I’m so excited! No, I haven’t been given permission to return to My Country. But at least I get to go back to other countries in West Africa for a month, leaving in less than a week! I get to spend a week in a big city, getting visas and connecting with other missionaries there that I haven’t seen for a few years. I’m so looking forward to catching up with them! I’ll also meet new missionaries who arrived on the field after my last time there, and then I’ll get to put faces to names.
Then I plan on going on a People Group Assessment (PGA) trip in other countries in West Africa. Our goal? Visiting villages of the N people group and trying to figure out whether they still speak their language or have abandoned it for a trade language.
Why is that important? Well, if they still speak their language, it would be important to send missionaries to work with them so that they can hear the amazing news about what Jesus has done for them. (They won’t be celebrating Easter this year.) And if they don’t still speak their language but only speak a trade language, then the new question will be whether or not it looks like the gospel could reach them through Christians who already speak that language, or whether it would still be important to send in missionaries. I’m so glad that those decisions aren’t ones I need to make; our job is to find the information and pass it along to others.
After the PGA trip, on my way back to the US, I get a multi-day layover in Paris – a few to be a tourist, and a few to attend a linguistics conference about discourse analysis in West African languages. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry. It just means that I get to hang out with, learn from, and interact with other nerds who are interested in the same kinds of things I am for a few days!
As I plan on being gone for a month, I really appreciate your prayers. I’ll be sure to let you know how it went when I get back, though I’ll only be back to this “home” for a week before I’m off on my next adventure that I’ll tell you about later.