Volunteering for literacy

In the past couple months I have decided to take on more volunteering projects, working in areas I am especially interested in beyond my two jobs with Wycliffe Bible Translators and with the children’s ministry at church.  Opportunities came to me and I thought, “I would LOVE to do this.  I will do my best to fit it in and see how it goes.”

One place I am helping out occasionally is the Kalamazoo Literacy Council.  This is an organization dedicated to helping adults improve in their reading and writing skills, through one-on-one tutoring.  I have tutored with them in the past, but right now my role is doing assessments.  I meet with someone who has contacted KLC about tutoring help.  I spend a couple hours with them, talking and asking questions and giving them a formal assessment of their literacy skills.  We talk about their education background, their goals and dreams, their current life and schedule.   I determine what level of curriculum they will use and write up a report for the future tutor, providing him/her with all the relevant information they need to provide this student with the best, most personalized level of instruction.

I am regularly amazed at the determination of people who are focused on improving their skills and their life.  I am reminded of the power of literacy and  the doors that it opens.   Then I think of how my whole adult life has been spent encouraging literacy in many forms, especially so people can read the Bible.  The work we do in translation would not have much effect if people cannot read!  I have been involved in literacy with many indigenous people over the years, in Colombia and Panama.  I also have helped many children improve their skills, both in classrooms and in tutoring.  I am thankful to have this chance to be back in the world of literacy.

I have also agreed to work with Wings of God Transition Home, a home dedicated to the successful re-entry of previously incarcerated women into society.  I am working with the executive director and the house manager to develop a resource library for the women to use for Bible and personal study.  We are creating response forms for the women to use, to guide their study and thinking as they read and engage with the material, books and DVDs and audio.  Again I am reminded of the power of literacy, and the power of God’s Word to change hearts and lives.

I am blessed indeed to be able to add ministries to my life.  I pray that I can do excellent and thorough work for these two organizations, leading people forward through personal development and knowledge of God into the richer lives in store for them.

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