Let me set the scene…. This afternoon I continued teaching the wordless book to the teens with Tatienne interpreting. Arriving at Pastor D’s house, we all assembled downstairs. With 18 teens sitting in a semi circle, I began teaching in English, pausing after each thought for Tatienne to interpret. So far this sounds like it would be safe. I wasn’t planning on spreading any language learning cheer, since I was teaching in English. Wrong. As I began to teach them The Gospel in Motion, I made the sign language letter ‘a’ with my hand while saying, “admit you have sinned.” I was met with horrified looks then everyone (including Tatienne) almost died laughing. Through the laughter (my hand had stopped on the ‘a’ trying to figure out what I had done to cause such a reaction) Tatienne said, “Stop! Stop! That is swearing!” My eyes widened with horror, hand dropping quickly to my side. Trying to regain control of my students I tried to explain amidst the laughter that it was a letter of the alphabet in American Sign Language. Needless to say, I didn’t use the letters ABC when demonstrating in English. We decided it would be best if I used the sign for the letter ‘m’ for all three since all three (admit, believe and call) begin with ‘m’ in Malagasy. I spread plenty of cheer when I use Malagasy, but this has to be the first time I have spread cheer while using my own native language. Thank goodness no one takes anything I say or do too seriously at this point. J
Aoka ny foko sy ny fonao
Hiara-mitempo tena iray….
The words, sung to the tune of Blessed Assurance say, let my heart and Your heart beat truly at one. As this has become my prayer each day, I see God’s heart beat all around me.
Laughing and chattering, groups of children in tattered clothing played below. From my vantage point on the roof of a neighboring building, I watched the children in the school court yard. Ropes were being swung as the girls gathered in groups to jump rope. Boys wrestled each other to the ground. Some raced around while others stood in circles talking. ‘Did any of them know of my Savior?’ I wondered. Would they ever get to hear? Where were the people God had called to reach these precious little ones? Maybe they themselves hadn’t heard yet….
Two boys probably 8 and 10 slid in next to me on the taxi. Pressed up against me they wordlessly rode along holding tattered backpacks with broken zippers. I felt my heart breaking in two as I looked into their faces. My smile faded as it went unreturned, met with two sets of serious dark eyes. What did God have in mind for them when he created these beautiful little boys? Did they know that they were loved and infinitely special to God the Creator? Did they know that Jesus left the splendor of Heaven to become one of them? Did they know He sacrificed His life to purchase them? Would they ever get to hear?
These experiences have become daily occurrences that I gladly welcome as, caught up in language learning, I do not want to loose sight of God’s heart for the Malagasy children.