This week has seen us start a new set of lessons in Swahili that have been written specifically for AIM missionaries. The curriculum is in the final stages of ‘tweaking’, proof reading, re-mastering the video sections and editing and we are the guinea pigs that are helping to sort out some of the kinks in the system. The curriculum uses stories from the bible to expose learners to Swahili grammar as well as concepts that are particularly biblical and to look at them from the point of view of an East African. We are exposed to how locals think about God and understand the bible stories as well as gaining the vocabulary to discuss these topics and the technical skills to speak properly. Well that is the aim. So far it has been quite a big step up but we really appreciate the concept, we are just not sure at this point if we will prove to be good students!
Since we commenced our lessons part of what we have done has focussed on being able to pray and sing in Swahili. We think this is a very valuable aspect of our language learning and we are now able to pray a simple prayer in Swahili and we have about half a dozen worship songs that we can sing; though not without reference to the words for some of them. The song that proved to be the most difficult to get our heads around was one that is sung to a tune that we are familiar with but which we struggled to make the words fit the music. We finally worked it out when we decided we needed to sing it really slowly until we were more familiar with how the words fitted the tune. It is great to join our brothers and sisters in church when we sing Swahili songs and for the first time last Sunday with one of the Swahili songs I can say I was really worshiping God!