Learning Romanian has had its exciting moments and its challenges. There are days we feel as though we are making progress, but most of the time we have no idea what someone is trying to say to us while we walk to the grocery store or how to say more than the very basics to someone else! Having only studied the language for a couple of months, about 55 hours of language school, this is normal, but can be discouraging at times.
In our studies we have found that the things Marie picks up on quickly are things I tend to struggle with, and the things I pick up on quickly Marie tends to struggle with. However, there have been a few things that both of us have struggled with. One of those was (and sometimes still is) the -i ending on many Romanian verbs and nouns.
We kept getting corrected for our pronunciation and we would try to copy what we heard, only to be corrected by our teacher. She called it a “soft -i.” To us it seemed to be a “non-existent -i!” We tossed around ideas in our personal study time, until Marie stumbled on trying to whisper the -i ending. It worked! Our teacher liked it! We then realized that it is often, but not always, a voiceless vowel (try whispering the word “ski” and hold out the vowel sound) that we were not used to listening for, noticing, or saying! We then began to train our mouths and ears, and have greatly improved, although there are still plenty of times we trip up over that breath of air! This whispered -i is the only difference between the words, “husband” and “husbands”, between “I work” and “you work”, and many other words.
How many times do we not notice the Spirit of God or other things that God is doing because we aren’t used to paying attention? God is always at work around us, but we are not always so great at noticing the things that only God can do. It takes time, attention, and effort to learn from the Bible what to look and listen for. No matter where we are or what we are doing we can all grow in learning how to listen to God and respond.
We are grateful for God leading us here, and are trying to apply this lesson ourselves to the different people we meet when we walk with the kids around the neighborhood, or visit with our teacher and the school’s secretaries. Pray for us to have eyes to see where God is at work and sensitive hearts to notice and respond to His promptings.
Things are going well, overall, and we are so grateful for your prayers for us as we have been approved for our visas! (Photo on right was taken in the subway train en route to apply for our visas) It was exciting to watch God bring many pieces and people into our lives to make this a reality. Keep praying for us and the relationships we mentioned in our last prayer letter! Be in particular prayer for our childcare situation as the young lady who has been taking care of the kids has had a change of situation and may need to leave in a couple of weeks. Pray for God to bring in the right person to take her place, or for her situation to resolve in a way that would allow her to continue to take care of the kids as we focus on language studies.