June 2015, Vol. 11, No. 4
Light, Confidence in the Shadow of Death
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”
The words of Psalm 23 have comforted Shweta, who recently walked through the valley of the shadow of death. Scriptures like this one echo in Shweta’s mind throughout the day. Hungry for more life-giving words, she reads the Bible in the morning, when she gets time during the afternoon, and at nighttime. But just a few years ago, Shweta couldn’t read Scripture during challenging times—she couldn’t read at all.
Wanting to Grow, Facing a Hindrance
More than 10 years ago, the Lord healed Shweta through the faithful prayers of a pastor after she fell into a coma. Shweta and her husband believed in Christ, but they didn’t grow in their faith.
About four years later, Jesus reached out to Shweta and her family yet again when Gospel for Asia pastor Gupta met them and shared more about Christ. Shweta started to attend Pastor Gupta’s church, and she and her husband decided to walk with Jesus wholeheartedly.
This time, Shweta didn’t stay the same. She grew in the knowledge of her Saviour, and longing to introduce others to this patient God, Shweta served people in her community and prayed for them. But Shweta couldn’t read passages from the Bible to them—she was illiterate. Raised in a slum, Shweta never went to school.
“I always longed and desired for when I could read the Bible and write and share from it,” she remembers.
Woman Shares the Gift of Literacy
One day, Pastor Gupta invited Shweta to join the literacy class hosted by the church’s Women’s Fellowship. For three and a half years, she soaked up lessons on reading and writing alongside more than 20 other women.
Now Shweta knows how to read and write, and she’s even started teaching other women! She helped two ladies learn to read and write, and they eventually decided to start attending church too. Shweta’s new ability to read and write has also allowed her to tutor her children and encourage them in their education.
Most important, Shweta can now read, memorize and meditate on the promises found in God’s Word— promises that she desperately needs each day, especially since tragedy struck her family.
New Skill Brings New Confidence
In April 2014, after a three-year battle with tuberculosis, Shweta’s husband passed away. Shweta started working to provide for her three children, so Gospel for Asia assisted her by giving her stationery to open a stationery shop. When she doesn’t have customers, she can continue soaking up the words of Scripture even on the job.
Now, when Shweta joins her pastor’s wife to tell others about Jesus and pray for the sick, she can confidently encourage them with the life-giving words from Bible verses she has memorized.
Thank you for supporting Gospel for Asia’s women’s literacy program. Through your generosity and prayers, many more women like Shweta have not only gained confidence by learning a much-needed skill but have also received the gift of being able to read God’s powerful Word for themselves.