Day #3: Pray for a Mastery of the Language

Dave read a book a few years back that described the history of missions in Africa. One striking characteristic of the missionary community was that they achieved a mastery over local languages to the point that they were called teachers of the Bakoum language to the Bakoum (for example).This is what we want.We want to be conversant in the language, we want to teach abstract spiritual truths in the language, tell jokes, give a simple gospel presentation to a child, and disciple new believers. We want to know the grammar of the language, the various tonological processes, how to read it, write it, and teach the Bakoum to do the same. Our first year back on the field will be devoted to full-time language acquisition. After that, we will start Bible translation.

Please pray that:
  • The Lord would continue to provide patient, competent, committed, sober language partners (like we were blessed to find our last term).
  • We would master speaking the correct tones.
  • We would retain the vocabulary we memorize (nouns, verbs, idiomatic expressions).
  • We would have the time to devote to further analysis of the language. For Dave this would be tracking participants throughout discourse, understanding the semantics of remote past tense markers and future markers, and a deeper understanding of procedural and expository discourse. For Stacey, this is a tonal analysis of possessive pronouns, tone in non-indicative moods, and tone in subordinate clauses.
  • Pray that we would understand and be understood.

Author: Stacey Hare

Stacey is a servant of Jesus Christ as well as a wife, mom, linguist, and Bible translator among the Kwakum people of Cameroon.