Posts Tagged ‘learn’

A teacher teaches a class of children how to read and write.

Did you know that September 8 is International Literacy Day? It’s a day set aside to not only celebrate and rediscover the joys of reading, but to also raise awareness about the literacy struggles that people face all around the world.

Imagine not being able to read. What would your life be like? Whether you consider yourself an avid reader or not, we read every single day. Text messages, emails, billboards, menus, articles, blogs, news stories … even what our friends post on social media! Reading is integral to our lives, yet millions of people around the world haven’t had the opportunity to learn this important skill.

You can help change that.

And it all begins with something as simple as collecting your loose pocket change.

Join Kate and Mack on their latest adventure through their “Pocket Change Challenge.” It’s an easy way to teach your kids about giving while promoting a need that we can help tangibly meet. No matter how old you are — whether you’re five years old and just learning to read or 75 years old with years of reading behind us — you can play a part! We especially want to encourage young kids to get excited about reading. How amazing would it be that they can make a difference by helping kids, just like them, learn how to read?

Because when people learn how to read, they’re given the ability to read the most important book of all — God’s Word in their heart language.

Join us in celebrating International Literacy Day! If you love to read or simply know the benefits of this life-changing skill, consider doing something to help someone else learn how to read, too.

Photo by Zeke du Plessis

Read Full Post »

Kate & Mack are here3We’re so excited to share with you that as of this week, Wycliffe’s newest publication, “Around the World with Kate and Mack: A Look at Languages from A to Z” is available for purchase at shop.wycliffe.org. It’s definitely something you’ll want to add to your children’s bookshelves as they learn about the beauty of God’s creation and the diversity of his people!

Kate & Mack are here2In this book you and your family will be able to travel with Kate and Mack as they visit kids from all over the globe. You’ll meet Anna, Felipe, Kitella, Moses, Isabelle and others, learning more about their languages, cultures and a variety of fun facts that are unique to their countries. You’ll also learn about geography, maps and so much more!

And because we don’t want you to miss out on meeting Kate and Mack, we’re giving you a couple of sneak peeks from the book itself. But the fun doesn’t have to end with just the book. You can download interactive lessons and activities for your kids by visiting wycliffe.org/a-z right now! And don’t forget to sign up so we can notify you Kate & Mack are herewhen new activities are available.

In these activities your kids will help solve mazes, decode secret messages, learn what their name might be if they lived in Ghana (hint: people are often named after the day of the week they were born on!), and more. So what are you waiting for? Come travel with Kate and Mack today!

Read Full Post »

By Catherine Rivard and Richard Gretsky

Early in life, Kristina lost two of her three children during childbirth. The emotional pain devastated her, but she was also very physically wounded. In the attempts to save the children and repair her ravaged body, Kristina underwent four agonizing surgeries. The trauma from these events lingered in her life for many years.

Later on, she was introduced to Christianity. And though the hurts from her life persisted, after a time, she placed her faith in Christ and began to follow Him.

Soon after that, she and twenty-nine other participants from seven languages were given the opportunity to attend an Oral Bible Storytelling (OBS) workshop in Wewak, Papua New Guinea.

The courses at the workshop—divided into four modules that took place throughout the year—were designed to teach Papua New Guineans how to memorize and retell Scripture in a way that’s familiar in their culture where storytelling is an art.

After the first module, Kristina returned home and shared the Bible stories she had learned, but her husband was extremely unsupportive. He wouldn’t let her share the stories publically or attend the next training session. Kristina was disappointed, but instead of becoming angry, she humbly submitted to her husband and began praying that the Lord would transform his heart. Over time, God did soften her husband and, this past April, he allowed Kristina to attend the next phase of training.

In this phase, the participants listened to a recording of the Bible stories in the local trade language and then were recorded saying it back in their own. Kristina gently closed her eyes as the recorder played. As she listened to the story of Moses and the burning bush, she softly repeated what she heard into a second recorder—this time in her mother tongue.

Comforted by Story - Kristina and Friends

Kristina (left) and colleagues take part in an oral Bible storytelling session.

But Kristina was not just repeating those stories; she was uplifted by them.

“Listening to these stories about the Israelites has really encouraged me,” she said. “They were in difficult times, but God was bigger than that and rescued them. I know He’ll bring me through my Red Sea as well.”

Retelling Biblical stories has provided great comfort to Kristina, who now knows that God was with her during the loss of her children, her rough childbirths, and even during the period she had to wait for her husband’s blessing to attend the training.
That is why Kristina is dedicated to teaching Scripture, because she knows that hearing Bible stories can help change other people’s lives—no matter how deep their hurt.

Read Full Post »

by Bob Creson

Guido is a ten-year-old Matsés boy from the Peruvian rainforest who is visiting the big city of Lima for the first time. After a long and arduous trip—three days in a small boat, seven days in a larger riverboat, and an hour and a half by plane—he is standing before a roomful of Wycliffe USA Board members and executive leaders that includes my wife, Dallas, and me.

