Stories & News
Vaika Overcomes Mockery for Learning
Vaika felt stuck. Her life was not turning out as she had expected. Although she and her husband, Janpal, had been married several years, they had no children. While dreaming of having a family, they struggled through each day trying to find work as daily laborers. Some days they worked long hours of hard physical labor; on others they returned home empty-handed.
In hopes of changing their circumstances, they fasted and made sacrifices to their gods each week, according to the customs they had been raised in. Life felt like a repetitive cycle of the same activities with no end in sight.
During this time, a woman from Vaika’s village named Samra was equipped to start an Adult Literacy Class through the prayers and support of people like you. Samra met Vaika and invited her to enroll. At first, Vaika and Janpal were hesitant; no one in either of their families knew how to read or write, and they were afraid of being judged.
In Vaika’s village, many people expressed bias against adults pursuing education. “What difference will it make?” they would say. Or worse, they made mocking remarks like, “Oh, are you a schoolgirl now?” As Vaika and Janpal expected, when they mentioned the Literacy Class to their families, they discouraged her from attending, calling it a waste of time.
But as Samra prepared for the launch of the Literacy Class, she continued visiting with Vaika, telling her the many ways that literacy had improved her own life. Vaika finally decided to enroll, but she and Janpal were clear with Samra—Vaika would only continue attending if the classes proved worthwhile.
Vaika began attending the classes each evening. Soon, she was able to read and write her name, the name of her village, and some other basic words. She even learned basic mathematics! Vaika felt a newfound confidence knowing that she had tackled the challenge of becoming literate.
Whenever the Literacy Class offered special trainings, Vaika jumped right in! She attended a health education training that taught her new essential skills like handwashing, safe handling of raw meat, and how to dispose of garbage instead of piling it outside the home. Through another training, Vaika learned about vitamins, nutrition, and how healthy eating habits prevent illness and disease. Then she was given vegetable seeds that allowed her to start her own kitchen garden. Not only could she and Janpal eat the healthy foods they grew, they could also sell them in the market when they had extra!
The education offered by the Literacy Class truly went beyond the basics of reading and writing, and Vaika and Janpal were so grateful. Everything Vaika learned made such a difference in their life, and the Literacy Class proved to be more than worthwhile!
The Literacy Class also had a profound impact on Vaika’s spirituality. Through the Bible-based lessons and Samra’s openness about her own relationship with Jesus, Vaika was exposed to the Gospel. She enjoyed learning about Jesus and now believes He is real. However, Vaika still worships her idols, too, although she is not as devout as she used to be. Pray with us that Vaika and Janpal will both turn from idol worship and come to a saving knowledge of Christ alone.