Equipping Missionaries and Brazilian Indigenous Tribes
For many years individuals and churches in Brazil have been praying for the indigenous tribes of Brazil to know Jesus. In January, another answer to these prayers took place. AEI-Brazil in partnership with LEI and New Tribes Mission missionaries, held a Primer Construction Training for outreach to the indigenous tribes of Brazil. During this workshop we also developed a primer (basic literacy materials) in the Maxakali (pronounced Mashakaly) language.
Pastor Adair and his wife Zilene, New Tribes missionaries, have worked among the Maxakali people for over 20 years. They have helped to plant several churches in the local Maxakali villages on the Maxakali land (similar to our reservations). But the progress is slow. Over 80% of the Maxakali cannot read and write, so reading the Bible is impossible. While many Portuguese materials are available, many of the Maxakali don’t speak Portuguese much less read and write. Zilene trained in linguistics and has been instrumental in preparing the preparatory materials for the Maxakali primer along with Marilton and Isael.
The three week training included 1 week of learning to make a literacy primer, then 2
weeks of doing it. We had 18 people at the training – some not even realizing what they were coming to do! The sovereign will of God at work! The trainees represented 6 of the 228 recognized tribal groups in Brazil. What a blessing to have these committed Brazilians who want to reach out to the indigenous people of Brazil. They are already active in ministry among their respective groups – but now they will have the tool of literacy to add. They can begin using the Portuguese primers right away. However, for the other languages, primers still need to be developed.
The goal is that out of the 18 people, a core group of 3 or 4 will make up the Primer Construction team for Brazil and will assist in making the primers for the other languages.
What a joy to work with our 4 Maxakali language speakers: Isael, Sueli, Marilton, Marquinhos. They worked so hard so that their people can learn to read. Isael and Marilton learned the Maxakali teaching pattern as well and are ready to begin teaching as soon as the books are finalized!
Sueli as she helped with the preparatory materials came to understand what faith in Jesus Christ meant. She gave her life to the Lord!Prayer Points for Brazil Indigenous Project:
- For good editing and accuracy of stories in the Maxakali lessons.
- Teachers to be selected and trained for each village.
- For those who trained with us to put to good use the training they received.
- For resources (funding) for the printing and distribution of the Maxakali Primers.
- For Helsa Almeda for renewed strength after a very hectic few months, going forward with Literacy projects in Brazil.