Dressed in crisp new blue jeans and shiny white tennis shoes, he takes the mic and begins to recite from memory, and without hesitation, passages from Matthew and Luke in his mother tongue. This is his language; these are God’s words for him, and he is confident in sharing them. Verse after verse after verse, he goes on and on. The group listening is awestruck! When asked where he learned to do this, he says he learned it from his parents and his grandfather, who are all believers. Guido is a third generation Christian, and these words from the Bible transformed his family and his community.

The foundation for this transformation was laid in 1969 when translators Harriet Fields and Hattie Kneeland first made contact with the Matsés. Described as “fierce,” they lived deep in the Amazon rainforest. Guido’s grandfather was watching from the edge of the forest the night Harriet encountered the two Matsés who stepped into the clearing to meet her. He watched as they hesitantly walked toward Harriet, bridging the huge gap between their worlds.

Harriet and Hattie moved into the Matsés community and, amongst other things, were the incarnational representation of the words they started translating. Lives began to change. Guido’s grandfather became a health promoter. Others left raiding, killing, and kidnapping to become Bible translators, teachers, dentists, and pastors.

When the Book of Ephesians was printed, Scripture Use promoters Glenn and Linda Smith, along with their children, were living in the community. Glenn remembered some Buck knives used for hunting that had been sent to the village by mistake. They’d been lying at the bottom of a barrel for two years, and Glenn believes God gave him an idea. He told the people, “I’ll give a hunting knife to anyone who memorizes the whole book of Ephesians.”

Bible memorization quickly became a passion for the Matsés—with or without prizes. Children recited chapters to their parents at bedtime. Wives recited to their husbands, and husbands to wives. Guido’s other grandfather (his mother’s father) memorized fourteen New Testament books, including Romans. People quickly discovered that getting close to God’s Word affected their lives. Glenn says, “It changed all of us.”


As Guido so powerfully demonstrated, the Matsés are still memorizing Scripture, and some have literally worn out their Bibles. That evening in Lima, Guido’s father showed us his tattered Bible. “I need a new one,” he said, “but there aren’t any more.” Matsés translators are eager to continue working long-distance with Hattie to finish revising the New Testament so that it can be printed soon along with the Old Testament portions that are completed. Please pray for them as they deal with the challenges of long-distance collaboration.

This story of the impact of Scripture on the Matsés is just one of many we heard in Lima. Since 1946 the vision of Cameron Townsend—every man, woman and child has the right to hear the Scriptures in a language and form they relate to best—has left its mark on the previously unreached peoples of Peru. Working in partnership with mother-tongue speakers all over the country, cross-cultural workers from Wycliffe USA continue promoting this vision and are now working alongside Peruvians who are leading Peruvian organizations doing Scripture translation and engagement projects.

Most of us have not worked in Peru, but we, too, are the inheritors of this great vision. It’s an injustice for people not to have access to this living and eternal Word. Thank you for your part, wherever you are and whatever your assignment, and your contribution to the greatest acceleration of the pace of Bible translation ever witnessed by the Church.

Read Full Post »

By Melissa Chesnut

Kara* didn’t like the Bible.

As a kid, she lived with a missionary woman who helped provide education and teach life skills to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have attended school. During those years, she heard God’s Word many times, but she didn’t want to obey it. She had her own way of doing things.

As Kara got older, she became addicted to alcohol and gambling. She had ten children, but because of her addictions, she didn’t care for them or insist that they attend school. She also didn’t work; instead, she expected her sons to support her and help take care of the younger children. She often fought with her neighbors, and people had a hard time interacting with her.

Finally, at the age of forty-seven, everything changed.

After all those years of ignoring what the Bible said, something was suddenly different. Kara’s heart softened and she began to let God’s Word speak to her, transforming her life. She quit drinking and gambling, and she started caring for her children. Her life took a 180 degree turn—nothing was the same! 180 Degrees

Kara also began to get more involved in education. She was sent to a literacy training workshop in the city by the missionary woman she had lived with so she could help develop curriculum and materials in her language. At first she wasn’t very interested, but then Kara realized how much these materials could help her and her children become more educated.

It was as if a light had switched on. Kara began to help create the curriculum by recording songs during the workshop. When she returned to her community, Kara began to share her excitement with other parents, telling them about all she had learned in the training and just how important education is for their children and the rest of the community!

Kara truly believes none of this could have happened without the Holy Spirit moving in her life. Because of Him, she’s stepped away from her old habits and is living for Christ!

As 2 Corinthians 5:15 and 17 say, “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them. … This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT).

Lives are changed when people understand the truth of the Gospel. Kara experienced the freedom from sin that is found when a life is truly surrendered to God. Her life is being transformed, and the process is not done yet!

