Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SONS of ANAK: Reflections on Language Learning


One of the reasons I have been so excited to come to a Christian language school, is to be able to learn Bible terms in French. I found when I was in Gabon last March, that was the biggest gap in my French vocab. It took me off guard at first, but it makes sense. They're not exactly teaching Bible terms in your high school French class these days =) 

So every Friday we have a Bible vocab session in class, we started in Genesis and have been working our way through. Recently we talked through the story of Joshua and Caleb, when they were sent out as part of the 12 spies of Israel scouting out the land of Canaan in Numbers 13.
Ten of the twelve spies came back and said that the enemy was too strong and their warriors too big, the "sons of Anak" were there. There were giants in front of them. 
Only Joshua and Caleb returned with the assurance of victory.

It struck me that Joshua and Caleb didn't just ignore the difficulties, the stature,  the strength of their enemy, but they acknowledged the obvious adversity and still took a stand to say, "my God is bigger. My God is stronger. With our God we will have victory."
The land God had promised them, a land flowing with milk and honey was at stake.
God had been faithful before, He would be faithful again.

It is easy to see language learning as "a son of Anak," as a giant in front of you. This "giant" stands between you and the mission field God has called you to, between you and the land of milk and honey. After-all, this land that God gave the Israelites would distinguish who they were in the generations to come as God's people, to declare to the nations who this God is, whom they serve and follow.
 We are going to a "land" God has prepared for us, to declare to the people surrounding who He is, who this God is that we serve and follow, and for whom we would leave home and family and near-fiances.

Our God is stronger! Our God is stronger than my French, stronger than my ear's inability to hear differences in sounds, stronger than my tongue that doesn't automatically go into "French mode," stronger than my mind that doesn't always put my French grammar in the proper order.
With all my inadequacies, God's name will still be proclaimed and He will still draw those unto Himself- and that is the assurance of victory.

What "giants" are facing you this week, this month or even this year? Are there "sons of Anak" that are standing in front of you? Are you able to report like Caleb and Joshua, "yes, with our God, we will have victory"?
As you go about your week and rub shoulders with those around you, I challenge you to remember that you have the gift of being able to to share the Gospel, to listen to people's stories and share how God has written yours, in your heart language! You don't have to learn another language in order to declare who your God is, "...the fields are ripe and ready for harvest."

Please pray for me as I strive to work with excellence in learning the language, pray for ears that can hear, a tongue that can speak and a mind that can comprehend. Pray I might have opportunities to declare who God is, in the agnostic cultural climate of France.
And pray for me, that I might grow to connect with my God in a language that is not my own.

What is French class really like you ask? Well I've never seen the whole thing, so I can't vouch for the entire movie, but this clip from The Pink Panther with Steve Martin seems to capture a lot......Enjoy =)

Now you know how to pray for me ;-)
With Love,
From Albertville,

1 comment:

  1. praying for you. i enjoyed the pink panther clip.