Wow! The first literacy class has been and gone. What an incredible time. I was so nervous and at the same time super excited. Teaching grown women to read and write in Tok Pisin! Amazing!! Some of them know the basics of reading and writing but have never learned it well. Still others had absolutely no clue how to even hold a pencil. Some have no clue even how to write their own name. So today they all learnt to recognize their own names and then we did a little bit of writing – just to get used to holding a pencil and to learn the basics of letter writing. They all did so well. One woman, who must be about 40 or so (I actually have no idea how old she is – though neither does she – but that is my guesstimate) had such a hard time learning to hold the pencil properly and getting those lines and mmmm’s on her paper. But she was just so determined. Had I been her I think I would have given up, but she just plugged away and she improved so much by the end of the lesson. It was great to see.
I began the lesson reading the first part of Psalm 127 and we talked about the need for the Lord to bless whatever we do, and that this class too is dependent on his blessing. It is nice to be able to briefly share parts from God’s Word with these women at the same time. And we talked about how it is our prayer that by the end of the course (at least a year – 1 ½ years later) these women will all be able to read the Bible properly for themselves. Imagine not being able to do that!
I was a little disappointed (although I was prepared for it) as a group of women who said they would come did not, and they were the ones who really were excited about it. But they have had a death out there and also some other problems, so I hope to see what is going on when I talk to them on Sunday. However, the disappointment did not stay as those that were there were very enthusiastic and excited and I just had a great time – back to teaching again, and did I ever enjoy it. I am prepared, though, that some students may drop out yet, but that’s okay. Even if only a few learn well, it will be worth it. Imagine how the church can be strengthened even more under God’s blessing, with literate people who can read the Word and teach their children the riches contained therein as well.