“Communication is the name of the game”, followed by “the Fulani have great confidence in all things medical, from doctors to meds to begging for surgery they don’t need, so tell the students to remember that that trust is a great starting place for them to show God’s love to the patients, if they will follow through with all they say and do” (my paraphrase). That’s what my buddy in Fulani ministry, Jan, told me to get across to the nursing students at our mission hospital when I went to her for advice about teaching them Fulfulde, the Fulani people’s language. Often the Fulani don’t know Sango or French, the common languages spoken here, and they can be absolutely bamfoozled about everything, even where to sit and wait for more instructions. I asked Kim, her hubby, as well, and he talked to me about presenting the cultural differences, the orthography – additional letters in the Fulfulde alphabet, with their challenging pronunciation, and to emphasize the students’ ongoing opportunities to share God’s love in so many ways. It is my joy and blessing to have these friends to work with! It is also a joy and blessing to get to teach a bit of Fulfulde to these students. They each have been given a basic Fulfulde primer as well as a booklet with lots of medical terms, and I’m just giving them a crash pronunciation course, as well as encouraging them to consider their interaction with Fulani patients at the hospital as a ministry, not just as physical nursing care. It was a kick to hear them croaking out their implosive “b’s” and “d’s”. Many seemed very interested, even excited, to try to learn to communicate.
Please pray for these nursing students, that they would make wise decisions about what to communicate and how to live that out.