Viola, (pronounced vwa-la) became one of my all time favorite words last week. Webster’s online dictionary defines it as expressing satisfaction, calling attention to, or the presentation of something as if it appeared by magic. Like we took some graham crackers, marsh mallows and chocolate and viola! we got smores.
The French speaking people of Burkina Faso use this word liberally in conversation. There may be an English equivalent but I don’t know what it is. Plus, it is just a fun word to say. You can draw out the second syllable, put your hands out and smile. They will do the same back to you. Its fun and its hard to not smile when you say it. The word has incredible resiliency also. They don’t get tired of hearing it and I didn’t get tired of saying it.
The best way to experience the word viola is to take a trip to Burkina Faso West Africa. You can fly into the capital city of Ouagadougou (Wa-ga-doo-goo) and visit the Shumaker Family. (www.theharvest.net
) Keith and Rebecca and their four children serve as church planting missionaries in the city and in the neighboring villages. It is common for Keith to translate for English speakers, then a second translation happen into a tribal language. My wife and I and another of our board members, David Lundy, and his wife Anne spent last week there with the Shumakers.
Here is how it works. Get a passport, call the travel agent, help them find Burkina Faso on the map, pay the money and viola, you will have a mission experience that will change your life.