The hope in many families in Congo is placed in the male children. Girls often slip through the cracks. Many grow up feeling left behind, neglected and devalued, with little or no reading ability. Sometimes, they can't even write their own name.
In 2004 the Lord enabled the opening of classes for local women to attend classes taught by women who are graduates of Laban Bible Institute, a three-year training program that began in 1979 at Nkara-Ewa.
The literacy school is a three-year program as well. In addition to reading they are taught basic household protocol such as making their bed, sweeping their dirt floors, cooking pancakes, and making donut holes to sell to passers-by in their village. Basic math and counting back change is also taught. Additional skills are sewing, crocheting, knitting, and needlepoint.
Nestled in the valley of the mission Nkara-Ewa, surrounded by a horseshoe shaped hill in the bush of Congo is the Women's Literacy School. A ministry of Laban Ministries International. Attended by women living in abject poverty, plagued by the ignorance, shame, despair, and hopelessness of illiteracy, its goal is to facilitate a way of deliverance, hope, dignity, and light through learning to read and embrace the Word of God.
"We are learning the Word of God and are now leading others to Christ."
"My life before the school was a mess with war after war in my house and family. Now that I know the Lord, my house is good. Now I know how to be quiet and wait on the Lord."
"As I was learning the Evangelism Explosion Program, it gripped my soul. I thought about where I would go if I died suddenly, and I myself accepted Christ as my personal Savior, much because of learning the information so I could teach others. Yet, I did not know Christ personally!"
"I was a lost woman, a totally lost woman. But now I am a servant of Jesus Christ."
"I now know how to run a sewing machine and make clothes for myself and my children. I can also make donut holes, which I sell to help pay for my children's school supplies and education."
"Before I came to the school, I did not know how to lead people to Christ. But now, I can go into a village and have the joy of giving the Gospel to people in the villages of Mbila, Kwilu Milundu, Inimi, Niadi, Bunzi, Luwala 2, Luwala 3, Nsimilungu, and Kipni."
"I have studied many Bible Books while here at the school, but I especially enjoy Philippians, Colossians, and Haggai."
"I was a lost woman, a totally lost woman. But now I am a servant of Jesus Christ. I owe the school my salvation and am so grateful I got to meet Jesus at this school."
"He is the lifter of my head and my glory." - Psalm 3
"I came to be able to read the Bible and understand it was divided into books, and the books were divided into chapters. Before this, the Bible was just a blur."
These beautiful women are the leaders, teachers and encouragers of the women who attend the center.
From left to right:
Mama Agnes Mboma - Co-Director and graduate of Laban Bible Institute. Teacher of writing, books of the Bible verse by verse, cooking, and home cleaning.
Mama Jeanine - Co-Director and graduate of Laban Bible Institute. Supervisor of the sewing department and teacher of writing, books of the Bible verse by verse, cooking and home cleaning.
Mama Vero - Teacher's aide, helping all around.
Mama Noel - Teacher of Scripture as well as phonetics, reading, writing and math.
Mama Ibo - Teaches knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and phonetics.