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When Mariam Nabil was a child growing up in a village in the province of ElMinya, she always dreamed of learning how to read and write, but then life took her in a different direction. She married a man from the village and together they had three children of their own. As time passed, her need to learn passed and she soon forgot about her childhood dream.

Despite not learning how to read and write, Mariam was content with her life. She was married to a loving husband who provided for her and their growing family. Seven years later, tragedy suddenly struck her family when her young son was playing in a nearby stream. He got trapped in the strong current, and her husband jumped into save him. Her husband managed to rescue their son, but he drowned in the stream trying to save the boy.

Overnight, the full burden of raising a family fell on Mariam’s shoulders. Her two oldest daughters had just started school, and they were asking her to help them learn how to read and write. A priest in the village told her about the literacy classes offered by the Shepherd and Mother of Light (SML), and she signed up without any hesitation.

Before long, she learned how to write her name, her father’s name, and her grandfather’s name, and she could read and write letters and words. She quickly rose to the top of her class and could read at the same level as other women who had started the program a year before her.

After she completed the literacy class, Mariam joined SML’s Health and Wellness class. She has already learned about personal hygiene and how to identify symptoms of different diseases.

“I am so thankful for the service of SML, because I know how to keep my family healthy and I can read the Holy Bible and Agpya together with my children,” said Mariam.

Last year, the group who traveled to Egypt with C4NC met Mariam, and they were struck by her ability to remain thankful despite all the hardships that she has faced.

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