Simon and Lavonne Challinor are thankful for those who taught them to read as children.
“How many times today have you taken for granted the ability to read?” Simon asks. “Whether it is keeping updated on your computer with online news, analyzing the ingredients on the label of a food item, following road signs in order to arrive at a correct destination, glancing at a magazine, or studying the Bible in your personal devotions, most of us enjoy the ability to read on a daily basis.”
Simon shares a perspective on literacy and the Kuna church. As God is building and strengthening any tribal church, one absolute necessity is the ability to read and study the Scriptures. The Kuna church is eagerly awaiting the finished translation of the Old Testament, which is scheduled to happen sometime in the next year.
In anticipation of this joyous milestone, missionaries have been working for years toward developing a program to teach literacy to the Kuna people. This preparation ministry has most recently taken the form of developing literacy primers, books, flashcards and worksheets.
Recently Simon and Lavonne were privileged to host a team from Deltona, Florida. They were accompanied by NTM missionaries Jerry and Joyce McDaniels, who worked faithfully among the Kuna people of Panama for many years. The visiting team helped sort and organize literacy materials for the 55 churches who will be receiving them in November, following a Kuna pastors conference.
Many Kuna people will have the opportunity to read. And then the soon-to-be-completed Kuna Bible will be available for them to study and digest for themselves.
“We are excited about all the future readers in the Kuna church and the joy that will be theirs as they are able to pick up the written Word of God and read it for themselves,” Simon writes.
He adds, “Next time you enjoy the benefit of reading something, take time to pray for the upcoming literacy program for the Kuna people.”
Pray for Simon and Lavonne Challinor and other missionaries who support and implement the Kuna literacy program. Pray that God will bless this program as well as the translation project to complete the Kuna Old Testament. Pray that His Word will work powerfully to impact both individual lives and the Kuna culture so that hearts and lives will be transformed for His glory.