When we first started the literacy classes in Patpatar one of the students that attended was a young man who had a wife and several young children. He was a hard worker but quiet and reserved. His struggle with what might be anemia often causes him to be bed ridden on a mat in his small hut. He had no formal education but wanted to learn.
The first day of literacy class for him was difficult. How to hold a book, how to hold a pencil, being able to recognize his name on paper, tasks we don’t usually give much thought to, was all a struggle. He wasn’t a quick learner, but he persevered. Four months later he stood timidly before the crowd gathered for graduation and slowly read a simple story. But what has happened since then?
I want to tell you about an email we got from Madonna, our coworker in Papua New Guinea, regarding him. In her email it said,
“I just found this photo today… I thought you guys would be thrilled to know that God has used you tremendously.”
Attached was the photo you see above. The young man who had to be taught how to hold a book is now a believer and is growing in the Lord and reading God’s Word for himself.
It has been a long time since I have updated you about what is going on in the lives of the Patpatar and in our lives. It has been more of a challenge to keep you posted as we are here in the states. As our time here in the States winds to an end I will once again send out some regular updates so you can be in the loop. We have heard some exciting things and look forward to sharing those with you in the coming months.
We have two months left before we leave for Papua New Guinea. For now, we are soaking in all the lasts that we get to do in America. The girls have done their share of sledding, but still had to try to catch a little more falling snow before the heat and humidity of the rainforest surrounds them.
Because of a Book,
Fact: Creating and teaching a literacy program for the Patpatar was interesting. In the Patpatar alphabet the letters c, f, j, q, v, x, y, z do not exist. However there are lengthened vowels which means you hold the vowel sound out slightly longer for some words. We represent these by placing two of the same vowel next to each other: aa, ee, ii, oo, uu.