*A pseudonym

Read Full Post »

By David Hynum, translator for the Numanggang language of Papua New Guinea


I’m often asked, “David, how long did it take you to learn Numanggang?”

Questions like that require a story:More than Sorry - Mountain Homes

When we had been in the village of Tumun for about three years, I was gaining confidence and communicating quite a bit in Numanggang, although the grammar still baffled me. One afternoon, I took a break from studying and pondering the meaning of the unfamiliar words. A hike up the mountain, with its breathtaking views from the ridge above the villages, always cleared my head. The people call it naŋgat kaika (“refreshing the blood”). Perfect phrase.

As I trekked along the lonely dirt road that serves as the only route in and out of Numanggang territory, I met a boisterous group of little boys accompanied by Gatiwin, a young man who had been helping me learn the language and translate the book of Mark.

My eyes rested on one boy who was proudly holding a dead bird in one hand and a slingshot in the other. The rest were trooping along after their hero in hopes of sharing the meal. Proudly, they exhibited their catch, saying, “Dinner!” It didn’t look like dinner to me. Instead, I was staring at the bird’s forlorn chicks being handled roughly by the boys.More than Sorry - Kids

Gatiwin, on the other hand, was studying me! Apparently my face was much more interesting than the distressed bird’s, and he suddenly blurted out, Yakei! Bulaniŋgoŋ nadilak! (“Goodness! He’s feeling sorry!”)

Instantaneously, two very significant things happened. First, I was publicly demoted to an outsider again. It didn’t matter that I had remembered the words for the bird and the slingshot because I still wasn’t thinking like a Numanggang man. Humility follows disgrace, so perhaps that was a good thing. The second was an epiphany. I had discovered that bulaniŋgoŋ means more than just to be sorry. It also means to feel compassion. Now I had a word to represent God’s compassion for us! He deeply cares when He sees us being mauled by difficulties, tragedy, poor choices, sorrow, illness, and the enemy of our souls.

“When Jesus saw the very large gathering of the people, his heart was broken for them and he knew bulaniŋgoŋ for them and he healed the people who had sicknesses/diseases” (Matthew 14:14).

Learning a language is really a misnomer. One doesn’t learn a language; one learns a culture. A good deal of it is below the level of conscious thought. It’s shown in all the little nuances of what is considered normal and acceptable—like gestures and attitudes. In fact, it is a new way of thinking, maybe of being. In other words, I am still becoming Numanggang. Maybe by the time we finish the Old Testament I will have reached the status of a Numanggang warrior, but probably not. I’ll most likely still be learning.

Read Full Post »

By Angela Nelson

As Román and Venancio boarded the bus to travel outside of their home state for the very first time, they wondered what was in store for them. After all, they were leaving their families in the midst of a very busy agricultural harvest schedule, not to mention their responsibilities with church and their rural community.

It wasn’t the most appealing proposition, but their translation work on the Huichol Bible was important to them. So they were willing to take a three-day bus ride and spend several weeks away from home to attend the Tabernacle and Temples of the Old Testament workshop in Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico.


Translators Hilario, Venancio, and Román

When they arrived at the linguistics and translation training center, Román and Venancio were joined by two instructors and twelve mother tongue translators from six other language groups. For the first time, they met men and women just like them—Bible translators for their own people.

The workshop focused on the Old Testament chapters describing the tabernacle and the temples of Solomon and Ezekiel (in Exodus, 1 Kings, 2 Chronicles, and Ezekiel). Each day Román and Venancio took turns telling the group how they had translated the various passages. In addition, they each had to prepare and present a devotional that focused on the symbolism of an element of the tabernacle and temple. Venancio gave his devotional on the symbolism of the horns of the altar. And Román told about the meaning of the veil, with its guarding cherubim that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. He used New Testament Scriptures to show how it represents that Christ has opened access to God for us. All these experiences helped the men practice explaining and applying Scripture, something they would use at their home church and weekly Bible studies when they returned to their people.

Román explaining Ezekiel’s temple

Román explaining Ezekiel’s temple

Before they left for home, Venancio also experienced God’s provision through a tough situation. While returning from a weekend market on a local bus, his wallet was stolen. It contained two weeks’ worth of salary and his identification card.

When Chucho, Venancio’s roommate at the workshop, learned what had happened, he asked the others to come to the auditorium with an offering for Venancio at 5 p.m. He placed an empty milk carton on the front table. Sure enough, at 5 p.m., the other translators filed in and dropped their offering into the milk carton.

Chucho presented the offering to Venancio the next morning. The translators had given sacrificially—far more than he had lost! On the last day of the workshop Venancio shyly spoke his thanks. Haltingly and emotionally he told the group that when he discovered that his wallet was missing, he felt that “he had lost his life,” but their love and concern had given it back to him.

Venancio and Román returned to their village full of stories and new knowledge, ready and dedicated to continuing their precious work!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: