Teaching reading to adults: Workshop April 23, 25, 27, 2013

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LEI_Logo.jpgTulsa is famous for some high-profile evangelists, but you may not know about a low-key missions organization with a global reach based right across the street from the River West Festival Park. This week, they're offering training to help you love and serve your neighbors who can't read.

Literacy and Evangelism International was founded in 1967 to help "people connect better with their world and with God's Word." LEI teaches reading and writing in the person's mother tongue, teaches English as a second language, helps churches and other missions organizations with literacy materials and training for literacy teachers, develops literacy teaching materials, based on Bible content in multiple languages, and sends missionaries out worldwide to teach people to read so that they can encounter God's Word first-hand and also be empowered to participate fully in their own society and economy.

People from all over the world come to Tulsa each year for training in beginning literacy ministries in their own countries. LEI also trains leaders in the process of building a reading primer for a language. (See the video below.)

This week, LEI is offering a ten-hour Tutor Training Workshop on Tuesday evening (3 hrs), Thursday evening (3 hrs), and Saturday morning (4 hrs). The cost is $23 to cover the cost of materials. To participate, you must register in advance by calling Bob Biederman at 918-585-3826.

LEI estimates that 50,000 adults in the city of Tulsa are illiterate, 60% of all prisoners in the United States are illiterate, and 20% of American adults are functionally illiterate.

And while 90% of the world's population has the entire Bible in their mother tongue, 95% have the entire New Testament, and 98% have some portion of scripture, 45-55% of the world's population is unable to read God's Word for themselves.

People who cannot read are vulnerable to financial, political, and spiritual oppression by the unscrupulous. It is an act of mercy to teach someone to decode the written word:

Learning to read is a stepping stone in one's life. The ability to read opens doors to knowledge and personal development. As a person learns to read he is able to improve his life. It is like a ladder which takes the individual to higher and higher levels. For example, a new reader can fill out a job application and apply for a better job. The new reader can gain knowledge about better farming methods to increase his harvest. The new reader finds the opportunity for better health as he reads about an immunization program for his children. Literacy opens doors to help both the newly literate and his family to become the most useful citizens possible.

MORE: Here's a video introduction to the work of LEI:

And here's a brief LEI documentary on the process of primer construction:

Many of LEI's leaders maintain blogs. Executive Director Sid Rice has a lovely recent photo of a dish of fried caterpillars from a lunch in Kinshasa, Congo.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on April 22, 2013 9:22 PM.

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