International Ministries

Mama Luti learns to read and lead

January 24, 2011 Journal
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People come to our literacy classes for a variety of reasons.  For Luti, it was her ardent desire to enter God’s Word in the Bible for herself.  We had our first literacy training in the Vanga area in 2001.  One of the participants, president of the Kikosi village Baptist women, who was also a primary school teacher, immediately started classes and Luti joined.

Luti’s father was a skilled mason who worked in construction in a variety of places.  On of these places was Lusekele, where we live and work.  In those days people weren’t sure that girls should be in school.  What could a school teach a girl what she needed to know when she grew up to be a woman? 

Luti started primary school, but when she was in third grade her mom got sick and needed help.  Her older sisters and brothers weren’t available to take care of her mom and see that food got on the table, but she was.  She dropped out of school.  When her mother died, she continued to be her father’s housekeeper and farmer.  School became a dream of her childhood past. 

In time she married, children came, and in time she started sending them off to school.  Maybe that’s what reawakened her regrets at her aborted school career, and the door to knowledge that had only just cracked open for her.  She faithfully participated week after week in church and women’s meetings.  She watched the speakers bring story after story and teaching after teaching from the Bible.  She longed to be able to go to that well herself and sometimes she would hold someone’s Bible.  But the treasures and mysteries remained locked inside. 

Finally the Kikosi women's president started a literacy class for them.  Here was her chance!  It was hard work.  Other women dropped out, but she was going to get what she wanted at last.  Little by little she learned, until she finished the class. The last part of the class even consisted of Bible stories. She read them, and read from the teacher’s Bible, and anyone else’s that she could take a peek at.  She started using the stories in teaching herself, and joined the Bible study league in Kikosi. 

At this point I heard from her teacher about her one graduate, but didn’t meet her.  In my subsequent visits to Kikosi, Luti was too shy to approach me to talk about it.  Finally 2 months ago, a League retreat took place at Lusekele, and she was there.  We were in the same small group.  She pulled me aside and said, “I was in the literacy classes at Kikosi.  I learned to read and write.  Now I am the leader of the League Bible study group in Kikosi (learning all these marvelous things from God’s Word myself and with his people).  Thank you!”  She even had a Bible in hand.

Thank you to the literacy workshop trainers.  Thank you to Rose Mayala the literacy coordinator.  Thank you to all those friends who have shared a special gift over the last ten years.  God has brought us together to change the world just a little for women like Luti.  Because of this movement of God's Spirit, another dedicated Christian is able to exercise her gifts in leading the church.

Miriam