Oh the joys of the Christmas season! The streets are full of Christmas cheer and festivities. Shoppers carry their array of gifts, the smell of freshly baked Romanian Cozonacs fill the air. Snowflakes fall creating a sweet winter wonderland with the cool breeze biting your nose. The ice skating rinks are full of joy and laughter. And where am I? In class on an early Monday morning.
Since being in Romania, I have found that being able to communicate with the people you are working with is VITAL! Although my husband and his family speak Romanian fluently, I knew there would come a day where I would be in a situation where I needed to speak for myself. I couldn’t always depend on their language skills, it was time to learn for myself. We looked at the dates that would suit our travelling schedules and I enrolled in a course, ROLANG, this past October.
From day one I came to realise, all that I thought I knew about the language was actually no where near enough. I think it’s fair to say that most people feel like this when they begin language course or even have lived somewhere for many years… but don’t let it discourage you! Overcome one day, one lesson at a time.
The classes were only 2 hours a day and 2 days a week, which worked perfectly with our busy schedule. When the class began we had 8 students that attended the morning class, and slowly people began to drop out. I think this can be a common pressure with learning a language is when you feel like quitting, push harder. It’s important to overcome the mindset of quitting. Although, I never like to quit at something I do, I know that there have been times where I felt like I was not learning anything and I just felt like stopping. Don’t. You can do it! With a little faith, perseverance and the help of the Lord all things are possible.
Gradually, I could understand more and more. Words began to come to come to my memory a lot easier than they did before. I began to understand when dear saints would speak to me in service or when the children would ask questions in Sunday School. The puzzle pieces began to fit together. Finally verbs, adjectives and nouns were easier to recognise in a sentence.
This past Monday, with the help of God, I completed my first level Romanian. Although by no means can I speak fluently or even understand everything, I’m thankful to be able to now understand and communicate better than I did before. While I was studying in Harvest Bible College in 2014, there was one teacher we had for missions class that said the most simple yet helpful piece of advice for all areas of Global and local missions.
“Remember always take time to celebrate the small victories. If that means learning a new word in foreign language, celebrate. If it is making contact with just one person, celebrate… In everything remember to celebrate and give thanks to God.” Missionary Roger Buckland.
So today, I’m taking time to celebrate. I may not be the more eloquent or smartest Romanian speaker, but I’m going to continue to celebrate and give thanks to God for helping me learn some new phrases! Slava lui Dumnezeu!
We’re going to continue moving forward and “trust the process.”
The inspiration of this post came from my husband’s recent blog post, https://navigatemissions.wordpress.com/2016/12/16/tips-on-learning-a-new-language/