Disrespected, but now befriended

Sister Nzigire is the mother of five children whose life changed when the church brought Bridge to Reading to her village.

“A lady used to let her goats in my field where they destroyed my crops.  One day she saw me with my Bible, an exercise book, and a pen.  She was surprised and declared that she did not know I was educated.  When my neighbor learned that I could read and write she respected me and wanted to be my friend.”

This is the translation of the story Nzigire dictated to her tutor (in Swahili) and then learned to read:


Couldn’t help her children with school work

Yvonne is a young mother in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.  When she was a girl her parents sent her to school for just two years.  Then she stopped to take care of her younger sisters and brothers.  Yvonne married Rutikanga, a pastor who became a Bridge to Reading trainer.  They had six children when Rutikanga died unexpectedly in 2011.

Though a single mother who struggles to support her children, Yvonne decided to give her time to the church and to tutor other women.  With the goal of learning to read well enough to become a tutor, Yvonne went back to the local primary school for two years.  She met her goal and was trained in the local training center to become a literacy tutor.

Today she tutors eight women in her home.  “I felt always marginalized because I could not even help my kids to do their homework or even read a simple announcement.  I also felt dismayed to see that many women were sidelined because they could not do simple arithmetic when they go to the market.  Sometimes they were robbed.  Then I decided to help in the way that I could afford.”

First a Bible student, now a pastor

Matayo’s father died when he was just a nine year old child.  From then on he and his mother lived alone.  In 2010 Matthieu went to the Mujumba, DRC  literacy center where he studied for three years.  He then went to the Imani Bible school.  Today he is Pastor Matayo (Matthew) of the Sinai ka Lambo Church.

Besides preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ, he is a strong advocate of literacy and is leading the effort to build a literacy center on the church property.  Bridge to Reading director Dr. James Kigamwa and founder Connie Schwein visited the center in August.

Learners and visitors observe a literacy training session in the partially constructed literacy center.

From learner to tutor

Furahisha, in the eastern DRC,  was married to a man who studied; but she was not able to either read or to write.  When the literacy ministry was implanted here; she said that she’d have to ask advice from the pastor about it.

The pastor invited her husband to agree that his wife could learn at the literacy center.  Three years and nine months after, she was able to read the Bible and write correctly.  Here are the woman’s words – “When we left LUSHEKE for KALANGWE, the pastor of the church chose me to teach others in the literacy center.  Now I’m a tutor in Kalangwe center.  Glory to the LORD who sent us the literacy ministry.”

Learn or be left alone

In eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Neema said: “When I didn’t know how to read and write, my husband did not respect me.  He couldn’t give me money to buy something in the market and he said that a wife who doesn’t know how to read and write is not smart.  He said he must look for another woman because I’m not beautiful.

“When literacy came to our church I was the first to be registered.  My husband led me to the tutoring center to be a student and he said to the pastor, ‘This woman must learn reading and writing.  If not, I will leave her!.’

“After two years and six months I’m able to read and to write because literacy is powerful to make us do something clearly.  Today I’m the president of the ministry of woman in our church.  I know how to read the Bible and to preach to other Christians, even my husband, and he received Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Now he said that I’m the wise woman; because I’m the winner of the literacy.  God bless literacy missionary.”