Since we have arrived in Liberia, Trudy has wanted to start a class to help teach people in our branch how to read and write. Illiteracy is a significant issue, particularly for women. A few weeks ago, she was able to hold her first class, with a handful of women attending. Each person received a small study book that has been developed in West Africa, a composition notebook and pen. As Trudy wrote the name of one participant on her book, she exclaimed “That’s my name!” She does not know the alphabet, how to read or write, but she had seen the combination of letters forming her name enough to be able to recognize it. Brings tears to the eyes.
That first class they were introduced to a few new “friends” (letters), learned their names and were able to arrange them to form some simple words. The joy she felt seeing these dear women take the first halting steps into a new world is beyond words. As the word of the class has spread, more and more have wanted to attend and we will likely form a second class to help accommodate this and keep the size small. She has two great local women that are helping which is great, especially for those whose first language is not English.
We are finding ourselves very busy. Monday – Friday finds us in the mission office and then we typically spend most of Saturday and Sunday out in the branch which is 60-90 minutes away, depending on traffic. I try to meet with people and Trudy frequently spends a good deal of time waiting in the heat for me. She has a much harder job than I do. I am grateful for her willingness to endure the wait. This schedule is one of the reasons for our blog not being as frequent as we would like.