After May day fun of catching up with the Chens and playing with our boys, I headed off to Robeno to visit M. It was my first solo pastoral visit and the second trip in which I left Ethan behind. While I knew I would miss the boys, I was also looking forward to catching up with her and to see how she lived and worked.
She’s involved in a project which brings together villagers from different parts and together they translate a panorama of the bible. Her bit comes in after the oral translation where she will then help these different language groups build a script, akin to alphabets, and thereafter begins the written translation process. It is a gruelling, tedious, mind-breaking & sometimes back-breaking work. The village she is assigned to is 2 days away from the city and to get there, she takes a 10 hour bus ride followed by a
river boat. Once, I texted to ask if she had crossed the river and she replied “crossing!” Amazing that she had reception but that was the last I heard fr her for the next week when she was in the village.
For a young, mid-twenties single girl to be out there using her linguistic genius to serve God in this manner is something I greatly admire and as her pastor & mentor, am very proud of her. The least I could do was to not just support her in prayer, finances & raising awareness, I had to make sure she was being soul-cared.
I almost couldnt make the trip due to some miscomm on her employers’ side so when I finally got there, it was both a joy & a relief. My first Robeno experience began with heavy rain at the airport tarmac & I was glad to hv paid heed to M’s advice to wear rubber shoes & travel light.
At the baggage collection pt, I was wondering how ppl knew which belt contained their bags since there were no screens, when someone yelled through the start of the belt, “GARRRUUDDAA!” then everyone dashed over. Lol. That works too.
The team lives humbly back in the city and generously gave me free shelter and food over the past 4 days.
Check out her cute iron & beading handiwork! Also the raised entrance to our room is to prevent mice fr dashing in.
Robeno hospitality is fab & though I could only utter a few phrases, they were so warm to me. I could see why M didnt hv any major homesickness; she had a second family here.
In just 8 mths, she had also mastered the language & was able to translate almost everything for me. Super awesome.
And here is us doing the only tourist stop of the trip – visiting the Equator! Hahah. As if SG aint hot enough. Honestly felt no difference in heat level.
Also got to eat from a street stall selling beef noodles M loves plus did a spot of shopping for my lil E & that pretty much completed my trip. Since one of my love lang is gifts, I was most happy to ply her roommates and her team of 40 pax with all the chocolate I could carry fr SG. Her roommates accused me of making them fat but we all know food is the international language of love so what more to gain friends but through food 😀
Her roommates also amaze me as they hail fr Brazil & Mexico and they learnt English & the Robeno lang only when they came to this country 2 years ago. No chance to go home, to eat their comfort food but no complains either.
Thats compelling purpose for you – passion for Christ.