Literacy effort changing lives of members in African nations

Elder Frank and Sister Helen Bradshaw have many choice memories of how the Gospel Literacy Effort has benefited the lives of Church members in Africa. They returned home to Utah the middle of September after two years as full-time missionaries for the Church Educational System. They served in several countries, including Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.

As CES missionaries, the Bradshaws, members of the East Mill Creek 6th Ward, Salt Lake East Millcreek Stake, worked closely with the Gospel Literacy Effort, as the materials for basic learning were produced by the Church Educational System.Elder Bradshaw told the Church News that Aba, Nigeria, is a site where many literacy efforts are taking place, as there are two stakes and several districts in the Nigeria Aba Mission.

"The literacy program is very significant for the sisters because more often the men have opportunities to be involved in commerce, thus they are more literate," Elder Bradshaw said.

The newly returned missionaries explained that literacy classes are held in members' homes, on patios, in backyards or under trees - anywhere convenient to those attending the classes.

Elder and Sister Bradshaw cited several success stories. Elder Bradshaw related how some members he knew "did not know how to read or write. After joining a literacy class, they came out of their shell and gave a talk and sang `I Am a Child of God' in a sacrament meeting."

Sister Bradshaw related the example of a sister living near Nairobi, Kenya, who was listening to a gospel literacy lesson called "Repent of All Your Sins."

"The teacher was asking them to write in their own words what this meant to them. This older woman sat on the front row, and I noticed she wasn't doing anything. Soon she started writing Please excuse me,' which is a good explanation ofRepent of All Your Sins.' She was understanding."

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