July 6 1988

Worked with Emile for an hour, progress at this stage is so slow, it can get discouraging very quickly. We still have all sorts of trouble trying to say “hello’’. Going out for a walk into the village is a necessity for language practice but with hundreds of kids following us the thing rapidly turns into some sort of procession. As we get more confident we will need to split up and go out separately at times when we are likely to find folk in the village. For me, the evening is likely to be the best as the men are in the fields all day. The women’s working patterns are not quite so easy to discern.

I went to church alone tonight (the eight o’clock meeting got under way at half past), David is just getting into a routine and we did not want to spoil things by giving him a late night. Half way through I was asked to pray and then a little before the end I was asked to preach. I’ve been told that our home church is an intimidating place to preach in, it can’t be half as bad as preaching in a small wooden building where it is too dark to see the congregation. On top of this preaching in French and having it translated sentence by sentence into Kouya, all at the drop of a hat! This sort of thing really throws you on the Lord, at home I am a confident (perhaps too confident) preacher, here I am right out of my depth, prayer is the only answer. I think that in future I will prepare one or two talks to be used as and when needed. I’m still not sure of the best way to structure things for the Kouya to follow; I want any teaching that I do to prepare people for reading and studying the word for themselves.

It was cold this evening, so much so that I wore long trousers and a sweat shirt, helped to keep the mossies off as well.

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