Jody and Sarah Fox - this phase of our Journey as IMB missionaries in Niger, West Africa

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Language Learning

Well we have been in Niger for almost 4 weeks now. We appreciate the prayers many of you have sent out for us. We can use all the prayers we can get. We have been in language class for the last 3 weeks. The language we are learning is called Zarma. Out of all the languages here, Zarma is the easiest to learn. We are very grateful for that. Each week Monday through Thursday from 1:00 to 4:00 we are in language class with a teacher. I (Jody) spend my mornings trying to go out and talk with people using the things I have learned from the day before. This proves very interesting, but always very fun. The people I approach usually love trying to talk to me and I appreciate the chance to practice. For the past two Saturdays, Sarah, I and the girls drove out to our village (Boubon) to walk around, explore, and talk to people. We wanted more chances to try to use the Zarma language. We spoke to several people near our house and it seemed to go very well. My ususal approach is to approach someone and greet them, by saying “Mate Ni Go?” (matay knee go). This means “how are you?” I then try to greet them with many other little greetings which seem customary. I finally have a bunch of questions and statements I have either memorized or written down which I attempt to use. Sometimes it goes well, other times they look at me with this puzzled expression on their face. Please pray for us as we continue to study the language. We spend a majority of our time studying the language. This is our main job at the moment and we pray we know enough Zarma to move into our village by November 1st.

As some of you may know, Jordan had a run in with a ceiling fan this past week. She was up on the top bunk of her bunk bed and the ceiling fan whacked her in the head. The result was a little gory, so if you do not like blood you may want to skip down a few sentences J. The fans here are like weapons - 3 pieces of metal flinging themselves around in the area. When Jordan was struck it opened up a gash in her head about an inch long and pretty gaping. It was also really deep and pretty wide. We were in language class when it occurred and the girls were with the babysitter. The babysitter came and got us and we took her immediately to the medical center, where Jordan received 3 stitches in her forehead above her right eye. This is pretty much the first major accident we have had with our girls in 5 years of having kids. In looking at these fans, we are grateful to God that the result was only 3 little stitches. A little lower and Jordan could have easily lost an eye. Our God is good and is always watching over us. We are grateful for His provision and protection.

Please continue to pray for us and the people of Boubon - that God would ready their hearts for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am including at the end of this blog some pictures of our village.

The white domed roofs in the distance of this picture is our house in Boubon. We move their around November 1st.

If you were to walk out of the gate of our compound. This is the first thing you would see. The sticks in the ground are where they bring the cows for market day on Wednesday. Yes, the cows are right out our front gate every Wednesday.

This is a picture of the market in Boubon on Wednesday (Alarba).

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