An alarming number of women cannot read or write in India. 200 million Indian women are waiting for the opportunity to become literate. Our Bible-based literacy classes have brought amazing life transformation to many of these poverty-stricken women, including one special mother named Kajani.
Kajani was heartbroken over the loss of her son and daughter. Looking at her big smile now, you’d never guess that Kajani once summed up her life in one word: vanthanai. Painful. Watch her story in the video below.
Kajani grew up worshipping her family’s Hindu god. She practiced “pain sacrifices” such as piercing her cheeks and walking on hot coals, as well as weekly practices to gain prosperity.
“Nothing went right,” Kajani remembers. The first trial came when Kajani’s 12-year-old son started having health problems. Her in-laws counselled her: “Don’t take him to the hospital. If you do, our god will think you lack faith and will let your son die.” Without proper treatment, Kajani’s son passed away at the young age of 16.
Three months later, her nine-year-old daughter came down with chickenpox. Village tradition said a goddess inhabited the girl, and Kajani allowed neighbours to perform rituals on her daughter. They waved palm leaves and burned incense, and a week later, the young girl died. Kajani was crushed once again.
“It’s my fault my children died,” thought Kajani.
The devastated mother doused herself in kerosene to be burned alive. Kajani’s husband stopped her just in time, and the two resolved to make a fresh start in a new village.
Kajani found new hope in an adult Bible-based literacy program
Kajani was excited to find that her new village offered an adult Bible-based literacy program. She had vowed to become literate years before when a group of men humiliated her at the bus stop. “This bus goes to the centre for prostitutes,” the men laughed when Kajani needed help reading the signs. From that day on, Kajani only traveled as far as her feet could carry her.
Things have changed now that Kajani can read and write. An Adult Literacy graduate, Kajani can take the buses and trains to visit her relatives each year. One day she helped a woman read the transportation signs and even paid her fare.
Kajani’s class also taught her to save money for the first time. She bought one small goat and started breeding it. Now, Kajani raises and sells at least ten goats each year – and thanks to her literacy skills, she gets a fair price.
Kajani received Jesus as her Saviour during the Bible-based literacy class
Kajani says Jesus is the most important thing she gained from her class. She handed over all her past troubles and learned that she was not guilty for the death of her children. The prayers of her classmates even healed Kajani’s health problems!
“God’s Word has been my encouragement,” Kajani shares. “If I couldn’t read, I couldn’t be encouraged.”
Twenty people have come to know Christ through Kajani’s testimony.
Kajani’s heart is filled with peace for the first time. Her faith soon spread to her husband and 20 other people in her village, too. Kajani started congregation in her home and is being trained as a Church planter.
“God is my source of hope, and telling others about Jesus has given my life new purpose,” Kajani says.
What word does Kajani use to describe her life now? Santhosam. Happiness.
Do you feel called to support Canada’s Adult Bible-Based Literacy Ministry? Find out how you can donate here. Help support the adult Bible-based literacy programs by clicking this link.
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