Sat, October 27, 2007
"Simba`an" is the word for church in Palawano and etawa means "or".
Just wanted to send out another letter to keep in touch and let you know how things are going. If I didn't make it clear to you what we do on Sabbath I will right now.We have the main church service from 8:00 to 10:30 AM and there are usually two sermons, but they call them stories here instead of sermons. There is also a children's story. At 10:30 the women and children got to a different benwa, Palawano term for building of any type including homes and school buildings, where they have their bible study. The men stay where the main church is and we read through a chapter of the Bible and discuss it together for about an hour or more. After church we grab lunch and all the adult members go to off site locations to put on services there with singing and stories. The church has around 30 members and the members disperse in the afternoon to 10 or more different locations to put on services. So,needless to say, each member is actively involved in reaching others. I told a story again in the village i went to named Erisurung where my friend Pidli lives, he and his newly adopted pet monkey which is absolutely in love with him. The monkey is pretty fun to play with and watch. I actually told the story in Palawano this time although I had to get help with a couple of words but I made it through pretty much on my own by what I have learned so far.
Let me tell you about language learning here as well. This is how I learn the language here. I go out in the morning to visit people in other villages and I try to communicate with them in any way I can to learn their language. None of them know English so it is quite difficult sometimes. We have a language book that helps a little but not that much. I have actually picked up the language quite well despite the difficulties of not having a translator tell me word equivalents but depending on learning little by little and using what little I know as tools to learn more. A lot of what I learn is through trial and error, having the people correct me,pointing to things, and acting things out. It is challenging sometimes to have to hike in the mud to get to a place where no one speaks English and I am trying to learn their language, or at least it was at the beginning because I am starting to enjoy it now and enjoy the company of the people I am learning with. But at the start it was the love of Christ that compelled me because I didn't really feel like doing it but now I am starting to enjoy it. It is kind of like motion resulting in emotion. For example you just do it first even if you don't like it and next thing you know you feel good about what you are doing. Kind of like our walk with Christ,sometimes we don't want to let go of sin but we do it anyway and somewhere down the road we are really joyful that we did because we know the Lord has something better for us. I still have a lot of learning to do and the church has its struggles so keep praying for me. Please continue praying for my language learning. Pray for one of the more influential people around here named Mami. Pray also for the guidance of Pastor and his wife as they have some important decisions to make and pray for the church members as well. Could you also keep Ering, Rupid, and their families in your prayers because I spend a lot of time with them. Thanks and I will write to you again with new updates the next time I get a chance.