In the village Bobissa, located 200 km from Bangui in the Central African Republic, a church has just been established. The village has more than 500 inhabitants. There is no school. In an effort to combat illiteracy, the church planter began to offer the Bridge to Reading program. He started with just two learners under ten years of age. This led to a spiritual awakening in the village, and ten people came to the Lord, seven of whom have been baptized in water. Many people in the village are now interested in learning to read. Here is the testimony of these first two young learners who have never been to school in their lives:
Stanislas Mbole: I am the seventh child in my family. I am nine years old. None of the children of my family have ever been to school because we live very far away (90 km) and my parents can’t afford the transportation. I did not think I would ever learn to read and write like other children whose parents are able to send them to school. I thank God for the church that has been planted in our village which offered Bridge to Reading. I’ve been attending the literacy classes for three months, and I am learning to read, write and count by myself. I will deepen my knowledge in this area in order to become a tutor and help the children of my generation in the surrounding villages to learn to read, write and count.
Richard Ouapoutou: I’m seven years old, I live 5 km from Bobissa village. I am an orphan. After the death of my father, my extended family decided to take me and my siblings back to the village and left us on our own. The nearest school is 90 km from our village. Only parents who have the means to pay for transportation can enroll their children in school. When I learned that a literacy program was starting in my village, I enrolled and started participating in all the classes. Now I can read, write and count, better and better each day. I thank God with all my heart for giving us the opportunity to learn for free.