Language, Literacy, Life
Vision: For indigenous people and communities to be empowered through literacy in their own language, enriched through Scripture in the language of their homes, energized by a greater appreciation of their language and culture, and granted the esteem, dignity, and justice they so richly deserve in their nations and abroad.
The introduction of reading and writing into a preliterate culture opens an array of benefits and pleasures for its speakers. Some are internal to the speakers of the language, like exchanging letters (or emails and texts) with a friend. Others bridge between the local language and another language through translation. This may provide vital information, such as laws and legal advice, health advisories and treatment instructions, agricultural information and solutions, and Scripture and related materials in their language. Once empowered by literacy, speakers appreciate their language and culture more. And when the complexities and beauty of the language are revealed through analysis and publication, the language and its speakers are more highly regarded within their nation and beyond.
Ethnic minorities need holistic ministry in its broadest sense: spiritual, emotional, educational, physical, economic, etc. Literacy is the critical catalyst for each facet of this array. For example, translated Scriptures must go hand in hand with efforts to enable readers to comprehend—not just superficially, but profoundly. Unless dedicated facilitators carry on literacy efforts before and beyond its arrival, many will never understand its Life-giving message.
While there are many such needs, there are also trained literacy and translation specialists prepared to address them. Many of these specialists, however, are unable to get adequate funding to do so. Language, Literacy, Life tackles this conundrum.
Language, Literacy, Life-affiliated specialists build relationships with ethnic Christian leaders and share with them the need to promote reading, application, and dissemination of the translated Word of God within their language communities.
Language, Literacy, Life provides financial grants, strategic consulting, coaching, and mentoring to approved projects and to specialists working for the good of indigenous communities.
- Possible grants: literacy events (reading classes, teacher training, materials development and publication); radio programs; workshops (translation, literacy, Scripture promotion, radio program preparation); and further training of specialists
- Mentoring, coaching, and consulting opportunities
- Research on the language and culture and the publication of materials for those who wish to learn about the people and their language.
At the discretion of the Language, Literacy, Life project manager, some undesignated funds are spent for emergencies, unexpected challenges, and unanticipated opportunities. The Language, Literacy, Life website will provide information on new and ongoing projects.
By partnering with nonprofit national and ethnic organizations, Language, Literacy, Life assists leaders in equipping the growing body of Christian believers. Such partnerships have developed in the Huallaga Quechua area and in other parts of Peru. Language, Literacy, Life seeks to foster the extension of such partnerships to other Latin American countries over the next few years.
Language, Literacy, Life was initiated by Diana and David Weber in 2018. This followed their 48 years of service with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL International), funded through Wycliffe Bible Translators. The first three decades of their service centered on Huallaga Quechua in central Peru. Diana focused on literacy and education; David, on linguistics and translation. The Huallaga Quechua Bible (OT and NT) was dedicated in 2011.
Teaching was intertwined throughout their years of service. Sometimes they taught nationals (e.g., rural school teachers) in Spanish; at other times at universities (in Spanish or English) that require professors to have advanced degrees. David finished his PhD in linguistics at UCLA in 1983. Diana finished her PhD in Reading Education at Syracuse University in 2003. Both also served as International Consultants (in their respective fields) for SIL International.
For nearly five decades, David and Diana’s ministries were supported by five churches and many individuals. Some of these churches and individuals are continuing to do so (for which we are very grateful). Now such contributions should be sent to New Horizons Foundation, clearly indicating that they are for Language, Literacy, Life.
And "Who?" in the decades to come? There will surely be needs like those Language, Literacy, Life adresses. As God move the hearts of His people, there will be new projects and new donors to support them. We hope that Language, Literacy, Life will outlive us.
There are significant needs now. There are national and indigenous specialists ready to address them now. These specialists, however, lack the support to do so. If these needs are not addressed, translations will have little or no impact. Given the investment required to translate a text into an indigenous language, the lack of trained specialists to enable the reading of the translation is a serious loss. When that text is Scripture, it is a tragedy.
CHECK THE FOLLOWING SENTENCES. WHERE SHOULD THEY GO?
There is an immediate need for a well-monitored, tax-deductible mechanism for current and future donors who share the vision of Language, Literacy, Life. Becoming an "Operating Project" of New Horizons Foundation will help to meet this need.
Donors can direct their gifts to approved projects, individuals (indigenous, national, or foreigner) or to a general fund. Each supported project receives monitoring, assessment, and evaluation.
DianaD.Weber@gmail.com 315 853-5857 David: email@example.com 315 351-9105