I visited my Karen teacher for a lesson today after three months away: my parents arrived in October and then left, right as she was leaving for a trip; we went to teach in a village for November; my parents returned in December, and she was traveling until yesterday.
We are back in the same town for three weeks, and I’m going to soak up the lessons!
I was a little nervous since it had been so long. I have been talking with our neighbors, and studying here and there. Not many days went by without any Karen practice, but some did.
Even so, we’re getting somewhere! I had such a fun day chatting with her. It came semi-easily, and I didn’t leave with a headache. And a guest visiting my teacher overheard our conversation. As I left, she told me was I doing really well, and I was “quite proficient.”
I also had a gift for my teacher–originally a birthday present for her in October, but I never saw her. It became a Christmas present, and perhaps now a new year gift! Either way, I gave her a Karen-English parallel Bible of the New Testament.
She was so excited for it!
She has been telling me how difficult is to read the Karen Bible, which I completely agree with. She had heard there was a parallel version of the New Testament, but didn’t know where to find one. She loved the surprise.
In the vein of language learning, we recently made a decision for Stephen to begin studying Burmese.
I realize this may seem odd, since we aren’t fluent yet. He has a good base in Karen, where he can make people feel loved and build initial relationships.
However, it is taking so long to learn Karen, and we are really wanting to communicate with our neighbors. We can also see so many scenarios where we can really use Burmese, as well, and we feel it’s wise for us to start moving in that direction. For Stephen, he really learns better with repetition and constant use, which is difficult with Karen as we use it more outside of Mae Sot than in it.
Burmese, on the other hand, is quite literally right outside our door, and often inside of it. We think the kids will be a wonderful help and encouragement for him. And afters years of our learning Karen, I think they will be really excited for every effort of Burmese to talk with them.
We decided I would continue Karen until I’m comfortable, and he would start Burmese this month to learn a few basics he can study and memorize while we are in the States.
Stephen was a little nervous, though, with all that is going on and just the overwhelming nature of language. I was praying that his lesson would go well, he would be encouraged, and his teacher would be proactive–which is sometimes difficult to find.
When I texted to ask how the lesson went, I was very excited to get a response of, “It went really good!”
Did anyone see that exclamation point? Coming from Stephen, in a text?!
He said his teacher was really good and had worksheets ready for him. Perfect.
We’re still somehow hopeful, so please keep praying! We’re getting somewhere.