When we met them 8 months ago, none of them could read...the majority didn't even know the alphabet. They were blind to written words. We agreed to meet twice a week to learn to read & write; a few weeks later they were writing their names for the first time, a few months later, they were reading simplified Bible stories. Then the day finally arrived for 10 new readers to graduate. They were presented with certificates and recognized before their church - a very proud day for everyone. A day to celebrate!
Josefa reads a Bible verse for the congregation for the first time!
Darlila reads in front of the congregation.
Tedd explains how each student is receiving a certificate for completing the literacy course.
Tedd's very close friend, Bernardo, graduates successfully! Once illiterate, and now a reader!
Marina with a guest pastor who preached about coming out of ignorance and learning to read the Bible.
Bernardo plays with Annabelle.
Hiking to Bernardo's house after the ceremony to eat chicken soup (fresh chicken soup, of course)
While it was a joyous day, it was a pass-the-kleenex kind of day too. Tedd & I had finished our work and now the readers and other trained teachers would be responsible for passing the baton. We fell in love with these precious humble people over the last 8 months. They truly are like family to us; we'll never forget them and we're eternally grateful for the experiences we've shared with them and for all they've taught us.