March 2, 2017, 9:41 AM

Thanks a Lot

OK, so those Shinarites of Babel really made it difficult to do missionary work. Contrary to the will of God, they got together to build a city and a tower. As a result of their disobedience, the whole earth went from speaking a common language to speaking various languages.

With the evolution of languages over the millennia, today's world has a multitude of languages and dialects. This leads to one of the great challenges of missionary work—everyone needs to hear the gospel in a language they can understand. It could have been so easy, if not for those pesky Shinarites.

While communicating the gospel is a serious issue, at times miscommunication leads to humorous situations.

For example, there is the oft-told story of the young lady who tried to tell a Spanish-speaking congregation she was embarassed, and used the word embarazada. Oops! 

And then there was the time in Curacao when I said to the congregation, in the Papiamentu language, "Si bo tin pregunta, laba bo man."   Thankfully those who had a question did not get up and wash their hands, as I had instructed them to do.

Another time a youth leader from Guyana came to Suriname to speak at our youth camp. I introduced him to someone and informed the person, in Dutch, that the brother had come to discourage our young people.

Ah, the joys, challenges and frustrations of various languages. Thanks a lot, Shinarites.