Today we had our second-last literacy class - one to go next week Thursday. What a journey it has been. I embarked on teaching reading and writing (in Tok Pisin) a couple of years ago. I began with one group of ladies and then this year began a new course with a new bunch of ladies/girls. Two of the ladies from the last course, who did not really get all the way there with the last course, did the new course with me too. We only had 25 or so mornings this year for the new course, so it was a very intense! Thankfully, this time I was working with mostly younger girls (rather than middle-aged ladies). They were just as illiterate as the older ladies to start with, but what a difference age makes! The young girls are just so much quicker to catch on and learn new concepts. Most of them have done really well.
Well, in 25 mornings you can't teach someone to read and write fluently, but you can give them all the ground work. And I am pleased to say that a number of them are reading really well (all things considered) - there was a couple of really bright girls in this bunch. This fact just makes me realise how far they could have gone had they had the opportunity to go to school. What a privilege a good education is, what a blessing to be able to go to school. A couple of times Kirilee, Shiana and Ashlyn have come along with me to literacy class, and this was a good lesson for them, especially the older two. Although Tok Pisin is not their first language, they realised how much easier it was for them to read than the girls I was teaching. This really brought home to them how blessed they have been to go to school right from when they were very young!
These girls/ladies really need another 6 months or so to consolidate what we have learned so far and to really continue on reading and especially writing (which takes a lot longer than reading to do well). Given that we hope to be leaving, however, for our 6 months furlough in Australia in a couple weeks, this will not be possible. However, next week, in our last class, I hope to spend time encouraging them to continue on with their reading and writing, and to give them some tips to continue to learn at home. I also plan to present them with their own Tok Pisin Bibles, so that they may be able to be blessed through reading God's Word (they can use it to practice their reading skills, and at the same time be encouraged through reading it).
I thought I would include some photos from this morning:
Everyone working hard on their writing!
It was just too much for poor Louisa (her mum, Alosinda, is doing the course with me)
Louisa is still struggling with some terrible sores on her head, especially because she continually scratches them open.
And there's Louisa's Mum - A smiling Alosinda!
Please pray that they all will continue to learn on their own, as motivation is sometimes hard when you are working on your own!
Please also continue to pray for Agnes. Praise God for a slow improvement in her health. However, please also continue to earnestly pray for her to regain full health. Just yesterday when we as family went to Kamkumung for Andrew's mid-week fellowship class, she was doing pretty poorly again. She was up and about, but had a very bad night and also a bad morning. It seems as if she has picked up some cold/flu on top of the Typhoid. She was really tired last night, in more ways than one. In actual fact she was just saying that she would rather die, as it was too much to just deal with the pain and tiredness all the time! So please also pray that she will also be spiritual encouraged and strengthened and so enabled to bear what God has placed on her path. This morning she was thankfully doing a bit better again, and thus was also in a happier mood. Her condition seems to go up and down.
Please also thank God for the safe return of Augustina, who had been trapped in Bulolo due to the terrible violence going on there. Thank God for protecting her life, also as she and her son had to run for their lives as the house they were staying in, along with hundreds of others, were deliberately burned to the ground.