This woman, like Jeni, also never learned to read. She hungered for God's Word but could only stare at the pages of her Bible, unable to read them.
Years earlier, poverty had hindered Jeni from attending school, leaving her illiterate in a world filled with written information. While many children took education for granted, Jeni longed for the opportunity to attend school.
Jeni's lack of education impacted her childhood and adult life in a multitude of ways. Illiteracy deprived her of the joy of reading stories—both to herself and, later, to her five children. Unable to read newspapers, the current events of her nation had to reach her by word of mouth. Street signs were useless when finding her way around a new area. No reminder notes or shopping lists could be written. What's more, Jeni could have looked straight at the written name of Jesus and never have known it.
Although Jeni was blessed with good health, her husband succumbed to an illness when Jeni was only in her 20s. As the sole provider for her children, she worked hard to learn tailoring and managed to earn an income through her stitching work. But without literacy and basic math skills, Jeni and other women like her were often cheated by dishonest shopkeepers, making already tight budgets even tighter.
As years passed, Jeni's children married, and she became a grandmother. Even then, her illiteracy troubled her.
“Sometimes my grandson and granddaughter asked me to help with their school homework, but I did not know what to do.”
Jeni felt ashamed of her inability to read or to sign her own name, and she had no idea the gift of literacy—and eternal hope—was just around the corner at a local church.
Answered Prayer Points Widow to Jesus
In addition to her problems caused by illiteracy, Jeni suffered from pain in her shoulders. Even after several doctor visits and treatments, she found no remedy for the pain—until she met a believer from a local church. Jeni accepted the believer's invitation to attend a worship service and soon sat amidst a congregation of believers led by Gospel for Asia-supported pastor Ajay.