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A Woman’s Journey from Passive to Passionate

Bariah was the type of girl who went with the flow. She followed the same path as most youth in her village. Her parents worked in the tea gardens, so when she got old enough, she started working there, too. She didn’t go to school because her parents didn’t have the money, but most of Bariah’s friends didn’t go either, so she didn’t think much of it.

When Bariah was still quite young, her parents arranged for her to marry a man named Sadwan. He and his parents were also tea garden laborers, and it seemed like a good match to Bariah’s parents, so she went along with it.

Years passed by, and soon Bariah and Sadwan had two children. But along the way, they both picked up a habit of drinking wine after work.

Soon, their lives revolved around alcohol. Sadwan was often away from the family and, even when present, he was disengaged from parenting and their home life. When Bariah and Sadwan both drank, they quarreled so loudly that the neighbors often complained about their disruptive behavior.

One of the neighbors, a man named Shray, tried to help. He shared about the dangers of alcohol and its negative impacts on family life. Sadwan did not listen, but Bariah wanted to know more. Shray offered a special opportunity for her to keep learning: he invited her to the Adult Literacy Class he taught.

Something shifted in Bariah that night. The girl who had always gone with the flow had a newfound determination to change her life. The next day, Bariah told Sadwan that she needed him to come home after work to care for the kids, and she started attending the Literacy Class that very evening.

Bariah struggled deeply to learn her letters and numbers, but she was persistent. She soaked up every bit of knowledge and put it into action however she could. When a special training taught her how harmful heavy alcohol consumption is to a person’s health, she shared the information with Sadwan. He cut back on his drinking, and Bariah quit entirely! Another training taught her about the importance of eating nutritious food and how growing your own food is both healthy and saves you money. Bariah planted some seeds she received through the training and now has a thriving garden right outside her home!

Best of all, Bariah heard the Gospel and received Jesus as her Savior! Now, instead of turning to alcohol to cope with life’s stress and frustrations, she turns to prayer. Sadwan, moved by his wife’s new positive outlook, has changed his behavior in many ways. He rarely drinks excessively and is a much more responsible and engaged husband and father. Pray that he would also find freedom and salvation in Christ.