Can you tell I am new to the blogging world and don’t get on here much? Also, sometimes I think ‘why would anyone want to read this anyway?’. But I agree that for friends and family and all of you who so faithfully pray for us it is helpful, insightful and nice to know what’s happening in our corner of the world.
I knew I wanted to write something about the challenges of language learning (I know I’ve barely begun!)….and then today it just kind of flowed out of an email I wrote to a dear friend! I will share part of it with you…with a couple things I added. Yes, it may sound a lot like a venting session at first but just stick with me. …
Some of my resources!
“I really want to learn Swahili so that I can communicate well with the locals….but did you know that learning another language takes a lot of time and hard work? Who knew?!
And it’s so embarrassing stumbling through as a grown woman talking like a small child and then people not having a clue what your talking about. Sometimes I find myself saying English words more loudly as if that will get me anywhere? What else can you do when you just don’t have the vocabulary? LARGE, ANIMATED, HAND MOVEMENTS!
And they stare at me and yell out ‘white person’! Yes, we know… I’m white. And the men at the market last week told me I’m hurting my baby because I carry her on my front not my back (the ‘right’ way!). The men!!! Whom I never see carrying children! And when Eden cries….they stare at me like I don’t know what I’m doing because they don’t like babies to cry….at all ever.
Our helper, Josephine, carrying Eden the proper way.
When I want to talk to someone in Swahili I take a good fifteen minutes to simply plan out one sentence. Look it up on my ‘Google Translate’, thank goodness for technology. Check with my neighbor Miriam who speaks English but is Tanzanian. Then try to stumble through my one sentence. Oh, and then they want to start having a conversation! Which I would love but, o right…I can’t understand what your saying.
So, I confess…that sometimes its easier to hang out in my house with my other missionary friends. And with the ministry we’re involved in at HOPAC it would be easy to just avoid interacting locally because at the school there is a strong community that is in English.
But then I remember why I’m here.
Why am I here?
To be just a little light in another dark place, right?
Then I remember why Jesus came….why He went to such great lengths…and put up with so much. He’s God and He humbled himself just to communicate with me His love. With us. With humanity.
Because He loves me. And He did it all so that we would know and understand right?”
“Don’t be selfish; Don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.
You must have the same attitude as Christ Jesus had;
‘Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.” Phil. 2:3-7
“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” Matt. 18:4
Hey…I give you all permission to keep me accountable in my language learning. Just give me grace. 🙂