During March we’re focusing on God’s creative solutions. Please click the Prayer tab above to read our strategic prayer request for this month.
By Lindy Pate
It was the end of the day after two weeks of computer training. One of the men stood to speak. Like the other participants, he is competent in the village. He can crack a coconut with two blows. He builds houses from raw materials harvested from the jungle. He can dig up yams with a pointed stick. He knows were the dirt ends and the yam begins only by feel. While I would die of hunger and starvation, he can survive.
His words did not match my esteem of him. “We are nobodies,” he said. “If we went to a business or a bank, they would laugh at us and tell us to go back to the village. But you don’t treat us that way. You believe we can learn. Getting to use computers is something that wouldn’t be possible. Thank you.”
On the first day of the course, this man took the laptop out of the case with trembling hands. I didn’t consider that shakiness to be incompetence. Just the sign of starting something new. After five days, the participants asked to come in on a Saturday and worked without any help! In five days they went from total uncertainty to relative independence.
Sometimes empowering simply involves giving the opportunity and resources and letting people try. Encouragement keeps them going when their hands are trembling.
One of my favorite moments from the course was the mouse games. The fishing game required skill at clicking and dragging the hook up and down. You try to catch the fish and avoid the sharks. The laughter and smiles of the men were contagious. They are great fishermen in real life and they were learning to catch fish on the computer. Teach a man to fish….
Lindy is trained as a Bible translator.