I think I mentioned a while back in a newsletter that we had a few big events coming up, and that we were jittery with anticipation as those momentous days approached. Well, those days have come and gone, and all those things happened. (YAY!) As is often the case though, in the midst of all those happenings, we were too busy/distracted to actually tell anyone about them. (BOO!)
So, in an effort to assuage those feelings of neglect that have undoubtedly welled up in your soul upon being informed that you have been left entirely out of the loop over the last six weeks, here is a brief summary of some of our highlights:
My (Seth’s) mom was able to come into the jungle and live with us for a month. This was kind of a big deal, because she had to travel over 8,000 miles around the world to do it. She expressed her joy of finally seeing all of us by, of course, crying. Because she is a mom.
The rest of us embraced a more appropriate response and smiled and laughed. Because we are not emotional basket-cases.
Mom spent most of her time with us washing our dishes, cleaning our house, and taking care of our kids, so we could get some extra language time in before our six-month language evaluation. We loved it.
She also got to go around the village some and see a bit of Iski daily life. The people loved having her around and made a point of thanking her (over, and over, and over) for sending her kid and grandkids over to live with them. (I’m pretty sure she cried for that part too.)
Mom also got to attend an Iski “bung kai” (community meal), where she was able to eat turtle for the first, and I’m pretty sure the last, time.
After having Mom with us for two and a half weeks, we flew in a language consultant and got our first official evaluation of where we are in our learning of the Iski language. New Tribes uses the following ranking system: BASIC-low/mid/high, PROGRESSING-low/mid/high, CAPABLE-low/mid/high. We are allowed to finish formal culture and language acquisition (CLA) when we reach capable-high ability. Our consultant pegged us both at basic-high. That means, that after 6 months of full-time studying*, we are almost a third of the way through our CLA!
The day after our language evaluation, we all loaded onto a chopper and headed out to our field conference. This was our first time attending this event, and it turned out to be a super encouraging experience! For four days we were surrounded by all of the other New Tribes missionaries in our area, eating together, going through the Word together, praying together, sharing about what God is doing in each of our different locations, and just general visiting. With all of us being scattered throughout so many isolated, remote locations, it’s kind of a special thing to all be able to be in the same place at the same time!
After conference, Mom shipped out back to the U.S., and we crashed for two weeks for a much needed break at one of our mission centers. This Friday we will be heading back into the bush to start plugging away again at the Iski language.
Please continue to pray for our family, our team, and the Iski people, as we all move towards presenting the Gospel in the Iski language for the first time! Our team is shooting for teaching to start in Feb, 2017!
*Full-time for me, at least. Rochelle is so busy with domestic chores that she’s only able to do a fraction of the language time that I am able to do. Somehow though, she was able to get the exact same score as me. Go figure.