It had been months since Kutal walked through the doors of her church. Gospel for Asia (GFA) pastor Balo noticed her absence and wondered what kept the woman from coming. He and a group of believers from the church visited Kutal, listening with surprise as she explained her reason for skipping church.
Every Sunday, Pastor Balo chose someone in the congregation to read the Bible aloud. And every Sunday, Kutal’s heart pounded in fear that one day, Pastor Balo would call on her.
Kutal didn’t think she could endure the embarrassment of everyone learning her secret: She could not read. To avoid the shame of such a humiliation, Kutal decided to avoid church altogether.
When Pastor Balo discovered Kutal’s situation and her desire to learn to read and write, he told her about a literacy class offered by GFA Sisters of Compassion. Kutal’s face lit up at the news she could enroll in the free class and learn to read!
“Though I am a mother of three children, still I have a zeal to learn so that I can read the Bible,” Kutal declared.
Soon, Kutal was in the classroom every Wednesday, learning to read and write the alphabet. She hung onto every word her teachers said, eager to progress in her studies.
However, months after her classes began, Kutal had only learned to write her name. So many written words remained outside the edge of her comprehension. Discouraged by her perceived lack of growth and feeling like a disappointment to her teachers, Kutal decided to give up.
“Let me stop my studies,” she told them. “I will never learn after one year, [and] I do not want to disturb you anymore.”
The Sisters would not hear of Kutal quitting her lessons. They encouraged her to keep coming to class and continually lifted her needs and frustrations to God in prayer. During class times, the Sisters patiently reviewed the lessons Kutal struggled to understand and challenged her with new information when she was ready.
Their support motivated Kutal to keep working diligently toward her goal. Slowly but surely, Kutal progressed in her studies.
By the next year,after countless hours poring over her letters and reading exercises, Kutal could read the precious words of the Bible on her own. The task, which once seemed impossible, was now a part of Kutal’s daily routine. She recognized the opportunity to take the literacy class as a gift from a God who loves her dearly.
God answered Kutal’s desire to learn to read and write. Kutal, who once denied herself the opportunity to attend church because of her illiteracy, felt confident to rejoin the supportive fellowship of believers.
One Sunday after her return, Kutal shared her testimony with the congregation.
“I did not tell anyone the reason why I did not come to the church,” Kutal shared. “It was because I was not able to read the Bible. … Now, by the grace of God, I can read and write.
“If Pastor Balo asks me to read the Bible, I can read slowly. I give thanks to our Sisters of Compassion and to our Lord Jesus for His grace and love toward me.”
Unfortunately, for many women in Asia, illiteracy is a stark reality. Read about Preshti’s journey to literacy and discover how her life was changed once she learned to read.