For decades, one country in Asia has been lagging far behind its neighbours in development efforts.
Travel was limited, media censored, and cell phones priced beyond the reach of most people. On our last visit to the country, we felt like we had stepped back in time about 30 years.
Last week, I visited the country again and was amazed at the changes taking place.
Instead of cars from the 70s, I saw many cars from the last two decades. Newspapers are proliferating and cell phones—though still expensive—are much cheaper than before. The price of many commodities is rising sharply.
What is even more exciting is the new openness to the use of the minority languages in primary school classrooms. Imagine what a difference it will make on educational outcomes for children who do not speak the national language. They will actually be able to understand what the teacher is saying!
What do all these changes mean for the minority language communities with whom OneBook is working?
At present it is hard to predict how they will be affected. Will the Scriptures in their own language help them to meet the temptations of the internet and financial pursuits? Will trained national colleagues be drawn away by the offer of better-paying jobs? Or will minority peoples have increased opportunities to openly learn about God and to witness of their faith in Christ?
The people of this emerging society need our prayers!
a Program Manager for OneBook,
on the road in Asia