Did you know? Of the 7,000 languages worldwide only 554 have a complete Bible translation?
The reason for our trip to Dakar was to attend a workshop on literacy. Even though we had taken a class on teaching literacy in MTC, it was a good time of reminder. Teaching literacy is a big part of what NTM does and it was good to be reminded why it is important to have a written word and not only an oral word for each group we move into.
Here are some points we took from our time:
- God had His Word written down, so it was important for Him that we could read it!
- Even Jesus pointed us back to the written Word: “As it is written…”
- He wrote it down because His Word is unchanging!
- Without the Written Word of God personal experience becomes the authority for life.
- Without the Written Word of God there is no final authority in discerning false teaching.
- Without the Written Word of God stories change or new ones get added.
- With the Written Word of God EVERY member of the church is equipped to serve others.
We spent some time each morning learning about God and literacy. Our first few days was mostly spent learning the process of preparing a literacy program and how to use the brand new program for making primers. The last few days we were in groups making a primer in French (which proved very difficult — just as in English there are lots of exceptions!) and then teaching a literacy class to our fellow missionaries.
It was a wonderful but tiring time — we left where we were staying (a 15 minute walk from the NTM guesthouse) around 7:15 am and did not return back until 7:30-8 pm. All our meals were cooked for us and we had two coffee breaks each day. Even with all the walking, we were stuffed by the end of the week!
The kids also had a VBS type program for them each day. They came home with loads of memories!
On Sunday we attended the church we attended while we lived in Dakar. While it was nice to see everyone, we had to leave quickly as Emma had gotten sick throughout the service! Turns out we all passed around the flu during week two of our time in Dakar. Even though we did not get to be ‘tourists’ we did end up having a relaxing time. We enjoyed eating donuts and strawberries and root beer floats! We also had the added perk of getting to see some of the Olympics!
During those weeks our leaders were also busy touching base with all the missionaries, like us, that they don’t get to see in person very often. We had a good time talking through what’s in the future for us. While we can’t give any specifics (because we don’t have any yet), we can say that by next summer we hope to be moving on to our next location. One where we will assess which village location we will be moving into and starting to learn our next language! Currently, Nancy will continue with French and we both will continue to be involved in our church and in the community while Michael does most of the kids’ homeschool and some administrative things for our mission.