First Three Weeks as a Missionary
Have you ever wondered what it’s like when one first arrives on the mission field? Here is a summary of a recent newsletter from newly appointed missionaries, Nick, Emily, and Tobias Ling:
We have been in the capital, Addis Ababa, for three weeks now. So far, we have thwarted pickpockets, jumped motorway barriers, had good coffee (bhuna), experienced 36-hour power cuts, prepared beef with scissors, crammed into the local transport, and more.
Tobias has adapted better than we could have expected. From day one, he has made friends with the locals and was the reason we met everyone at our apartment complex on our first day.
Our mornings are filled with Amharic language school, while Tobias attends a local day care. The kids are so loving towards him and when we drop him off every morning, he gets kisses and hugs from his new friends. In the afternoons, we are exploring Addis or connecting with our friends, new and old, at the local shops, drinking coffee and practicing our Amharic.
Language learning has been surprisingly fun. Our stereotypical view of a hard slog in the classroom, learning about conjugations, imperatives, and third person present from a textbook have been blown out of the water. Our language school uses the Growing Redemptive Participatory Approach (GRPA), which is based on how a child would learn experientially: through props, listening, and seeing. GRPA was developed by a missionary who was a linguistic researcher. After our first three weeks, or fifty hours, we will have five hundred new words we can recognise and use. Amazing, eh!
One of the connections we re-established was with Yirdan, who was one of the students who went with us to pray and connect with the Lake Tana people in Bahir Dar on our last trip. He was moved to tears when we told him we had sold everything and moved to Ethiopia. He shared that he became convicted and burdened for least-reached people groups after observing how we came all the way from New Zealand to take time to sit, listen, play, and eat with the children and families from Lake Tana, even though they were Muslim and considered inferior, and even though their food made us sick.
Please pray for him as he has finished his Human Nutrition degree and is seeking God for what to do next. His heart is to be in full-time ministry sharing the Gospel, but he also needs a means to live and survive. It is with young men like Yirdan whom we would love to work in the future.