BIMI
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La Santa Biblia and immediately had to begin preparing sermons for four messages a week. He spoke Spanish fairly well, but still had to put a lot of time and effort into sermon preparation. This was only a few months after finishing language school. One Sunday he stood to deliver the sermon to the congregation. His sermon was a well thought out, very well developed, easy three point outline with good illustrations to emphasize his points. The subject matter of the sermon was “Pride.” For 30 minutes he delivered his sermon on “Pride.” He railed on the congregation to search out pride wherever it might be found in our lives. God abhors pride and there is no place for pride in the Christian's life. As I said, it was a challenging message. The problem was that the congregation was not responsive. Actually, they were responding, but not appropriately! Many people were grinning ear to ear. Others were obviously trying not to laugh out loud. Some chose to look down at their feet for the entire sermon, with their shoulders shaking with silent mirth! The youth of the congregation were outright laughing. After the service my husband was disheartened with the spirit of the congregation. He told me he knew he had been led to speak against Pride and did not understand the problem with the people. I had to tell him... for 30 minutes he had orated not against Pride (the Spanish word is Orgullo) but rather against Squirrels! (the Spanish word is Ardilla)! The mental pictures were quite funny! Christians hunting out squirrels and killing them! God hating squirrels! No room for squirrels in the Christian's life! A real riot! The following week my husband did not want to preach!! He was embarrassed about the sermon of the week before; however, being the pastor, he had to swallow his squirrels and preach anyway! Story written by Rita Vernoy Through blunders like these, a missionary is able to learn to communicate the eternal Gospel in the language of the people. It is a message of eternal importance in the hands or tongues of fallible creatures. I believe that because of the importance of the Gospel, God uses the lessons of humility to teach His servants to also speak the language of love. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal (I Corinthians 13:1). Later on in that same chapter Paul states that love is above all the gifts of the Spirit and above all works that we might do for others. When a missionary visits with the neighbor to practice his new language and the preschooler corrects the foreigner's grammar or giggles at his accent and vocabulary, humility is the only reaction if he hopes to retain the chance to witness and share the Gospel of Christ. God wants humble servants who will know that it is Jesus Christ who builds the church and the Holy Spirit who gives the increase. Arrogance or pride will destroy the missionary, so he needs to swallow his squirrels. Pray for your missionaries in Language School (see page 25).