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by James Shikuku Inyama
Edited by Wendy Bytheway
I am so excited to be going home to Nairobi to see my wife, Catherine, who suffered typhoid and brucella during my two months away. This is the longest we've been apart since we got married.
I've been in Sydney for the Recordists' Training Course (RTC) learning the GRN way of doing things. In the year I worked for GRN before coming to the RTC, I went on one recording trip to Sudan which had to be aborted because of war.
In my previous job I recorded a dramatized version of the gospel into about 12 languages. When I started the RTC, I realised that the GRN process is different from the one I was used to although I did pick things up quickly. It was also helpful that I had been shown some of the equipment in Kenya before I came.
Sessions on research and language I found challenging because they were so long and full of theory; the humidity affected my energy levels and I struggled not to doze off in class!
Working in a different language (Swahili is my first language) was also challenging. Australian English is different to the English I'd learnt at home. When I first arrived in Australia I had to translate everything in my head but now it's easier. People ask if my English has improved but perhaps now I speak two kinds of English!
I enjoyed being in the studios for the practical portion of the RTC. It's been wonderful making friends with the other recordists on the course and receiving their technical support. My favourite memories are of visiting the aquarium with Mark Neasey (who joked he'd feed me to the sharks) and seeing the Opera House; it's so impressive in real life.
Australia and Kenya are similar in some ways and different in others. I have met lots of well-travelled Australians who know very little about Africa. For example, many were surprised to hear that the state doesn't pay anything to unemployed Kenyan people. We are also on different infrastructure levels; our council doesn't collect trash.
My father will be my GRN supervisor when I return home. I don't know exactly what I'll be working on but am excited to get started because the GRN Kenyan office is handling a long list of languages. With my Certificate of Achievement I'll be recording and getting more involved than before. In my previous job I got used to recording so it has been hard not to do any for the last year.
Right now I am stressed about the journey ahead of me and longing to be home. I'm going home with 30kg of excess baggage; all GRN equipment and family presents. It has been hard being away from Catherine. It seems she gets sick every time I go away recording because the devil has been trying to distract me from God's work. We haven't been able to communicate much either. We couldn't Skype and calling was difficult because of the time variation. Phone calls were too expensive. Texting isn't the same as talking face to face. I guess it's been good preparation for when we'll be apart while I'm on recording trips.
But I am going to see her tomorrow! I can't wait to eat home-cooked food.
Please pray with us . . .
- For opportunities for James to put his new skills into practice soon. Pray that he will remember all that he has learned, and that he will produce good quality recordings.
- For financial and prayer supporters to partner with each of the course graduates, so that they can commence their recording work soon.
- For visas for each of the course graduates for the countries that they are planning to work in.
- Our prayer at GRN is for everyone to have the opportuntity to hear the good news of Jesus in their own heart language. We have prayed for years for more workers for the harvest field, and we feel that these graduates are an answer to those prayers. Now please pray with us that nothing will prevent them from producing high priority recordings in many languages in the years to come.