The Language Barrier

Visiting a foreign country is exciting but also a little stressful. Learning the culture, breaking through the language barrier, exchanging currency…its always helpful to have a guide. Having someone from that area that knows the best places to go and how to communicate with the locals is invaluable!

When I visited Sosua in the Dominican Republic with a missions team, part of our experience was to go from home to home, knocking on the doorway and offering the family a small bag of rice and a little bottle of cooking oil. Then we would ask if we could pray with them and what their needs were as we prayed. As we walked into the first home, our translator touched my arm and you said, ‘You’re up’! My heart wanted to connect with this family but without the help of someone who knew their language…it would have been almost impossible. Thankfully, we had a translator with us! Renni helped us tell our story and he helped us understand theirs.

Almost every day we have the opportunity to connect with people. Some days we may feel successful at connecting and other days we may feel like we’ve failed. Oh we may live in the same zip code, but there is a different culture around us and at times even a bit of a language barrier. Do you know what translates the same in every language? Love. The love of God exhibited through His people can shatter every barrier and our most excellent Interpreter, the Holy Spirit can help us know the heart of God for every person if we will listen. Jesus said, in John 16:13 (CEV), “The Spirit shows what is true and will come and guide you into the full truth. The Spirit doesn’t speak on his own. He will tell you only what he has heard from me, and he will let you know what is going to happen.”

He is the best tour guide as well. Because remember we are in this world but not of it! Don’t leave home without the Holy Spirit as our guide!

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