Sonya and I are in Palmer Lake, Colorado learning about LAPs.
No – not the lap that suddenly appears when you sit down; the LAPs we are learning about are “Language Acquisition Projects.” That is – projects designed to help a person (all missionaries in this case) learn any given language. So we are not being taught to hear or speak Fulfulde right now (the language of the Fulbe people), but we are being taught how we can learn it when we finally get to Cameroon and Nigeria.
It is a fascinating thing, really. One day with our language helper (learning how to speak Russian!) the “light” suddenly went on for me and I realized – “I am not here to learn Russian [which I was finding pretty hard], but I am ‘catching’ the method of how to learn Fulfulde,” and it was a great moment for me.
Of course, I have been among the Fulbe people before, and I have picked up enough Fulfulde to greet in basic terms, and so on – but learning the language was such a daunting thing for me, I could never figure out how to really ‘get hold’ of it. Now I believe I have been given the tools to do that, and it is very exciting.
I chatted a little bit with my friend Aminu via Facebook yesterday, and told him about what we were doing here. He too got very excited and raced off speaking in Fulfulde, until I had to him remind that, “Wait – I don’t know it yet!” But our Fulbe friends there know how important it is to have the language, and I know they will be great encouragers and helpers in this area.
Of course, we are still a ways away from being there. We invite your partnership with us in this to help us reach our goal – to be prayer-partners with us; to advocate for us (e.g. share our info with other individuals and churches who may also wish to partner with us); and to give towards the ministry. We are so thankful for all of those who have partnered with us thus far. God bless you much!