I was in the village the other night when the sun went down and a blanket of darkness began to cover the coast. I eventually said my good-byes to the family I was visiting with and began to make my way back home. In the encroaching darkness the small light of a flashlight on the fringes of the hamlet caught my eye. As I got closer, the silhouette of a man sitting in the dirt bent over a book began to emerge, but he was not alone. Three small children knelt across from him and each had a finger pointing to the details of the picture on the page that was opened before them. The man himself also had an extended finger on the book, but his was slowly moving from word to word as he sounded out the story.
The man, Bulu, was a young father and had the attention of his children as he stumbled through a simple primer story as if it was the latest mystery being read by a professional narrator. Bulu is not known for engaging with his family and interacting with them, yet on this night there was a family get together around a flashlight and a book on the ground outside the hut. A month prior to this time he was an illiterate, but now by his own admission with a big smile, he is starting to be able to read.
The second literacy class is now half over. Lori is supervising it and continuing to fine tune the Patpatar teachers as they are now in charge of the class. Our ultimate goal is to equip them to be able to read God’s Word so they can not only read stories as a family, but more importantly God’s story. Presently, I am leading the believers through a study of Ephesians and we are about to embark on what the Bible teaches about family relationships in chapter five and six. This is a huge need among the Patpatar and we are excited to see what God will do.
So as many of you get together with family and friends for the Independence Day celebration, enjoy your family get together! And while you’re at it, take some time to read from God’s Word together.
Because of the freedom in Christ,
Sierra, Kylee, and Avalon with their 4th of July nails
Fact – “Count the words on the page.” In English, everybody would begin a word count starting with the number one, but in Patpatar they begin reading. Counting is a big part of the Patpatar culture, reading is not. People, pigs, money, bags of rice, it all gets counted. They are good at lining up things and calling off the number for each one. So with no historical word for reading, the word counting is used. The words are lined up on the page and you call of the name of each one.