I feel as if God has just handed us a gift, an incredible gift that we in no way could have come up with ourselves.
Just yesterday, we were praying at our staff meeting about needing new places to practice speaking Zulu. Personally, this has been a big hurdle for me. It's completely out of my comfort zone to join complete strangers in conversation (and conversation on a 2 year old's level none the less) in pursuit of language learning. I can break out in a cold sweat knowing that it is my turn to start talking! Previously, the places we would go to practice our Zulu provided more listening opportunities than speaking. In the beginning this is perfect, but now we have some understanding and need to move forward. . . .
Well, today we were out with a Hospice nurse visiting a group of HIV + patients who were gathering for teaching and the distribution of their medication. Doreen was going to be late, but Kyle had gotten permission to go out anyways. We had hopes of being able to just chat! About 9 people showed up and sat waiting for Doreen to arrive. Kyle began chatting with a young man sitting next to us, but I knew that I needed to pick up my chair and move over to the women. I mustered up the courage and sat down behind two ladies in the back. They instantly turned around and smiled. The reminded me that we had met earlier during a house meeting with hospice. What followed was incredible; 45 minutes of basic Zulu conversation with more women joining our group as we laughed and stumbled along! The ladies spoke slowly for me, repeating when necessary and really working to keep their conversation simple. It was just the encouragement that I needed!
When Doreen finally arrived and saw that we were quite comfortable chatting with her patients, she extended the invitation to come every Tuesday! Then another nurse from a different area invited us to come to her teaching time in Wednesdays. They both thought the adult Day Care time would provide a great place to work on basic conversation. We agreed!
Our hearts were so encouraged. Yesterday, we laid the request at God's feet for more practice speaking and didn't even know where to begin looking. God had it already worked out!