Where’s the best place to learn culture and language?
Answer: in a cultural community where that language is spoken. But not all communities (or teachers, or schools…) are equal.
On our trip to Asia in September, we checked out a language school where our people might learn national language and culture. Bill was asked to evaluate the course, and to check out the opportunities in to experience culture–especially deep culture such as local religion–in this ancient city. We spent a few days visiting temples and historical sites, viewing the nightly ceremonies honoring a river goddess, and seeing cremation and idol worship up close.
Yep. This would be quite a place to jump into the deep end of that country’s culture.
Expanding the Reach of the Gospel
Then we spent a few days meeting with learners of a like-minded mission who have over 500 missionaries working among Unreached People Groups in their Asian country. But there are still thousands of unreached groups in that region, waiting for the Gospel.
Bill has been invited to come back in the spring to begin training for their new missionaries in the area of culture and language learning. Bill will also help their language consultants learn to coach their own missionaries to help them reach a higher level of fluency.
We’re amazed and thankful for this huge opportunity!
While in Asia, we were able to worship with some believers in a very anti-Christian country.
A couple weeks ago, Bill spent 5 days at our training center in Missouri (we were trained there in 1978, and taught there in 1979! And that’s where Elisa was born.) In the meetings, Bill and others explored how our missionaries who are trained to do linguistic analysis can help their teammates to learn unknown, unwritten languages.
Why “frozen”? Well… during that week, the temperatures were something like “22 degrees, feels like 17“! Bill had to borrow a “real” jacket from our son-in-law Chris. His San Diego “jacket” (= light hoodie) wasn’t going to be enough. The day after Bill left, it snowed 4″ and got down to minus 1. Yes, that’s right… one degree BELOW ZERO.
When Your World is Shaken
A consultant trip to Asia Pacific had to be postponed because of an earthquake and tsunami that leveled the city where we usually go on our consultant trips. Our hearts were broken for that city, and for our friends and coworkers there as they shifted to disaster relief and had to relocate their own center of operations.
You haven’t heard from us in a while. Our family suffered its own earth-shaking disaster with the tragic death of our other son-in-law Ricky in October. God has been showing his grace, but it’s been hard, both grieving and watching our daughter and grandson grieve even more. We’re doing all we can to provide support to them, and we’re so thankful for the prayers of God’s people.
note: in accordance with our mission’s guidelines we’re being intentionally vague as to country names for reasons of missionary security
Please pray for Bill as he continues to work on the new language/culture learning program that will be used worldwide. The software team should begin working full time on the accompanying app soon.
Pray for his upcoming trip to Asia to train those language learners and consultants mentioned above.
And continue to pray for our family, for healing, strength, and courage.