Monday, July 17, 2017

International Literacy Training Institute - ILTI 2017

This June and July, we hosted our annual International Literacy Training Institute in Tulsa Oklahoma. It's always exciting to see who God brings to the training.  We usually accept over 60 participants knowing that only a fraction will be granted a visa to come to America.  This year, we had 11 people from 6 different countries- USA, Ghana, Malawi, Togo, Nigeria, and Myanmar (formerly Burma).  This ILTI marked the 10th year that Emily and I have taught the course called Leading Teacher Training Workshops.  The goal is to prepare each participant to lead their own local literacy ministry when they go back to their respective countries.  The multiplication factor is huge here.    

You can read Bob Biederman's blog to get the full story of this great training event. Photos are below! 
One of our newest missionaries, Dr. Melina Gallo, teaching the "clap the stress" section of our ESL method. 

Teaching "Literacy Overview" section the first day of the training.

Finishing the course on English Language Ministry

Always sweet times of transcultural worship during chapel

Demonstrating how to teach the reading portion a literacy lesson

Demonstrating how to teach the writing portion a literacy lesson

Claire showing off the ILTI song book
(a collection of songs from different regions of the world that our participants have taught us over the years)

Bro Fred teaching a tongue-twister song (I think)
Ian looks forward to the ILTI each year (he loves the people and the unlimited peppermint candies) 

From the July 14th graduation

From the July 14th graduation

Friday, March 31, 2017

Literacy Olympics in Guatemala

In March, LAMP (our literacy ministry team in Guatemala) hosted its 1st Literacy Olympics to promote the reading of the Bible in Mam (an indigenous langauge of Guatemala). There were four events: Public Bible reading, Bible memory, finding Bible references, and Bible knowledge. The winners of each event from each church met on market day in downtown Comitancillo, when thousands come to the village to buy and sell, to visit and to see what’s going on.

The competition was friendly and there were prizes for everyone. Two of the events were especially interesting. The public reading of Scripture was won by a 70-year-old man who, a year ago, couldn’t read Mam. The Bible memory event was won by a 16 year-old boy who recited over 40 Scripture references memorized from his Mam New Testament. Wycliffe missionaries Wes and Nancy Collins attended and received acknowledgment for their translation of the New Testament in Mam. Karen and Andy Vaters, retired Wycliffe missionaries and the founders of LAMP for Mam literacy, returned to Guatemala for this event. 

 Please pray for the LAMP team (Byron, Maria, Eliceo, Yovany, & Esmeralda) in Guatemala as they dedicate their lives to reaching the Mam people.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ministry Directors Team Meeting

One of the highlights of each year for me is getting to get together with the Ministry Directors Team.  Not only do we connect as colleagues, but as friends and brothers and sisters in Christ.  We just finished our annual week of meetings in Tulsa.  We spent time sharing highlights from 2016, discussing important issues for 2017, and praying and fasting together as a team for God's guidance.  

This year, we were joined by a former LEI board member and Tulsa business owner.  He helped us work through an evaluation of our organization and set goals based on where we want to be in 3 to 5 years.  It was a very valuable exercise and we all felt the excitement and sense of focus that comes from having a unified road map going forward. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Literacy Teacher Training in Arkansas

Over the years, we've conducted dozens of teacher training workshops all over the world.  However, in December, we held a literacy workshop at our home in Arkansas...a first for us.  It was a wonderful experience as we talked and shared meals with the participants before getting into the teaching.  Rosemary hung out with us during much of the training in her high chair.  It turns out the 5 steps of reading can be very entertaining for a 6-month-old.

One of the participants, Donna, is now living in Burkina Faso and doing literacy and ESL ministry.   Burkina Faso has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world and we thank God for positioning Donna there for this strategic work.  If you'd like to help support her work in West Africa– just click here.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Americans in Asia - experiencing how literacy brings the hope of the gospel

Though I've been to Asia many times, this fall was the first for me; I had the great privilege of leading my first short-term team in that part of the world. It was an incredible team and an incredible trip. Part of what made it so special was getting to experience life and ministry together with such an amazing group of spiritual giants.  For several, it was there first time to experience the unique sights, sounds, and smells of the Asian subcontinent.  There are many exciting things to share about how God is transforming lives through His church.  Thankfully, one of the team members owns a video production company and is currently working on putting together several short videos that will help to better tell the story! 

My photos never seem to do it justice.....but I hope it helps paint the picture of the trip.   

The team did incredibly well adjusting to the culture and there was a lot of mutual sharing, encouragement, and teaching going on.  

We got to meet up with one of our workers who was leading a workshop to train new literacy teachers using the Bhojpuri primer.  We also filmed some literacy classes in other parts of the country and recorded testimonies from both the new readers and their teachers.  

We also were able to meet some beautiful children at two orphanages, most of whom were formerly living on the streets and begging for food.  Now, they are living life to the fullest and enjoying the promise of everlasting life in heaven:

We also had the honor of training church leaders and church planters in the areas of Marriage in Ministry, Christian Discipleship, and Leading Teams:

What a great joy to fellowship with local believers and see the same regeneration that comes from the Spirit of God. 

Please pray for many more people to come to know about the power of the gospel.  Will you be a part of the next life-changing trip to see how God is moving in powerful and mind-blowing ways.  Will you share your talents and testimony with the nations of the world?  Get involved with LEI and bring hope to the nations! 


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