Much attention is focused on learning a tribal language, teaching foundational Bible truths in that language, and then “growing” a mature church. Equal attention is given to the need for an accurate and natural-sounding translation of God’s Word in their language. But what about literacy?
Within the context of missions, teaching people to read and write rarely makes the headlines, but it is an essential and vital component of the church planting effort.
Without literacy, people do not have full access to God’s Word in their language. Without readers in the tribal language, even an accurate and natural-sounding translation of God’s Word is still a closed book. And without a literate leadership, the tribal church will forever remain dependent on the missionary to feed them.
“[Literacy] materials will be the tool that gives the people the first access to the Word of God in their language,” wrote Jerry and Joyce McDaniels. “How exciting is that?”
See, literacy should make the headlines!
And so should the new stand-alone program tentatively called Literacy Starter. This is custom software that speeds up the creation of the literacy curriculum, making it more accurate.
History has been made. The first field test for Literacy Starter took place last month, in February 2015. Literacy consultants and consultants-in-training from all over Latin America met in Colombia for an intense, three-week literacy workshop.
During the workshop, the program was field tested as they wrote literacy materials for two tribal language groups native to Colombia. Doesn’t that sound like something that should be making headlines? Though it’s not in the news much, let’s keep literacy in our prayers.