Sometimes we consider the needs around the world and feel overwhelmed. Maybe we even consider how we can go and make a difference and then doubt that the skills we have would be useful.
Here are the stories of two British teachers who instead of going overseas to be teachers, used their teaching skills to make a difference as literacy specialists.
Barbara tells us:
‘I spent over twenty years as a teacher in London. Later I became an advisory teacher leading in-service courses for teachers. Helping children, young people and adults to develop and enjoy using their literacy skills was one of the best aspects of my different roles.
When, in 2002, I stood in front of 25 educators as a literacy specialist, I had had the year-long Wycliffe training in which Literacy was one of the components. However, in order to facilitate the development of a mother tongue education programme I leaned heavily on the experiences I gained from teaching. I used the skills I developed through teaching to help participants to develop their writing ability in the mother tongue and to write stories that would appeal to new and developing readers. Some of those stories became books now being used in schools.’
In contrast, Liz’s story goes like this:
‘I was a teaching assistant (TA) with primary school children for two years before my husband and I went to work in a project in South West Tanzania as literacy workers. There were many differences between my TA work in Sheffield and literacy work in Tanzania, as you can imagine!
In Tanzania I was primarily focused on a Basic Literacy programme with preschool children. I was mainly involved in preparing resources and training teachers to deliver them, rather than interacting with the children themselves as I had done previously. However, I used many of the same skills; preparing lessons and working out how to use the resources available to engage children with literacy. Most importantly, my aims were ultimately the same and I was excited about enabling children to reach their full potential and all the opportunities being literate would open up for them, not least to be able to read the Word of God.’
Please join us as we pray:
- For God to call many to literacy work, especially those who already have transferable skills.
- For those who are actively considering if God is calling them to work overseas with Wycliffe. Some of those will be attending First Steps events early next year. Pray they will clearly know what God is calling them to.
See where in the world you could go to make a difference as a literacy specialist.