NTM Missionaries to the Pefiyahe language group launched their 1st ever vernacular literacy program this past week! 15 students — 9 ladies and 6 men in the 16-40ish age bracket were chosen by their village leaders to be the privileged few who get to participate in this class. Some have previously tried unsuccessfully to learn to read in Melanesian Pidgin – the PNG “trade language.” Please be praying that they will be able to master the skill of reading in their mother tongue.
This Pei literacy class is being held 6- 8pm after the students have finished their full day of subsistence survival. The entire course will take about 4 months.
Besides teaching these students to read and write, this “trial literacy class” will be proving whether or not the materials as they are, are sufficient and accurate for the Pei peoples’ literacy needs. Please do pray for the missionaries – Candace Swift, and Justin & Lauren Rees as they persevere in this phase of their church planting ministry among the Pefiyahe people.
Pei is the group whom I am SUPPOSED to go in to visit during the early days of their literacy program so please pray too for all the travel details that are involved. “Convenient” flights in and out are not easy to arrange! Plus the river travel. Justin will have a couple of very full days enduring the rigors of the river trips involved in my proposed / required visit, plus his duties in teaching the class.
Siawi Literacy Missionary
Linda Krieg spent many years living among the Siawi people of PNG and translating the New Testament plus Old Testament portions into their mother tongue.
She’s “retired” now and living in the USA but has come back to PNG for a few weeks to do some literacy teacher training with 6 Siawi men.
Challenges to teaching the men to teach are that they really do not have a good grasp of the use of punctuation and capital letters!
These Siawi men are committed though to helping their families and village friends be able to learn to read and write in their mother tongue. Why? So that they can read God’s Word for themselves in their own language! Prayers to that end will be greatly appreciated!
Biem Island Literacy
Another literacy class was lately begun on Biem Island too.
But — the first Biem believer recently received his graduation to glory in heaven. A death in the community can often shut down a literacy program for anywhere from a few days to several months. Do please keep this in your prayers too as you uphold church planting literacy program needs before the Lord. May God give the missionaries and the local Believers wisdom and sensitivity to know when it is appropriate for classes to resume.
Literacy materials are currently in the reprinting stage so that another literacy class can be held in Sorimi later this year.
Missionaries to the Sorimi people have been in an itinerate phase of their work and will be returning this summer to further teach, translate and encourage the local fellowship.
And MORE Literacy!
The featured literacy programs are only a few of the many going on in various people groups where missionaries work.
Creating materials, teaching literacy teachers, even teaching people to read and write in their own mother tongue may not be as exciting a part of church planting as are Bible Teaching, Discipleship & translation stages – but they are vital to the growth of the local church.
Without reading skills, how can people read God’s Word for themselves to take responsibility for their own personal growth in their love for and knowledge of all our Savior has done for us?
Without literacy how would mature Christians study the Bible and prepare lessons for teaching their families and community further truths from God’s Word?
And how would those sitting under their teaching be able to jot down notes for helping them remember what they have been taught?
As you pray for missionaries in their church planting endeavors, won’t you please remember the needs of the literacy programs, too?
Thank you for being such a faithful part of God’s work around the globe. Only in eternity will you be able to see just how far-reaching an impact your life has been.
Co-laboring together to bring back Christ as King!