Literacy making history

(Photo Courtesy of NTM)

(Photo Courtesy of NTM)

Colombia (NTM) — [EDITOR’S NOTE: This post is written by Rosie Cochran with New Tribes Mission.]

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?

Literacy Promotes Access to God’s Word

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, International Literacy Coordinators for NTM.

A new stand-alone program is tentatively called Literacy Starter. This custom software speeds up the creation of the literacy curriculum, making it more accurate.

The first field test for Literacy Starter took place 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.

Pray for the further development of Literacy Starter. Pray that this program would result in more people reading, understanding, and being changed by God’s Word.