Any of you who know me know I like languages. I have studied six (including Biblical Greek and Hebrew) and speak three fluently(French, English, and Songhai) and know another African language a bit (Hausa). I get bored and restless in a monolingual environment. A multicultural, multilingual setting seems so much more dynamic and interesting. In the places I've lived in the US, I've unfortunately experienced more of the former than the latter. That is changing, however, and I think it is good for us as Americans, even though it does produce some "growing pains."
Thus it was fascinating last Friday, Aug 31, to participate in our monthly Day of Prayer meetings held in Niamey at Sahel Academy. Not only were we using French and English, the two main languages spoken by SIM people in Niger, but there were also other languages spoken. Two short-term workers from Romania gave their testimonies. One spoke in Swiss German (low German) and was translated into French. He is very gifted in languages and already knows some French and English in addition to German and Romanian. The other spoke in Romanian and was translated likewise into French. By the way, watch out for the Romanians. They are serious about their commitment to God and His work. They may become the next Koreans or Brazilians or Nigerians in the missions movement. Later in the prayer session we watched a DVD in Arabic with French subtitles. So, there were five different languages used in one prayer meeting! How's that for a taste of heaven?
I love being in this kind of work where many languages are used. Let's get used to multilingual environments. They're going to become more and more commonplace.
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