I find myself looking back on the last 2 years and pondering on two thoughts.
The first being, "Look how far we have come in only two years."
The second is, "I could have done so much more."
Both thoughts are good to ponder on, and will help me to move forward in my goal of learning Swahili and building meaningful relationships with Tanzanians.
It is good for me to take time to think upon what I have been doing in order to help me change things and get where I want to be.
So, at this place in my life, I look forward to evaluations.This is a good thing, since we just finished our language/culture evaluations. I also had the privilege of sitting in with our Language Consultant for the evaluations and consultations of our co-workers as well, since I will be tracking with them in their language learning. It was a humbling experience. I was amazed at how far they have come in their language learning and excited about where they are headed. While sitting through these sessions I frequently thought about my own language/culture journey.
God allows us to struggle and for there to be consequences.
I am not going to lie, language learning and gaining insights into a different culture through their eyes and using their language is HARD!!
When we moved here in March 2011, Rob and I were both eager to start working on the language and culture. However, we were clueless on how to get started. We went to a 3 week language school which gave us a boost. Then we started working with the Growing Participator Approach to language learning. In the beginning we were working with our language helper for 25 hours a week, with our 3 kids at home with us. Needless to say there were some distractions. God was gracious to us at the time and allowed us to learn so much. The thing we have struggled with these last two years has been building relationships. I appreciate the perspectives of others as they look into what I have been doing, and help me thing of ways I can have deeper friendships with Tanzanian ladies. I know lots of ladies, but I have really only had a true friendship with 1 lady. She is my language helper now, and she is truly an amazing person. I am thankful that God allowed me to struggle for so long to be able to appreciate the deeper relationship when it happened. I look forward to more relationships like this as my language continues to improve.
We did improve since our last evaluation, which is very good and are well on our way to reaching our goal of Capable-High, so that we can move on from formal language study to other full-time ministry roles. Pray for us as we continue to build deeper relationships, which just takes time. Pray also that our ears will hear and our minds will understand all at the same time!!
I included a picture of evaluations with my co-workers and language helper, and a special set of pictures of Donovan and our dog Chui (Chewy).
|This is Donovan and Chui.|
They are becoming good buds.
Donovan is even sharing some of his pajamas with Chui.
|Just hangin out together!|
|Hey, that tickles.|
|I told you not to do that.|
|You want to play with my car?|
|No, that's mine, but I love you!|