The Central New Ireland Literacy and Scripture Use Course began on Monday May 3, 2010. The theme of morning devotions was ‘prayer’ and although I led most of the devotions, volunteers took turns doing brief devotions from simple devotional from Andrew Murray’s writings on prayer. It was great to see the rapt interest of all who were present. I loved the four part harmony as we sang during devotions. It was a worshipful time that set the tone as our labors began.
The course was attended by two pastors, elementary school teachers, local bible translators and others interested in developing literacy materials in their languages. About 17-21 people attended altogether and they were a well chosen group. The Nalik group was represented by three to five people, and the Notsi-Mandak by three or four, and the Notsi by ten people–not all were able to stay the whole time. Sometimes, we worked on a transition primer (a tri-lingual language book designed to help adult readers of English or Tok Pisin transfer reading skills back to their mother tongue). The group wrote traditional stories, began learning how to author a personal devotional book, translated HIV-AIDS, marijuana, and leprosy booklets as well as wrote model letters, and prayers. It was hard work for all of us to stay focused in the tropical heat as the day wore on. We were grateful to have generated electricity for ceiling fans and re-charging computers. In the evenings Kevin showed the video “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston and HIV-AIDS Awareness videos. Everything seems to be going well, until Thursday, when a power surge from the church owned generator blew out a number of adaptors. For the remaining of the time we used our own generator from the village.