Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jamaica A/G Bible College party!

Saturday was a fun day! Of course anytime we have the students at the house it is gonna be a great day! What is so wonderful is that we don't have to entertain them, they entertain us!

I thought that the students would like to play SPOONS, that they did. Then they taught me DONKEY, the Jamaican form of Spoons, then Cherley taught us how to play the Haitian version, CAO! Oh brother, what a great time!

When you play Donkey the person that arrives at having all the letters becomes a donkey whether he wants to or not! They get him on the ground, ride him around the room and nearly cause chaos wherever they ride! This is Robbie who fortunately for me was the donkey. Being a new learner to the game I was very close! I didn't know what was coming! Thank you Robbie for rescuing me!

Some games are naturally calmer like badminton, dominoes,piano, and tv! Maybe I should have stuck with those!

Jamaicans love their football. So a sweaty game was played in the heat of the day! Thank God we have had some rain so showers could be taken!

Graduation will take place on May 15, the semester is quickly coming to an end. It is so important, I feel, to get the students out of the college and run off some stress! I think that Saturday was therapy!

It is an honor for us to have the students in our home. Some are not able to attend as they go home on the weekends and have certain commitments but we fed 30 people and a very special treat was to have birthday cake for Jerome whose birthday was yesterday. Before we had the cake, everyone went around the circle and told Jerome what he means to them. I will miss our special musician as Jerome graduates in a couple of weeks.

It was a great day, a special memory, a treat for Renee, a blessing to the students, one more event to put in our memory banks, a Happening!

Our Jamaican "boys"!

Our Jamaican "girls"!

Our beautiful group!

These students are why we are here. Every decision we make, it is for them. We want to pour into their lives in the classroom, playing games, out and about, in prayer, and consecration to the one who has called all of us to build His kingdom.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A wa yu a say?

When we announced our move to Jamaica, many people said to us, I didn't know Jamaica spoke Spanish. Well, they don't, but because our missions career has always been in Spanish countries, people were surprised that we chose an English speaking country. Well, shall I say, English is the "official" language of Jamaica but it is definitely not the "heart" language.

In the Bible College the students are required to speak English, but when they are at my house playing Wii, it is definitely not English I hear! When we do business in a government building, it is English we hear. The minute we hit the street, it is definitely not English. What is this language I hear all around me and where in the world is a Bible in that language so I can learn.

When we learned Spanish in the language school in Costa Rica, listening to music and reading the Bible out loud were some of the easiest ways for me to learn the language.

Jamaicans speak what some linguists term as Jamaican Creole. Others call it AfroJamaican English while still others just simply call it Patois.

Patois has simplified standard English by disposing irregular past tenses and participles, irregular plurals of nouns, case variations in pronouns and the myriad irregularities of the verb "to be" and much more!

Some homes only speak Patois , so when the children go to school (where they officially are to teach in English) the students have trouble with standard English. I can see why. It is really different until you capture both languages. I am sure that some of our students have trouble with our standard English in the classroom. Maybe that is why some of their tests reflect trouble with a capital T!

In reality, Patois represents one spectrum of society here in Jamaica. Standard English represents the other spectrum, the majority of Jamaicans find themselves somewhere in the middle of those two.

Here we go, are you ready to learn Patois?

1. Terminal consonants such as T, D, P are usually omitted. For example, want is waan, spend is spen, crisp is cris.

2. Consonants are reversed. Film would be flim, ask is aks, shortage is shotrage.

3. New consonants are added. Fishnin, ongle is only, liar is liard.

4. B can take the place of V. Vex is bex, bikl is vittles, shoob is shove.

5. DL is replaced by GL. saddle is sagl, middle is migl.

6. DR can be replaced by J. drum is jum. jugs is dregs, junk is drunk.

7. J is replaced by D. just is dus.

8. Initial H is often dropped like have is av, or the H can be added to words like egg is hegg, heat is eat, woman turns into ooman or hooman.

9. Terminal sounds like OWN or OUND may be replaced by UNG. Ground is grung. down is dung. town is tung.

10. An R in the middle of a word can be omitted before a consonant. burn turns to bun, turn, tun, bird, bood, work is woot.

11. This is the only one that makes sense to this New Englander...an R at the end of a word is omitted like, docta, sista, slippa.

12. There are no TH sounds in Patois. three becomes tree, through becomes true. thick is tick, thousand is tousand.

13. And this one is our favorite, TTL in the middle of a word becomes K. Little is likl, bottle is bokl, title is tikl.

14. Nouns plural are implied. One foot two foot, one man nuf man, one teet six teet (teeth) one iez two iez (ears)

Enough! Well here are some phrases.

Yu see dem pickny? Do you see the children?

Fi wa? What for?

A wa dat good fa? What is that good for?

Fran ya to deh. From here to there.

Gi I some, noh? Won't you give me some?

Mek shi gwaan. Make her go on!

