Many years ago as we were raising support, in our presentations we confidently and somewhat naively shared various facts, statistics and timelines related to Tribal Church Planting. Having not yet done it ourselves, sharing the stories of others and the averages of how long different stages of church planting might take was the best we could do.
On the timeline, one of the figures we shared was that it takes an average of 2-5 years to learn an unwritten, tribal language and culture. On paper, the difference between 2 and 5 years doesn’t seem too much. But on the ground, here in Amdu, living in a remote village and pouring our sweat and tears into learning this unwritten language and seeking to understand this culture that is so very different from our own, that time has often seemed to drag by – each day very similar to the last, some days feeling like we are making no progress at all and sometimes feeling like we’re moving backwards!!
Our family moved into Amdu in May 2013. It is now September 2017. Four years of hard work have passed and, Lord willing, we are very close to finishing the stage of formally learning the Amdu language and culture. In just a few days, two of our consultants will be coming to Amdu for what we are praying will be the final language evaluation for most of the team!! Our consultants will be with us from Sept. 25-27. Please pray for each of us on the team as we anticipate this evaluation time.
Coming soon on the heels of the evaluation will be the beginning of our Amdu literacy program – teaching the very first group of our Amdu friends to read and write in their own language!! For the past several months, all of us on the team have been working on different parts of getting the literacy materials ready for the first class. Our literacy consultant in town has formatted and printed the first set of primers, readers and flashcards, and they are packed up and ready to be sent in on the flight that takes our language consultants back to town. We’ve said it before, but we are so thankful for the many consultants who, after being involved in a tribal church plant in their own villages, are willing to continue to invest in those of us coming behind them!
Our projected start date for the first Amdu literacy class is October 2, 2017!! We would appreciate your prayers as we continue to make preparations.
The community is getting excited. This first class will be a mix of students who have had some education to varying degrees in the trade language, and those who have no education and are totally illiterate. Our teammates the Hatton’s, especially, have put much work into checking and rechecking the materials, and we are excited to get the first class started and watch our Amdu friends learn to read and write their language.
If anyone would like to be involved with helping to cover the cost of printing literacy materials, just send us a message via the contact tab and we’ll tell you the specific way to give to this project.
We are grateful for your prayers. The past few months have been very busy, and we anticipate that the coming months will be even busier. Even while literacy is going on, we will begin the process of writing Bible lessons and beginning Bible translation. Please keep praying for us in the weeks and months ahead. Be looking for more news and pictures of the first literacy class!