“No more reading in English! All is now in Mende and I know that my people can better appreciate the message of the Gospel.”
Before attending a literacy training workshop, lay leader John Lavally found it more comfortable to read Scripture in English to his Mende-speaking congregation. He then preached in Mende. Attending the literacy workshop gave him more confidence in his ability to read from the Mende New Testament. Hearing the service entirely in the Mende language allowed congregants to more deeply engage with God’s Word.
The Mende literacy program actively fulfills the desire of Mende speakers to develop reading and writing skills in their own language. This leads to fuller understanding of the Gospel message. Through the Bible Society of Sierra Leone, teachers are raised up from within the community to lead workshops, seminars, and literacy groups. As individuals learn to read and write Mende, they teach others to do likewise.
Since the program began in 2009, both Christian and Muslim literacy students have been exposed to the truth of God’s Word through their own language. In the coming year 25 new teachers will be trained to facilitate ongoing literacy classes, materials will be printed, and Scripture engagement seminars for pastors and church leaders will be held.
“…my people can better appreciate the message of the Gospel.”