Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea – Catherine Rivard with Tim Scott
“I was standing in my garden when God called me.”
Carson leaned forward on his bench, spreading his hands in excitement. “I was just a subsistence farmer, but when God called me, I immediately dropped my yam seeds in the garden and left my digging stick there. I decided I was going to follow Him.”
Carson couldn’t hide his passion as he described his 10-year ministry in book production and HIV/AIDS and gender violence awareness among the languages in Oro province. The challenges and sacrifices were immense, but he remained undaunted: “I believe literacy is the tool that we need to use in this country. Literacy is the key to opening doors. If I help my people learn to read and write in our own language, then they can make a good transition into English and Tok Pisin and become leaders.”
Taylor and Lydia nodded in agreement; they had just finished leading a literacy workshop attended by people from 14 language groups. “If we want to bring things into the community, literacy is the only way to bring change. That’s why the LLEAD course is important. It provides tools that are all about life, and life begins in the community.”
LLEAD (Leadership, Literacy, Education and Development) is a two-year program created to equip men and women as effective community leaders for literacy-based transformational development and for the establishment of community learning and development centers. This past June, the participants had gathered for the third month-long module of instruction.
“LLEAD provides holistic training. It meets our needs,” Carson explained. “It addresses all aspects of development from the inside out. Development begins in the village and then goes up to the district, province, and nation.”
“Through LLEAD, God has opened a door for me—I haven’t been to other schools. I just use what has been invested in me. But, I keep praying that God will send someone to help me with literacy and development in my community and in my language program.”