A PNG man left a book at our house and so yesterday morning Maggie and I gathered up all our kids and went for a walk to his house to return the book. Niki was not home but his brother and sister were. We stayed and talked for a while; us in English and a little bit of pidgin, them in pidgin and a little bit of english. The brother, Nathan, invited me back the next day to “lookim em bildim house bilong em,” (watch him build his house). He told me to bring pen and paper and he would teach me pidgin while he worked on his house.
So this morning I headed out to Nathan’s place and found him and his cousin weaving the walls together. They talked with me, took me into the unfinished house, fed me banana, and were willing to hang out for as long as I wanted. I spent much of the time asking different questions and scribbling furiously in my notebook my head swimming the whole time. Already, I can understand much of their language but speaking it is a whole different matter.
Day after day I will spend visiting with the people in this area and then pouring over my notes at home. Its funny how I feel like I’m learning so much so fast yet I’m only just beginning this long process of learning a second language. For tok pisin, (pidgin english), we should be pretty competent six months from now.
Pray that we would learn quickly, but more importantly, pray that we would be able to build relationships through which to share Christ. Many of our ‘language helpers’ know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, but some do not. Pray that we would not become so focused on needing to get this language that we forget the people we’re learning it from.