Welcome to the forum, Dewayne.
?מתי נשוב לכתוב איש לרעהו
(Then, I remember how much easier it is to type in modern Hebrew!
?מתי נתחיל להתכתב מחדש)
I hope you're doing well.
I didn't realize that we had a semi-similar background. I was introduced to Koine at the age of 17 by my pastor at the Lockwood Christian Church. It's a close sister church (same movement) of the Church of Christ. I went on to Bible college for three years, where I studied Greek and Hebrew, along with general Bible and "Christian living" classes. My favorite classes were the languages by far (I also studied American Sign Language there), but I thoroughly enjoyed my classes in the Acts of the Apostles and the epistles to the Galatians and Philippians. In fact, I took that class in my third year and did all of my memorization work in Greek - since the prof was also my Greek professor!
In the head of the semester, he told us that we could memory work from any version of the Bible we wanted. Most chose the NIV, which was the prevalent version in the college, but I asked if it was OK if I did my memory work from the USB, and he agreed. It was a fun class, no doubt.
It just so happened that Hebrew really took with me, and I pursued it a lot further than I did Greek. I've consumed textbook after textbook in Hebrew, and I started to attend the synagogue back in 2000 to improve my Hebrew - and ended up converting to Judaism by the end of 2003 (to the chagrin of many of my friends, but it was a personal decision and remains so). Anyway, I came to Israel for the first time in 2004 for a 10-day visit, and I returned for another 10 days in 2006 while planning to move here. I've been here since July 2007, and it's going well.
Last year I decided to pick up Greek again. I had basically given it up since I left the Bible college (and my former faith). Only in the last couple of years have I been able to disassociate the study of Greek from the devotional form of learning that I was doing before, so that I have disconnected my emotional attachment to Greek from my past religious affiliation. I can now study Greek for the passion of it and not feel the odd religious feelings that I was having before. So, I'm happy to be back in Greek and eager to get stronger and stronger.
I look forward to your Hebrew letters. It's been a while. It's not my turn to write now, is it? If so, let me know - and you'll have a letter in biblical Hebrew by the end of the week.
Hope you're doing well always.
Jason A. Hare
Tel Aviv, Israel