Meet our “official” language helpers: Hoax and Margaret.


They are married and have five daughters.

Though we spend time talking with lots of different people in order to learn Pidgin, these two are our official language helpers. We meet with them twice a week for about 3 hours. On Tuesdays we go to their house (leaving our kids with some friends) and on Fridays they come to our house (bringing some of their kids along to play.)
Here we are at their house talking and learning:

And here they are at our house enjoying popcorn and sweet tea while I pepper them with questions:

We spend some of our time together telling stories so that we can hear how they speak and they can correct us as we try to follow their pattern. Other times we ask them specific questions about their language or culture. Sometimes we show them pictures of things we have done here and ask them to tell us about the action or the custom that the picture has captured. They are always excited when we talk well and take pride in our progress.

Today I told Hoax a story about making a snowman and showed him this picture (which he got a kick out of.)

Later he took us on a walk and showed us where his parents hid from the Japanese during WWII.

  1. Andrea

    That’s really exciting that you are already able to tell them stories and put together sentences. We’ll be praying for your minds to be like sponges! Adam said his head hurt for a month when he was in Chile from constantly translating in his mind. We’ll pray you learn to think in their language quickly.
    Have the girls picked up any pidgin? I know they learn so quickly and easily when they are little so I wondered if they were beginning to understand the language from playing with the local kids.

    • Elizabeth

      just wrote a post about that, andrea!
      pidgin is actually a really easy language so we are learning quickly. it is so similar to english that it is easy to learn…that’s why we could progress so quickly! we still have much more to learn though! thanks for praying! i’m also praying we learn it quickly! 😉

  2. Are Hoax and Margaret believers? Is this a friendship of “trading gifts” like your other friendships, where they give you language lessons and you give them something in return?

    • Joseph

      We don’t know enough pidgin to be able to talk about what they might actually believe, but they talk like they are believers.
      Yes, we trade gifts. Mostly food so far, but he gave me an arrow the first time I met him and we charge their cell phones every time they come over.

What do you think?