Here is just a little peek into the life of a missionary in language school…
Just imagine being a two year old in a thirty year old body, and that about sums up how language school feels. You have so many ideas that you want to get across and you just don’t know how to say them, so sometimes you just sit down and cry:) But then eventually you start learning a few words and then those words become sentences. Eventually you graduate from preschool to kindergarten and it is the happiest day of your life because you can carry on a somewhat intelligent conversation with those around you! Language learning is gradual and one big unfortunate difference between you and a two year old is that you still think like a thirty year old. You are proud, you are embarrassed and afraid to mess up. It takes a whole lot of humility and a whole lot of Jesus. I never imagined myself learning any other languages, let alone two. But it is so exciting!
Even today, I had the opportunity to go out for breakfast with some of the dear older ladies from Madiba Bay Baptist Church. And somewhere in the fogginess of my short-circuiting brain, I kept thinking, “I want so badly to understand every last word that these ladies are saying, to laugh with them, cry with them and pray with them, in their own language! That is my motivation. And when that fails (because, honestly, some days it does) I am motivated by the desire to bring glory to our Lord and Creator and make much of his name. Its not my love for a people or a language (although I do love the people and Xhosa is a beautifully complex language) It must be about something so much bigger…my love for God and the intense need to share the Gospel with a people who have never heard. That is what must push me on and be my main motivation.
I am not going to lie, its not easy. But lets take a minute and think about some other things that take a lot of effort: maybe marriage? Raising kids? Are they worth it? Of course! These things take time, patience and lots of hard work, and a deep dedication and desire from the Lord to see them through to the end. When you see a strong marriage, a husband that feels respected and loved and taken care of, that is worth it. When your children come to you and ask you questions about God and how they can know him, that is worth it. And when the Lord allows you to share him with another in their heart language and see the understanding in their eyes, that is worth it!