This is Mandeepa. Her widowed mother was too poor to send her to school when she was younger, so she grew up illiterate. After she received Christ as a teenager, she deeply desired to read God’s Word, but she couldn’t read or write.
Too Poor for an Education
Mandeepa’s childhood was far from carefree. Her daddy died when she was only 3 years old. Her mother and five siblings moved in with their grandfather, but their situation remained difficult. Her mother toiled alongside their grandfather in the fields, and little Mandeepa’s future was marred by poverty.
Because of this, Mandeepa and her siblings never had a chance to attend school. All her siblings, one by one, were married at a young age. Like so many other poor daughters like her, 13-year-old Mandeepa started to work as a household maid in order to support her mother. Later, her mother arranged a marriage for her, and she began her life as a wife, and along the way, a mother to a son and daughter.
A Strong Desire to Learn
When Mandeepa was 16, she received the Lord Jesus as her Savior and began faithfully going to a church lead by GFA-supported pastor Jahi. Pastor Jahi had given Mandeepa a Bible of her very own—but Mandeepa couldn’t make out what any of it said. She longed to read the words written by her heavenly Father, and the fact that she couldn’t discouraged her greatly.
Her husband couldn’t help her either because he was also illiterate. Their daughter, fortunately, was able to attend school and learn, but it pained Mandeepa’s heart that she couldn’t help with any of her school work. Every year the desire to read and write grew stronger in Mandeepa’s heart.