However, it is a challenging adventure. Alessandro and Chantal continually have to be willing to step out of their comfort zone, to feel lost, as they do not know how to act in this culture and their language skills are so limited. This language and culture study requires an incredible amount of discipline and perseverance in the face of discouragement.
To learn the language, they are using a method called the ‘Growing Participator Approach’. This programme requires that they have language sessions with a language helper in order to progress well. That is not as easy as it may seem! Now, until the end of the harvest in December/January, the Konyagi are very busy working in their fields. Therefore, it is difficult to find people available to be language helpers. Alessandro has found a man to help him, however it’s more difficult for Chantal since the women are very busy, not only with field work, but with their responsibilities at home. They had found someone to help her part-time.
It is also difficult for them to organise their days since they never know when these language helpers will show up. The only guarantee is they will not show up at the time they said! They either arrive late (sometimes several hours late), or cannot help on the arranged day, or they want to come at another time which does not work for them (for example, they cannot both have their sessions at the same time since someone must care for the children), or they just do not come at all. It is often quite frustrating. Alessandro and Chantal are hopeful that eventually they will find some kind of rhythm for their days, although they know they will have to be very flexible and ready to adapt. That is just one more challenge of life in West Africa.
Please continue to pray for their adjustment to life among the Konyagi, for good relationships with their neighbours, for language learning and for a good balance between family responsibilities and learning the language. Moreover, pray that God continues to prepare the hearts of the Konyagi to receive the message of Jesus Christ.
Pray for their young daughter Jolissa who is experiencing some sickness and that they can get their broken water pump fixed as they rely on it to bring up water from the well.