It is with much excitement and thankfulness that we share with you the results of our recent language evaluation. Each of us on the team – Benjamin, Missy, Bart and Emily – is officially finished with formal language and culture study!!!! We are praising the Lord for His enabling to get to this point that we have been working towards for so long. Our language/culture consultants confidently agreed that we have all reached the mark where we can communicate at a high enough level in the Amdu language to be able to move on to the next phase of ministry here. In the past we have described the levels with numbers – 9 levels in all. We have now finished 9 out of 9!!
Does that mean we know and understand everything there is to know about the Amdu language and can communicate perfectly without making any mistakes? Not at all!! We will continue learning and honing our skills in this language as long as the Lord has us here. And we might never actually sound like a native Amdu speaker, but perfection was never the goal for which we were aiming. Being able to communicate clearly so that we can accurately translate and share God’s Truth with our Amdu friends is the goal. It’s hard to describe the feeling of being told that we can move out of the official language learning phase. Thank you so much for praying for us during our evaluations.
So, what’s next? A whole lot more work!! On October 2 we began our Amdu literacy school – the first ever in the history of the Amdu people. The first class of fifteen students is learning how to read and write their own language. It is a process that will take at least 4 months. We will meet each weekday morning from 7-9. Starting from the very basics of how to hold a book and a pencil, we will progress through a set of graded primers and readers our team has developed that we will use to teach our Amdu friends to read and write.
As we teach literacy, we will also begin working on translation and writing Bible lessons – with different ones on the team focusing on different aspects of those jobs. Our translation consultants will have us learning translation principles by first working on post-literacy booklets. When those have been checked and approved we will move into translating portions of the Bible for our teaching program. Please keep praying for us!!
Thank you again for being interested in what the Lord is doing here in the Amdu tribe. Your faithful prayers, communication and gifts are an encouragement and blessing to us!