So this is pretty cool. There are five vowels in Swahili, just like in English. In fact, they are even the same letters, (a,e,i,o,u) though they are pronounced somewhat differently. They are as follows:

a           • Stressed, Father or odd:  Basi   “only”,   Kitabu  “book”     • Unstressed, between father & up: Kusoma  “to need”

             Similar to bet: Kuleta “to bring”,  Kujenga “to build”, Embe  “mango”

i               eat: vita “war”, rafiki “friend”

o              Between boat & bought : mtoto “child”, ng’ombe “ox”

u              Between too & took: bure “free”, kuruhusu “to permit”

So here are some neat thoughts about this lesson. Maybe these are just examples, but they give hope. Why? Well first of all the word kitabu, “book”. I actually learned this word while I was in Kenya, but the interesting thing is that it was a reminder to me that the word for book in Farsi is “Kitab”. Which I know from my dear friends from Afghanistan who helped me learn just a little bit of their wonderful language. I also saw in another illustration in the opening pages of the matierial the word “chai”, which I also learned while in Kenya, as well as, while I was in Russia and which means the same thing in both languages: Tea!  Yay, I am so grateful that God has given me more than one language from which to draw cognates!!!

The second reason that these examples give hope is because of the way they can be put together. Of course, grammatically they are not going to be correct, but you will see my point in just a minute:

If the Lord “kuruhusu” we “kusoma” “kujenga” a home for a dear lady who has been a “rafiki” to the school in Kenya. Not “basi” so the “mtoto” can take their “kitabu” to school and learn to read and write, but also so that we can “kuleta” them to Christ.

So a praise for tonight is for a larger base of cognates (words that sound similarly in different languages.) And a prayer request is that if it is the Lord’s will that we would be able to build a home for a dear lady who has been a friend to the school in Kenya. Not only so the children can learn to read and write, but also (and more importantly) so that we can bring them to Christ!


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