Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Lamp has been lit.

India has 122 major languages and 1599 other unique languages. Thirty of these major languages has more than 1 million native speakers each. Hindi, the largest has 366 million speakers. That is about the population of the USA and Canada put together. 

Each tribe and people group in South Asia has its own unique language. For the sake of governance, most state (province) also has a provincial language. However, there is a great gulf between the ‘heart language’ and ‘state language.’


The village of PKote spoke only their unique ethnic language. So, they have remained isolated from the rest and did not participate in any progress. They were being left behind. Even the children of this village did not attend the school in the neighboring village. The walk through the forest to the school was not the challenge. But, these children could not understand the state language that was used in the school. Their village spoke only their unique language. And, no one here knew how to read or write any language. They lived a very primitive life in every way.
One day a Compelled missionary was told about this people. So, he decided to visit this village. He could not converse with the people. So, he smiled a lot and drank the water that was offered to him as a sign of welcome. He felt a unique burden for this village. So, he started to pray for them and also kept visiting them regularly. Over time, he began to develop their trust and friendship. Meanwhile, he found someone who spoke both languages.


The missionary one day met with the elders of PKote. He shared his willingness to teach them to read and write in the language of their province. He also explained that he would also train them to count, so that they could sell their produce at a fair rate in the village market. They were excited and agreed.
Soon, every evening the Compelled missionary would go to this village with his paper charts, chalk board, and the Bible. They met under a tree or in someone's hut; and every night he would teach them one alphabet at a time, one number at a time. 

Initially, thirty villagers committed to attend the classes. As others saw the progress in these thirty, more showed interest to join in these literacy classes. A literacy worker, on an average, conducts classes in 2-4 different villages every week.

Today, a large number of villagers at PKote have learnt the state language. They can read, write, and count. The villagers have now started to engage with the government agencies towards progress. Most of the children now to go school. Above all, the witness of the missionary and the Bible stories that he would share has already led 60 people to commit to be disciples of our Lord.

The missionary brother leading the literacy worker in this region sums it well, "The lamp has been lit in this village. The light has entered their minds and spirit."