We have been back in Romania for almost two weeks as we write this letter (a month before you read this). School has started for Noemi (1st grade) and Joshua (teaching US Government). Stepping off the airplane in Bucharest was rather like diving into a pool on a summer day. We were instantly immersed in Romanian language, and unlike our arrival two and a half years earlier, we had the tools to manage. We were so thankful for our language skills as we dealt with lost luggage (now found), kitchen repairs, and reconnecting with our neighbors. That said, the more we learn, the more we realize we have to learn.
Before our visit to the US Joshua had made remarkable progress in learning Romanian yet fell short of our team’s language requirements. Joshua also felt that something wasn’t clicking in the language process for him. The lessons, homework and practice didn’t produce the progress he wanted. Kara began researching learning disabilities and by God’s grace we found helpful information.
One of our goals for our time in the US this year was to have Joshua evaluated for a condition called Auditory Processing Disorder. It is a learning disability that affects the brain’s ability to decode sounds. So, in a crowded room at a party, a person with APD struggles to pick out the sounds of the person next to them even though they are speaking loudly enough to be heard over the din. Or in a normal conversation using everyday language a person with APD will be decoding the conversation two words slower than it is progressing, and miss the end of the sentence. Some people with APD hear random words in a sentence as nonsense words or mumbles. Approximately 20% of adults have APD and males are two times more likely to be affected.
When the evaluation confirmed that, yes, Joshua did have Auditory Processing Disorder we began looking at solutions. It is not “curable” but we found tutoring with proven results in improving processing. This tutoring was expensive, but once again we saw God’s goodness, this time through His people. Our church in Minnesota covered the entire cost of evaluation and training. We returned to Romania equipped with our two years of language lessons as well as processing tools for APD. We are looking forward to seeing what God will do this term.
- Please pray for Joshua as he strives to meet an ambitious language goal by December.
- Pray also for his continued efforts to encourage young Christians to fulfill their role in the Great Commission. We are certain God has brought us here to do His work and are privileged to be a part of it here in Romania.