By Diane Miller
The bag pictured to the left was a part of a dramatized devotional based on the book of Jonah which was presented by a Gandep Bible College student on the final day of module 6 of a Scripture Use course which was taught by Martha Wade and Lindy Pate. What does that have to do with the story of Jonah?
A young child portrayed a modern day Jonah who walked away from God and did his own thing instead of following God’s instructions. Upon entering the classroom this young boy proceeded to fill his bilum (string bag) with items he lifted from each table—a pencil here, an eraser there, a notebook, a ruler… It was not long, however, before the police bagged the thief and he had three dark days and nights in a bag, like Jonah in the dark belly of a big fish, to reconsider his actions. Like Jonah, he repented and decided to follow the Lord’s instructions. As soon as he was released by the police, he began to restore the stolen items to their rightful owners.
This was but one of the student presentations of what they had been learning throughout the week—practice for the time when they will be teaching a similar course in vernacular literacy in their villages and encouraging the use of the Scriptures translated thus far in their languages. Students from eight different language groups were present for the course, and it is our prayer that they will indeed pass on what they have learned. We will be sending out materials they will need for their village courses before the Gandep Bible College graduation on November 30.
Diane assists in producing elementary curriculum and literacy materials.