For years, Chaaya endured the embarrassment of asking for directions in small towns or for the names of stores when she wanted to go shopping. The shame Chaaya felt did not come because she was lost or confused, though. It was because, even as an adult, she was not able to read.
Chaaya’s father had died early, so Chaaya took on many adult responsibilities as a child.
“After my father passed away,” Chaaya said, “my dream of going to school disappeared. I had to work from dawn till dusk to support my sickly mother and three siblings.”
As Chaaya grew up, she watched her peers go to school and learn to read and write. She stayed busy supporting her family, but no one was able to support her in her desire to receive an education. For a while she gave up trying.
After she was married with two young children, seeing her friends carry their Bibles with them constantly reminded Chaaya of her inability to read the Word for herself. This often brought her to tears.
Chaaya asked some of her friends at church to teach her how to read. Although her friends agreed and meant to help her, they could not commit to regularly teaching her, which left her in the same helpless state she had been in for far too long.
Not knowing what to do or who else she could approach for help, Chaaya was ready to give up completely.
Around this time, Chaaya’s local church began offering literacy classes for adults. Not wasting any time once she discovered the opportunity, Chaaya was the first to enroll in the class.
Now, after a year of attending the program, Chaaya is able to read on her own. She can even help her young son with his homework every evening.
“My life has changed tremendously by taking the literacy class,” Chaaya said, “and it’s truly wonderful.”