This week at John McMillan Presbyterian Church

In 2006, members of JMPC went on our first mission trip to Chiapas, Mexico. Chiapas is in the south of the country, most of it highlands and mountains. It was once the home of the Mayan civilization. We were pretty excited because we were going to build some church structures and run a week long VBS for the village kids. We were told to prepare a little biography of ourselves as a group and as individuals that we would say to the people of the village in Spanish. That made us think that learning a bit of Spanish might be of benefit to us as we lived and worked with the village people for the week we would be there. So some of the group spent time on their Spanish. Others brought Spanish Bibles, so we could tell Bible stories to the kids. But when we got there, we found out that few, if any, of the village people actually spoke Spanish. They spoke Tzeltal, an ancient Mayan dialect. So our Spanish phrases and Bibles were of little use to us. When I preached, I had to have two translators. One to translate my English into Spanish and then the Spanish into Tzeltal. It was … frustrating. But we were not the first to have these kinds of problems. There are stories about how one missionary had to learn a tribal language, create a written form of it, teach the written form of it to the tribe, and then translate the Bible into that language. That did not happen in a week-long mission trip. It took decades. Have you ever tried to communicate with someone whose language you did not know? It might be because the other person speaks an ancient language or because the other person is simply from a different generation or culture. If we want to communicate with such folks, what do we do? Come and hear about it this Sunday when Pastor Jeff preaches “Speaking in Tongues – Talking to Other Cultures” based on 1 Corinthians 9: 19-23. We will look forward to seeing you … and hopefully communicating with you.

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