Eweka is a multi-purpose word in Neno and its sister language. Juliana’s dad said that is useful in a wide variety of situations, including the one we found ourselves in Friday evening.
One of the men from the village (let’s call him Andy) had told us to inform him via radio when we were ready to return (not sure if I have already mentioned that the village has a radio to communicate with the city in case of medical emergencies. It is a blessing, and helps in other situations also, such as scheduling rides, doctor’s appointments, or asking base missionaries to send supplies).
Well, we were all ready to leave, and found out that Andy would be coming to Ji-Pa three days ago, on Thursday. Since the Neno normally stay in the city for as little time as possible, just long enough to accomplish whatever is necessary, we expected that he would leave Saturday or Sunday, with us on board.
Friday, we heard through the grapevine that no more passengers would fit in Andy’s vehicle, but that he might have a bit of space if we wanted to send anything along. Since this information did not come directly from him, however, we continued getting ready as if we might leave yesterday. In between their multiple last-minute errands, while I worked on my last-minute to-do list here, Wellington and Juliana went twice to the Neno “home base” here in the city, but no one was there.
At about 8 pm, Andy called Juliana’s dad, to tell him that he was headed back to the village, but with a vehicle packed to capacity (his family of five, and another family of six!). Definitely no room for the five of us. Disappointing, but not the end of the world. Similar situations have happened before, so it was one more chance to practice flexibility and patience. And it was not Andy’s fault, or lack of desire to help. Originally, he had expected another guy from the village to come along on this trip, bringing his vehicle as well, which would have provided enough space for all of us. But that guy changed his mind. That’s just how it goes. Eweka.
So Andy is coming back again, just to pick us up, and we will be returning on Wednesday, paying his gas for the whole trip. With this arrangement, unless some extreme circumstance happens, there should be no further delays.
It seems Juliana was right last week, when she said we should start seriously praying as a team that God would provide us with our own vehicle. It would make it much simpler to plan ahead and schedule trips between our village home and the city. We would also be able to visit other Neno villages, which would open many doors for ministry, once we speak the language.
On the other hand, there are definite advantages of travelling with the Neno, as this provides more opportunities for relationships and spending time together, and helping them out financially with the cost of gas. Plus we avoid the expenses of car insurance and repairs. Will you pray with us about this situation please? Pray for God’s wisdom and direction concerning a vehicle for our team, if and when we truly need it, and also His timing and provision. Thank you!
This post would have ended there, properly and predictably, with a thank you. However, that is such a perfect and irresistible (because it was completely unintentional) setup for one last language tip for today. When someone thanks you in Neno, the correct response is, “Eweka.”