All the participants in the workshop proudly holding our new provisional alphabets
I distinctly remember saying that I was willing to be a Bible translator but I was unwilling to translate the Bible for a tonal language, because that would be just too hard.
But after support raising, French school, culture shock, all with four young children, a tonal language did not seem so bad. Every stage of our missionary journey has seemed impossible, so why not add learning and analyzing a tonal language to the list?
We have sought not to focus on the life task of translating the Bible, but instead have tried to just conquer what is just ahead of us. And, for me, that means it is time to conquer the tonal aspect of this language. I have been pulling my hair out over it for years and I mentioned my frustration to a friend who is a linguistic consultant when she offered to come out and help.
After spending two weeks with her, her assistant, and 7 Bakoum speakers, I am now beginning to see that analyzing tone is doable. My knowledge of how the tone functions in the language and my ability to hear it has improved exponentially.
Another highlight is how well the participants worked together. There was much potential for heated debate, but, by God’s grace they laughed, were kind to us and to one another, and worked really hard. They also bring me gifts like roses, turtles, fruit and plants for my bunny to eat, which is so, so sweet.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: We now have a provisional alphabet! I plan to start teaching it to our village kids this week!
The enthusiasm of the participants was incredible. They were elated to be able to understand their language better and want to start writing with it immediately. One lady who came, whom I had I met in the market about a year ago, said that out of all the ladies that God could have sent me to, God sent me to her. Because of that she can now leave the darkness of illiteracy.
|Hard at work trying to group verbs according to their tonal melodies|
The Kingdom of God is Here
God is a Giver of Knowledge
I think I will take the liberty to add that the same grace that has proved true for me is also available to those who maybe have an inkling to pursue the mission field but are bound by fear or a sense of inadequacy. I encourage you to step out in faith, banking on God’s promise to give you knowledge and understanding when you ask for it. He is able and willing to give you all the grace you will have need of so that “You may abound in every good work” (2 Cor. 9:8).
Thank you to those of you who so faithfully pray for the Lord to work among the Bakoum people.
His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.