Typically “ungrounded” and free to fly, the girls seize the opportunity to meet a bird.
August 2nd is the start of the first Patpatar literacy course. The curriculum, primers, readers, flashcards, posters, teacher’s manual, and other Patpatar materials are in their final stages of production. The construction materials for the simple village classroom, desks, and chalkboard are on location. After months of negotiation a piece of ground has been selected on a small hilltop a couple of hundred yards above the village. The jungle has been cleared and the site marked. Things are in full swing to be on track for the first Patpatar literacy course…that is, until a few hours ago.
Our main objective in doing the literacy course is to teach the Patpatar how to read and write so that they can read God’s Word and know Him better. Other objectives including increasing the education level for the Patpatar in their developing country, equipping parents to be able to read to and teach their children, training future teachers both for literacy and Bible teaching, and laying the foundation for upper-level classes in the future.
We are excited about the start of the literacy class, but have run into another road block. It seems we have been “ungrounded and sent back to our room.” Today a man came and told us we could not continue with the building of the classroom because the land belonged to him. Prestige is a highly valued commodity in this communal society. And a claim to land is one of the factors that gives prestige. Therefore, disputes over property are continuous in the Patpatar and we are affected once again. When property is in dispute nothing can be built on it.
We are asking for your prayer for the Patpatar literacy class. In addition to all the final details that need to be completed, and for the students who will be in the first class, we ask that you urgently pray for the land situation. We don’t know if God allowed this to open up another area which we were considering earlier, or if He will work it out so we can continue on the current sight. Either way we need a solution quickly in order for the first class to continue as planned.
Fact: Because of government schooling several of the Patpatar can read and write some in English, though most of them have difficulty understanding and speaking it. Ironically though, many of them cannot read and write their own language of Patpatar in which they are fluent.