February 27, 2010

Earthquakes and Ideas

Another earthquake today, this time an 8.8 in Chile.

I've been in three earthquakes in my life. I'm still here. I'm assuming for a reason. Why not go? If I'm supposed to die in an earthquake, I will. If not, I won't. God knows what He is doing with me.

So while at the gym this morning beating this almost middle-aged body into submission, all I could think of was what I read the other day on this missionary family's website. There is a family from Oregon with seven children living north of Bariloche (northern Patagonia) maybe two hours. They are planting self-propagating churches in the native Mapuche communities. They wrote on their blog that there are 11 communities out of 40 or so that already have churches. What struck me most is this: most of the leaders of the indigenous churches CAN NOT READ.

So... how can they know how to follow God if they can not read His Word??

Is anyone teaching them to read? My guess is not. And certainly not for free. Why couldn't we teach them to read?

I mentioned it to Tony. He said he was thinking the same thing. (Big smile :))

I just love that God taught me Spanish... 20 years ago now. Hubs is a native speaker. Why couldn't we just go and teach them to READ? All Mapuche speak Spanish, but many can not read it.

I taught my kids how to read. I didn't find it to be rocket science. As a matter of fact, most people would be shocked to find out how very little I did to get my kids to read. Yes, it's true, I did almost nothing. I admit it to all you homeschoolers with your pre-packaged curricula. I confess it to all you public and private schoolers who believe it takes years of professional instruction. It's true, I did very little. It was extremely painless. I gave my kids a couple of books. I took them to the library. I encouraged them to "read" (ie, look at) the books that interested them, answered their questions about how to say this or how to pronounce that, I read to them a LOT.... I don't know... I really didn't do that much. I just winged it. I truly believe all people are smart in their own way - if you take the time to get to know them and find the key to unlock them then - whamo!

How hard could it be to teach someone to read in Spanish? I don't think that hard. I taught some English-speaking teens and pre-teens to read Spanish. It wasn't hard. Spanish is easy. Infinitely easier than English with its "more exceptions than rules".

I can totally see my husband teaching an illiterate leader of a church to read. He could then read his Bible. Then he could teach his congregation to read... they could teach their kids....

Just another idea.

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