- Did you know that 70+% of the WORLD either cannot read or prefers to obtain information through oral transmission??? Some people are very literate, but don't choose to read to obtain information. This is even true in the USA. Seventy percent of people are oral learners and don't/can't process information well through written expression. What does this mean for us on the mission field in Peru? Billy and I have really been struggling with the fact that so many people here aren't being exposed to The Word because they can't read the Bible, can't participate in a bible study, aren't literate, or their heart language isn't Spanish - it's one of the MANY forms of Quechua. We are now embarking on a quest to develop a disciple program that is completely oral transmission and discussion. What this also means for us is that WE HAVE TO BECOME SUPER PROFICIENT AT THE LANGUAGE AND TELLING BIBLE STORIES AND TRUTHS IN SPANISH WITHOUT THE HELP OF THE WRITTEN WORD!!! Wow! So this is one of our current projects.
- We visited Pastor Gonzalo's church in Chilca this weekend to watch/visit their youth group. It is a mostly Quechua church in a poorer area of Huancayo. Neither one of us really wanted to go, mostly because we have been to A LOT of sad, poorly done youth groups in the past... you know the ones - bored teens, dead music, silence during discussion time, teen boys who act up and teen girls who spend more time giggling and making fun of people than paying attention. Well, happily, this wasn't one of those!!! There were 30 teens there, all engaged in the activity, all using the bible with incredible proficiency, all begging to interact and be a part of the discussion... how refreshing!!! We knew when we went that they wanted us to maybe be adult sponsors and helpers (they have student leaders), thus we were not really excited. Now we are super excited!!! They invited us to return every Saturday night, and they even invited us to their Youth Dinner next month. Really nice kids! We had a great time.
- We have an empty garage (one car-size) in our house here and we don't intend to buy a car anytime soon, or ever. So God started fussing at me the other day about using the garage space to teach neighborhood kids after school. Still trying to mull it over in our minds, but it looks like we will throw open the garage doors in the afternoons for a couple of hours each day and teach english, tutor, do homework with kids, play games, and read to kids, tell bible stories, do crafts - whoever wants to drop by and hang out and learn. It would just be a matter of getting a few more books, a few games, a couple of tables and some chairs, etc. Nothing extravagant. We're not starting a school or anything, just opening our home (garage) and using the space for His Glory!
- Billy heads to the jungle tomorrow to teach/train people who want to lead bible studies and disciple groups in the Amazon jungle. He will be there for the whole week, returning to Huancayo next Tuesday.
- Our language helper, Milka, is working with us on our language issues. She helps with oral work (telling bible stories, testimony, etc.), with translations of my bible study materials, vocabulary, etc. She is a teacher by trade, so we are happy to have her. She is also going to help us start a bible study/Kid's Club program in the local special needs school.
- We had some donations specifically for the purchase of books, so we were able to buy a case of bibles last week and 200 bible story books. The bible story books are for giving away to children who don't have any or who want to know more.
So, all in all, everything is great here and we are too busy to even sit down, really. Thanks be to God!!!