- I have learned how to count to from one to ten in both Spanish & Russian (Thank you Larysa - we had so much fun learning Russian!) languages.
- I can write emails to my Spanish & German friends in "broken" words - I always keep a dictionary which I refer to quite frequently. Thanks to the help of native speaking Spanish (Ruth who lives in the Dominican Republic) and German (and Karina who lives in Germany) friends I have had " language lessons via email". Karina and I were able to get together a time or two at Barnes & Noble to read through German books while she was visiting in the USA.
- I can sing Jesus Loves Me in Korean (my dad helped out at a Korean church for several years).
- I can sing Do Lord (Way beyond the Blue) in a Filipino dialect (my dad also went on a missions trip to the Philippines one summer before he was married).
- I have attempted to learn Arabic (I would knit, ride an exercise bike, read, and listen to an Arabic tape all at the same time). I have also attempted to learn German (which I personally think is so much more easier to learn than Arabic).
- I also took a sign language class several years back. I can pretty much understand what is being said, but I'm quite a very, very slow at signing. We had an older man at our church that was deaf and my sister would interpret the messages each Sunday night. He went home to be with the Lord this past February. We will always miss Mr. Fred - he had such a sense of humor! It is wonderful to know that he is now able to hear!
Anyway, I wanted to share with you a website for free language courses to help you get a feel for learning another language. Although you and I may never fully understand the difficulty of learning a new language in a new country and culture trying to relate by taking a small free online language course might give us another view on how to better pray for our missionaries serving around the globe. Trying to learn a language through a small course like this will help you to remember to pray for missionaries that are on the mission field having to learn a entirely new language. It is not easy and sometimes missionaries feel like they want to give up because they are faced with I'll never learn this language - God why did you send me HERE? They know they have followed the Lord's call, but it is hard when you first arrive in a new land with people you can barely communicate with. These missionaries can learn the language and will learn the new language. The result of learning and follow God's call will be wonderful for they will see souls saved - all for the glory of God! Pray for the missionaries you know that are still working on learning a foreign language. Write to them and let them know you are praying for them. It will encourage them very much. Meanwhile, consider trying a foreign language just for fun - you never know when you might bump into an unsaved person at a grocery store that speaks that language!
Here is the website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/
I've been thinking about two certain verses a lot lately and I believe it relates a lot to missions. It is Exodus 4:11-12-
And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
It is a verse that has come to mean so much to me as I seek to be a bolder witness for Christ. I honestly hate to speak in front of people.....I'd rather speak one on one to a person any day, but a group - forget it! After reading that those two verses this week I have decided to make them "my" verses for the next few months. You see with God ALL things are possible. We all were created with a purpose in mind and that purpose was and is to glorify God. Therefore God will teach me, He will lead me along, and He will guide my mouth as I witness to those I come in contact with and lately I've been given a burden to reach a "group of people" in a local nursing home over the next couple months.
Sad to say, but I have always disliked nursing homes - the smell, seeing older people walking around as almost dead skeletons, etc. I couldn't stand it! Seriously, I would feel light headed and my stomach would be queasy. I didn't want to see all the older being so unhappy, suffering, and sitting around waiting to die. I avoided going to nursing homes at all costs, but now several years have passed and God has worked in my heart and has given me a love and burden for the older folks. I now happily schedule piano recitals and craft times at nursing homes. It is so much fun to watch their faces brighten when children enter the building. I thank God for giving me that desire to serve Him and that He gave me "push" out of my comfort zone.
Remember that with God ALL things are possible
- that includes learning a new language and speaking in front of large groups of people!!!