.org ], or talk to me. You can also donate through the church: simply write “Mission India” on your envelope.