Renee is doing real well with Patois. Her teachers use Patois even to teach and sometimes it is so confusing to me but she has caught on real quick. Of course making fun of the white girl is typical so she is shy about using it!

One of the Bible College students gave me Psalm 23 Patois style:

The Lord ah mi one boss, and mi nuh fi want nutt’n
Ah Him ah prevent mi from tell off people everyday
Ah Him ah gimme peace, when so-so madness a gwan roun’ mi
Ah Him ah remind mi fi pray and fi do everyting widout complain, murmur or kiss mi teef
Ah him ah remind mi dat ah Him, noh mu job, ah mi source, although lickle more pay woulda nice.
Him ah stap mi from mad a daytime, an ah guide mi decision dem, so mi can honor Him anna hev’ryting
Ah Him ah prevent mi from shootup di whole place, an tun all misupervisor dem inna some duppy so mi no haffi go ah prison, an live mongst ah bag ah battyman or get heng.
Even though mi get one whole heap of e-mail, fool fool deadline fi work wid, have some co-worker dem whey a chat mi behind mi back, some big heediat fi supervisor, an ah old body day kyaan’ mek it a morning time, mi nah give up because Him deh wid mi!
Him presence, Him peace, an Him power ah go si mi through…..

Well I go in search of a Patois Bible and Rosetta Stone..I wonder if I can have any success! Anybody want to come and translate Patois into written form? Wouldn't it be incredible to have Patois Bibles to take to communities! I think I have a new prayer...Lord give someone the inspiration to complete the task!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter from Jamaica....

We are into my most favorite season. My mind is thinking of crocuses and daffodils, (my favorites) coming up in my Springfield house. Well it is not my house anymore, but the vision of it is still in my mind. The snow is past, the sun is getting hotter in the daytime, the tulips breaking through the hard ground and the glory of the resurrection is evident. I have so many wonderful memories of the homes we have owned because I always plant the same things!

On Sunday I will be envisioning Oak Grove Assembly hosting the Easter Sunrise service in the stadium. The trumpet trio waking the sun up as the stadium is filling with people from different denominations, the organ playing "He Lives," the excitement that everything shouts EASTER! The breakfast buffet at the Tower Club, new outfits, Easter baskets and the most wonderful message of the year....Jesus is risen!

Here in Jamaica there is no outward evidence of the Easter season. There will be no drastic climate change or chocolate Easter bunnies, typical (to me) Easter flowers and blooms, white eggs to boil and color, country hams, Easter egg hunts or musicals. There is no snow to be gone or cold, chilly, rains that turn into warm spring rains. There are no restaurants clamoring for your business or sunrise services.

As a matter of fact, last week there was no mention of Palm Sunday in the church we attended. There were no children running down the aisle, waving palms to the choir singing Hosanna! The pastor spoke of Mary and the Christmas story!

All is different when living in another country. Everything is an adjustment, especially for holidays...small sacrifice though when you are right where God wants you!

In Jamaica, churches traditionally have a Good Friday service in the morning and on Easter the churches are full. And that wonderful message is shared again...Jesus is risen!

There are food traditions of course, like bammy (a cassava fried biscuit type thing) and fish, chicken and rice and peas. But something I have seen in plenty this week is Easter bun! It is yummy! Many eat it with cheese.

Easter Bun

1 can evaporated milk
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pound all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon browning (liquid)
1/2 cup mixed fruits

1.Combine milk and sugar over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in eggs and butter to the heated milk.
2.Combine all dry ingredients. Slowly add both mixtures and mix well.
3.Pour batter into a lined bread tin and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
4.Decrease the temp to 325 degrees and bake 30 more minutes until skewer comes out clean.
5.Cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
6. Slice and put a piece of cheese in between 2 slices!

Easter is my favorite time of year! In 1948 my daddy was saved on Easter when he was 12 years old. I often ponder if he hadn't been sensitive to God's call on that Easter day, what would my life look like today. I have a feeling it would have turned out radically different. Did the pastor know that Jimmy was going to give his heart to the Lord that day? Did the pastor know Jimmy was going to have 5 children and besides those children influence hundreds of other children through teaching and ministering in churches? Did the pastor know that Easter day in 1948 that because of Jimmy's dedication to Christ, the risen Savior, that hundreds of little girls lives would be changed through Missionettes? Did the pastor know that Bible college students in Spain and Jamacia would be influenced and people's lives be changed by the gospel?

Of course the answer to those questions is No! You just never know about the crowd that comes to church on Easter! From the smallest child to the oldest guest....God is working and prompting and saving and the ripple effect is great! Oh I love Easter!

Thanks Daddy for giving your heart to the Lord that Easter day in 1948 and raising me like you did...I am so grateful! So am I missing my son, family traditions, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and American Church...you bet! Am I missing the message of Easter...no way! I will be hearing it one more time and being grateful that we have a story to tell to the nations.

Happy Easter!