Yolande lives in Bangui, the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic (CAR). Life has not been easy for Yolande. At 43 years old, she has never been to school; growing up, she felt ‘stupid’ and often found it difficult to communicate.
Her husband died four years ago, leaving Yolande to raise their three boys on her own. To survive, she had a small plot of land from which she sold food for a living. To add to her worries, Yolande was forced away from her home and her land stolen by her husband’s family. She had to leave with nothing.
Yet, even in the face of conflict and trouble, Yolande’s grateful heart remains. She says, ‘It is only prayer. It is only God. It is God that pulls me out of the difficulty!’
A new kind of lesson
When she met Tearfund partner ACATBA, Yolande was encouraged to go to school. ‘Me,’ says Yolande, ‘who didn’t know anything about literacy. I didn’t know how to write or even how to read!’
But Yolande went along, and slowly she began to make progress. Now, she knows how to read the Bible perfectly. She can write a little now, too – including her own name! – and has even become a leader in church.
Yolande says, ‘It really makes me feel very happy.’
Eyes wide open
Since learning how to read and write, Yolande’s confidence has soared. She no longer feels shame or embarrassment, and wants to reach out to other women and help them to access literacy training.
Yolande says, ‘Before, as I didn’t attend school, I didn’t feel good. By going to ACATBA, my eyes did really open. I grew up and I became a woman.’
Praise God that, because of the training she’s received, Yolande is able to sell food at market with confidence, knowing she has the skills and knowledge to handle the transactions with ease. She says, ‘If someone comes and buys something from me, I am able to give them the right money back because I went to school. I am literate.’
Prayers at Christmastime
Christmas is a joyous time for Yolande. It is a time to come together as a family and celebrate. ‘Christmas feast is the feast of Jesus’ birth,’ she says.
Yolande’s prayer this Christmas is that God will protect her family, her country, and that peace will come to CAR.
Let’s pray with Yolande, thanking God for the work of ACATBA and the lives being transformed through literacy training. Please pray for Yolande and the people of CAR who have been through so much – pray for peace, hope and joy to return.
Right now, the UK government is matching all funds given to our Match Giving Appeal. Money raised will change the lives of people like Yolande in the CAR and around the world who have suffered unimaginably due to conflict and poverty. If in prayer you feel led to give to this appeal, you can donate here.
We pray because we're desperate for God - to walk with him... in step with his will for the world.
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