Since it’s been a little while since our last update we have quite a few pictures to share in the next couple emails.
NAILING DOWN THE LANGUAGE
A lot of language learning is about spending time with people, using what you can, and doing lots of listening. Bana found a great way to practice her Tagalog has been to walk down to a local salon to sit and talk with the ladies there. The girls have really enjoyed getting to come along while mom practices her Tagalog! (One of the benefits of living here is that having your nails done only costs $3!)
The girls are also thrilled to have some old friends come join them here in the Philippines. Two other families who were in the training with us in Missouri arrived recently and come over to play every now and then. These missionary families have to come as pilots and mechanics to support the work going on in the many remote areas where NTM missionaries are living. We praise the Lord for the way He builds up the body, each part playing an important role to accomplish His will!
Jared recently had the opportunity to take a trip up to the northern part of Luzon to visit several areas, gather information about the needs for teaching and church planting in those areas, and get a sense of the way most Filipinos live.
During the trip he stayed with a family in their home. This is a picture of their host cooking lunch.
Statistics say that over 50% of the population of this country is under the age of 17. Everywhere we went there were lots of kids and I tend to think the statistics are right. Paul (one of my traveling companions) brought along a little Frisbee and the kids warmed up pretty quickly when we started tossing it around with them. Our hosts had three children, this is one of their sons.
I showed him how to use the little digital camera and he seemed to really enjoy walking around and taking pictures of things all around his house. Here are a couple of the shots he took of his friends.
THE TELEPHONE GAME
You can really see the need to learn the heart language of people here. In order to communicate with some of the tribes we visited it look several steps of translation. Here’s the breakdown:
One of the tribes we were trying to communicate with, a group of Agta folks, spoke their heart language and also Ilocano.
Two believers from the Kalanguya tribe who had come with us could also speak Ilocano, Kalanguya, and a bit of Tagalog.
Bob, our guide, spoke Kalanguya, some Tagalog, and English.
In order for Paul or I to ask a question we would speak in English to Bob, Bob could translate that into Kalanguya, and the Kalanguya men could then translate that into Ilocano for the Agta folks. And remember Ilocano is still not their 1st language either!
It’s all a bit like the telephone game and you know what happens with that. Things can get turned around, mixed up, and distorted in all of the translation. Would you really want to share the Gospel that way? The trip was a great reminder of why we are working hard in language study right now and why it will be a priority for us to learn the heart language of the people we will work with in the future. Jesus Christ, the message of the Gospel, and these people are definitely worth the effort to communicate clearly!
Please continue to pray for us to remain diligent and focused on the tasks at hand in language study, getting familiar with the culture, and building relationships with the people around us.
Please also pray for us as a family to continue to grow towards Christ and one another.
More to come!
The Major Family