Have you ever considered being able to read and write as a gift instead of just a skill?
Through the gift of literacy, we have an opportunity to read personal testimonies from people around the world who were touched by God through the Gospel and the Bridge to Reading literacy program.
B2R’s ministry uses trained tutors to teach literacy skills to adults and teens. They also give students the opportunity to read the Bible, hear the Gospel, and understand it. God works through B2R to transform people, and they, in turn, show God’s love to their community.
John Ndagano is one of those people. He was an evangelist in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but couldn’t read his Bible. There was a military camp next to John’s village that didn’t have a chaplain. When John went to the camp to minister, he was chased away, suspected of being a spy after he failed to read Scripture.
“The first time I came to the camp, the commander asked me to read Matthew 10:17, but I could not,” John said. “I used to walk around with my Bible, but I didn’t know how to read.”
When John heard about the B2R literacy program in another neighborhood, he attended and eventually could read and write Swahili. After three years of literacy training, John returned to that same military camp, where the same commander he had met years before was still stationed.
“I told him that I have now come to pay the full price, to be beaten, before I preach to him. He told me that he wanted first to hear the Good News and after that he will beat me,” John said.
John preached to the officer. Four months later, the commander got baptized. Now, every Monday John is invited to the military camp to preach to the troops.
Yvonne Nsimire Rutikanga, also from the DRC, is another person who has gained literary skills and spiritual maturity from God by working through B2R.
B2R’s literacy program started in Yvonne’s church, and she decided she wanted to be a tutor. Yvonne returned to school so she could help contribute more to the growth of her church and attain her goal. After her successful literacy training, Yvonne began tutoring others in her church.
One year ago, Yvonne said that she received the gift of a goat from the husband of a woman she tutored. The husband was happy to see that his wife could read and write because of Yvonne’s efforts to teach her.
“Literacy brought courage, happiness, and fortune in my life,” Yvonne said.
The personal testimonies will continue next week in B2R’s next spotlight post. Check back next week to read more stories of people’s lives being changed by the power of God.
Please pray that Bridge to Reading can continue to glorify God through its literacy ministry and for the Lord to show those involved how he wants to sustain this ministry in each country and each church.
Please also join us in praying with the B2R team for Colombia:
That volunteers from Prison Fellowship, local churches, and other ministries will continue to have an open door at every prison, and that God will reveal himself through undeniable evidence of his power and love through them.
That the prisoners and prison staff would have opportunities to encounter God through the volunteers and the believers inside the prison.
That the believers in the prison will grow in their relationship with God, experience inner freedom in the Lord, and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be witnesses through everything that they say and do.
That our trainers would have opportunities to teach the Colombian church how to use Bridge to Reading as a tool of evangelism in their communities.
By Jess Mitchell, OMS Summer Communications Intern