I recently emailed several missionaries about sharing some of their experience on the field. I wrote down several questions for them to answer. The first missionaries to respond were Alain and Katherine Niles. We got to know them during Field Prep Seminar last April and they were a big blessing. They have a great heart for the people and here is what they had to say:
1. In a short paragraph, can you sum up what your ministry is all about:
We are living in Mango, Togo. Our ministry is to empower the Tchokossi people to follow God in all aspects of life. One of our main objectives is to see this Hospital project completed here in our town.
2. What inspired you to be involved in missionary work?
We both grew up on the mission field and have a desire to work with Muslims
3. How has your adaptation to the culture gone?
Still adapting I suppose...The most difficult is knowing we will never really fit in because of our skin color. One other difficulty is the heat...it's a killer
4. And the language, how has that been?
Language is tricky, it is a tonal language which means the change of tone in my voice can change the meaning of the word. Since Katherine is pregnant we have learned to tell people she is expecting, in their language they say "she is holding her stomach" or "she tripped on a rock" or "she is carrying luggage" the list just keeps going...
5. Any good stories from you messing up the language?
Katherine was teaching some students and mispronounced the name of one young man which was suppose to be Koku, instead she said Kodu which means banana. It was fun to see his expression as she continued to call him Banana throughout the whole morning. We just hope he wasn't too insulted.
6. What are the main ministry opportunities you have?
we are simply building relationships and living out our walk with God for others to see.
7. Are there any out of the box ideas you are thinking about doing for ministry?
Going back to taking time to invest in the lives of people. Walking through their difficulties and joys with them.
8. Put a plug in here for recruitment: what opportunities are available on your field?
many opportunities for medical staff to get this hospital going. You don't want us to be involved in the medical work...
Let me know if you would like to hear more from Alain and Katherine's work. I love receiving their update emails. I always think of them as real missionaries with the tough language they have to learn, heat to fight and real pioneer work that they are doing.