Participating with the People
This week’s story comes from Brian and Rachel Rich who minister in Brazil.
One of the most beneficial things for our culture and language learning is when we can participate with the people in an activity. Recently, some of the villagers finally decided to start building a farinha house, where they can turn their manioc root into farinha (roasted granules). Farinha is a local staple, so they can also sell it.
The structure is basically just a roof to shield them and their equipment from the elements. There will be no walls, so poles will hold up the palm leaf roof. During the process of selecting and cutting poles, I learned about a few trees and what they are good for. I also got to hear and practice various words during construction.
Rachel got to experience going to their garden and pulling up manioc, as well as picking papaya. The people weave baskets out of strips of vine and use a type of tree bark to make a strap, which they usually place on their forehead. Things that are everyday activities for them are gold mines for us to learn the names of objects and their associated actions.
Pray for Brian and Rachel and other missionaries who are studying culture and language. During this time, the missionaries experience everyday life with the people and learn about everything from where they get their food all the way up to their worldview. This formidable step is key to communicating clearly in the heart language of the people.