No one would guess that Chris Issca was unable to read for most of his life if they heard him read the Bible today. Last year Chris learned to read Tok Pisin when he attended an adult literacy training conducted by the Baptist Union PNG (BUPNG) in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province.
Chris hails from Markham in Morobe Province. He didn't have any financial support so he was unable to pursue an education. Despite that, he participated in community activities, attended church and was a youth leader. It was through these activities that Chris attended the adult literacy course.
“Mi laik autim tok, tasol mi no save long rit [I wanted to preach, but I didn’t know how to read]”, says Chris.
Chris completed a four-month adult literacy training and graduated with a Level 1 Certificate in December 2022. Chris is now able to sound out letters and read in Tok Pisin.
“Nambawan stori mi ritim em stori bilong Moses. Mi bin amamas na karai nogut tru. Long wanem mi no bin save long rit ikam inap nau [The first story I read was Moses. I was so happy, that I burst out crying. Because I didn’t know how to read until now].
Chris’ story is an inspiration to all that it is never too late to learn.
Nau mi inap long ritim Baibel na autim tok na lidim devotion. Bipo mi no save long rit na mi save struggle stret [Now I’m able to read the Bible and preach and lead devotion. I couldn’t do that before and I used to struggle]”.
Chris is appreciative of the training and thankful to BUPNG and Youth With A Mission (YWAM) for their initial support to enrol him in the course.
He aims to continue to Level 2 so he can learn how to read in English which will provide a pathway for Chris and other people like Chris into meaningful employment, technical trades and study opportunities both in PNG and overseas.
The adult literacy training is recognised by the National Department of Education's informal training sector for individuals unable to attend or complete formal education. The training provides a pathway to pursue formal education and/or employment. BUPNG and other church partners under the Church Partnership Program, are delivering adult literacy trainings with the support of the PNG-Australia Partnerships’ Building Community Engagement in Papua New Guinea (BCEP) program.
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