Greetings in the Lord! Thanks so much for your prayers over the past month. It’s been a full and busy and very productive month of ministry for us here in West Kalimantan. The Lord has clearly been directing my steps and answering my recent prayers for direction for future ministry here in West Kalimantan. As you have likely picked up on from my updates so far this year He has been moving me mostly in the direction of LITERACY. More specifically working together with His local churches here to see the benefit of literacy efforts in order to see our churches grow stronger. Some churches are already seeing the need and are getting excited about the future possibilities.
However, before I go further on the topic of Literacy I do want you to know that a lot of my heart is still hooked on translation. And really the motivation for Literacy always brings us to God’s Wonderful Book…which brings us back to translation. So while I don’t see myself finishing the Old Testament translation in the Semandang language, I definitely want to facilitate others who are trained and have a heart for doing that. And on that note here is my first prayer request of this update: just in from a text message from Oke, “Please PRAY for me as I plan to start comprehension checking on Daniel today!” Such an answer to prayer. The rice harvest was finished last week, and she has wasted no time in getting her team of Semandang speakers together for this very important project. And I have also been able to begin drafting some Proverbs and already have 3 chapters rough drafted. Hopefully I will be able to begin checking them yet this summer.
So that is the update on the translation. Back onto the topic of literacy. By far the main focus of my time over the past month has been to work on the Embaloh language literacy program. There is a preliminary team working with me, checking and writing stories for their budding library. During the checking process, one small second grader was earnestly trying to sound out the words in the beginning of one of the stories. “Oh how I wish I could read this story!” he said. Well, don’t worry, the checker said, soon you’ll be able to read them all fluently. The checker sent a message to me saying, “This is exactly what our church needs right now.” We are encouraged by the feedback so far, knowing that we are barely scratching the surface and have a long way to go. One of the team members is typing some of the OT scripture portions that we only have a hard copy of, so that we can get those verses onto their newly built phone app.
The pictures below are of some booklets for fluency check and coloring picture with a verse to read for the smaller children.
I leave Friday for a weeklong trip to the center of the island. Three days of that time (May 4-6) will be spent in the Embaloh tribe sitting down with the church to hear from them where they feel the Lord is leading their literacy program and how we can facilitate that happening. During that time they will also be doing fluency evaluations in their own village. Afterwards, May 7-10, the leadership for the whole area, including several other tribal languages besides Embaloh, will be meeting together to study the Word and I also will plan on staying for those meetings, coming home on the 11th. Brother Doug will be attending as well, so it will be a special opportunity for me to connect with him.
Embaloh literacy prayer requests:
- For my final days of preparation for the trip/time with the Embaloh church.
- That we will have good communication during our time together since I don’t speak their language.
- That they will own the program themselves and that we will be careful not to take the responsibility out of their hands.
- That the Embaloh church will really get behind the program and be willing to give what it will take to carry it forward.
- That they also will trust the Lord for how He wants to use them in the whole area.
- Safety and good health for traveling.
Thanks again for your prayers. The Embaloh team/church has already jumped in with both feet and are so excited about our trip. I know that the Lord has some exciting things ahead to teach our hearts. I’m so glad that you can play a major part through your prayers.
This weekend I had a wonderful visit from my “daughter” Siti and Gadi, her two-year old son (pictured below with black rice all over him! J) I am overwhelmed by their love for me. With the two that came in December and one in March, two in April and Toti’ who lives with me, I’ve been blessed by their intentional effort to show love by making the trip to town (kids in tow) to visit grandma Darcy. I had the honor of taking Yut for her first prenatal checkup a couple of weeks ago, so will have another little one to love on this September! And I also wanted to share the “Dear Grandma” letter from Carla (1st grade) below: I miss you? How are you Grandma? I and Claudya (little sister) are fine. My school is going well too. We both really miss you. With love, Carla R. I’m so proud of her even being able to write in her tribal language! (Her mom is doing a good job at home Literacy!!!)
That’s all for this update. I will echo Carla’s letter and say that I miss all of you too!! Have a great week in the Lord!