Each one teach one

‘The ability to read is the key to the doors of the world, and through them, to a world of understanding, instead of fear, hate and superstition’. – Dr. Frank Laubach


Dr Frank Laubach, along with his wife, Effa, was responsible for helping an estimated 100 million people learn to read in their own language. As the New York Times reported at the time of Frank’s death in 1970, he managed to travel to over 100 countries and develop literacy primers in 300 languages and dialects . . . all in just over three decades.

Laubach was a sociologist who wanted to use his PhD in social work and his theological studies to serve God by helping others discover the words of truth and grace contained in the Bible. But he was also acutely aware that there were barriers to many being able to access those words.

When Frank and Effa first heeded the call to begin mission work on a small island in the Philippines, they did not experience an immediate welcome by the Mindanao people. They came to realise that learning the language and culture of the people were key to earning the trust of the people, so that is exactly what they did. After learning some basic Mindanao, Frank discovered that many of the people on the island were illiterate and facing severe poverty.

In response to this crisis, Frank developed simple literacy materials. After he had taught basic literacy skills to a group of students, he encouraged them to go and share what they had learnt with others. This method of multiplication enabled thousands to gain basic reading skills and Frank and Effa were able to read Bible stories with the people as a way to put their new reading skills into practice.

The ‘Laubach Method’, as it came to be known, became popular throughout the world and Frank worked with governments in America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to implement the system which taught millions of people to read in their own vernacular.



Dr. Frank C. Laubach, Crusader Against Illiteracy, Dead at 85

For the Joy: 21 Australian Missionary Mother Stories on Cross-Cultural Parenting and Life

Edited by Miriam Chan and Sophia Russell

Have you ever wondered what being a mother looks like on the mission field?

Biographies of missionaries tend to focus on stories about the mission work, while the home life of missionary families features only in the background. This is where For the Joy is unique, for it tells stories on cross-cultural parenting and life from the perspective of missionary mums.

Much of the book is relatable to everyday life but many of the stories are quite eye-opening. These mums face a set of challenges specific to cross-cultural ministry, as they ask questions such as: ‘How do you parent in a different culture?’ and ‘How do you help your kids grapple with poverty, injustice, suffering or racism they see all around them?’

Some experiences are quite out of the ordinary, like one mum homeschooling her kids on a bus in Bolivia, or a red-haired mum spending her afternoons hunting crabs and making friends with Indigenous Australian mums.

Other stories are quite confronting and heart-breaking, including one mum’s experience of giving birth in a foreign country, another mum’s recollection of her son being caught in a terrorist attack and a mum who lost her child on the field suddenly and never found out why.

The details of each mother’s story are different, yet they all share a common thread: these women persevere through trials and hardships, not because they are super-women or because they particularly enjoy the challenge, but because they follow Jesus, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross – Hebrews 12: 2 (NIV).  

Read For the Joy and you will be in good company as you strive to do likewise.

Reviewed by Alfinda Herman

Purchase the book here

From Wycliffe Today Mar 2019

Thanks for your patience...

Waiting is hard, isn't it. But imagine waiting 2000 years for Scripture in your language! Thanks for your patience. And thanks for your generous support which will help bring the long wait to an end...