Another lovely lady a few years back stepped forward to talk about how her life has been changed through the Ladies Literacy Center in Congo.
"My name is Ntawana. I am 24 years old, and I first heard about the literacy school through the broadcasts on Radio Glory. I shared the news with my father, and he said, 'You aren't that well educated. It would be good for you to go there next year.'
The radio ad said, 'Here at Nkara we have a school for women. We teach women how to read, sew, and to learn the Bible. They end up learning to read very well.'
In My village I lived in confusion. I didn't know Jesus. Before I went to the school, I knew very little.
The school has opened my eyes to wonderful and practical things like reading, writing, knitting, sewing, and how to have order in my house."
When asked what were the circumstances that led Ntawana to knowing Jesus, she replied, "I walked the 30 kilometers on foot in October. School started on October 10 and the very first day I came I accepted Christ as my Savior."
Mama Marie asked me "If you died today, where would you go?" Ntawana replied, '" would go to heaven."
Marie continued, "And when you stand before Him, what would you say to him as far as why He should let you into heaven?"
Ntawana, "Because I died."
"Then Marie presented the Gospel and I accepted Christ.
I lived near Nkara where the school was located at the time with a relative, Pastor Ezekiel, a graduate of Laban Bible Institute. He now ministers to the soldiers and police because he is a former soldier.
Some changes that have taken place in my life are:
I can now pray.
I now know God.
I can write.
I can read.
All I could do before was to grow a garden.
Before, my friends would come and get me, and we would go dancing on the street of my village just to have something to do. We would smoke and dance and drink into the night and then in emptiness return to our homes.
I went home for Christmas vacation my first year in school at Nkara, and my friends came again to my house to asked me to go out for the night and do whatever, but I told them no.
After some time, they told me I was different and two of my girlfriends walked all the way to the school but had to turn around and walk all the way back home because there is no dorm on the mission for them to live in.
I am blessed to be staying with my relative, but they have no one here.
It is difficult when I go home because though my parents pray, they do not know Jesus. They practice a religion that does not read the Bible, and so the differences in our beliefs makes life hard.
Though I finished 6th grade, I never learned to read. This is a problem in Congo. Even some students who have finished 8th or 9th grade do not know how to read or write because:
1. The parents give some beans because they do not have money to give for tuition, and the beans are used as a bribe to pay off the teachers, and students are passed on to the next grade, even though they cannot read.
2. Parents don't want to keep praying for the same year if their student fails a grade, so even if the student does not understand what they are reading or can't read at all or write, the parents pay something to have them passed.
3. Teachers may or may not be paid by the government. Because they are not being paid they don't show up for class, which means there is no instruction that day for the children. So then pay for the teachers becomes the full responsibility of the parents. They refuse to have their child failed, so once again bribing becomes the ticket to going on to the next grade in school.
I am so thankful I had a second chance. I give God great thanks for the new sight you have given me."