Ryan and Elna Mitchell
One of our favorite things about living on our ridge is hearing the rain. It starts with a faint rumbling sound from far over the mountains and comes closer and closer until it finally hits our roof! What a display of God’s glory! I love standing on our porch waiting for it to arrive.
In the same way, the people of Mawerero have stood waiting. Many years ago the leaders sent a letter to Mibu requesting that missionaries be sent. There were a couple of visits and then in 2016, two families moved to the village. Since then, there have been big changes, with the Dodds leaving, Matt going home to the Lord, and then us and Amelia arriving to take over from the Dodds. All this time, the people have heard rumbles of what would come.
They watched as the Canns faithfully continued living among them, loving them, and learning their language. They watched as new people arrived, and started doing the same. Not much seemed to be happening. They watched, and waited… But now, they can finally see something concrete. Literacy classes have started.
For the people selected to attend the first class, this will be a life-changing time. These men and women of different ages, represent most of the family clans and hamlets of our village. Please pray for Som, Gie, Wirane, Lupa, Rani, Sarapo, Kenimo, Yase, Samwel, Timoti, Rone, Luen, Maikepe, Namura and Robin. For the very first time, they will learn to read and write their own language. For some, this will be the very first time they learn to read at all. Others have completed a couple of grades of school, and have forgotten most of what they learned. A few are leaders in the village, who can read quite well. But for all of them, this is the first time they’re learning to read and write Do.
On Saturday, we had an opening ceremony. There was food, decorations, and speeches. The people here are happy to see something tangible happening. Some even see this as a big event in the life of the village. But their excitement is nothing when compared with ours. We understand that this is just one more step toward bringing the Gospel to the Do people – and we look forward to seeing what God will do in this village when they finally hear His Message in their own language!
You see, while we are working on CLA, and Literacy Programme, Zach is working on Bible translation and lesson preparation – and soon, in God’s perfect timing, the Do people will hear God’s redemptive plan clearly proclaimed for the first time. And these people will be able to take the lessons home and read them to their families. They will be able to read and reread the portions of Scripture included.
The ultimate goal of the Literacy Program is to produce prolific readers who will eagerly study their Bibles and grow in godliness. Pray with us that God would use the Literacy Program to spark interest and excitement in the people, that they would be motivated to learn, and that they would all come and hear the Good News when it is time. Pray that God would soften the hearts of the Do people, that they would repent and be transferred to the kingdom of light!
May this also serve as a reminder to those reading this – the fact that you CAN read is a gift. The fact that you have easy access to Scripture in a language (or multiple languages!) that you understand is another gift. You have access to the Living Word – read it, study it, love it! Let Scripture convict you, renew your thinking, revive your spirit, inform your decisions.