After breakfast that morning, Katey showed up to give Alessandra her first Lingala lesson. A front room on the house was set aside as a classroom, for when the Carmichael children were in school. It was there that the lessons took place.
“First let’s start with a few expressions of greeting,” Katey said. “Say with me: ‘mbote.’ This means, ‘hello.’”
“Mbote,” Alessandra repeated. “How do you spell that? I can’t picture it in my mind.”
Katey picked up chalk and wrote it on the board. Next, he taught a person how to ask how they are and how to answer the question when asked. He finished by explaining the verb “to be,” pointing out that the pronoun was simply attached to the front of the verb. For homework, Katey asked Alessandra to write out the conjugation ten times as well as the greetings. He said goodbye, leaving Alessandra time to study.
Learning a language is a huge part of becoming an effective missionary. Speaking the language leads to sharing the gospel. Romans 10:15 says, “As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’’ As Alessandra commits to learning a new language, she is preparing herself to understand the people and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus. May we honor those willing to take this difficult step in sharing the truth of Who Jesus is.