Thursday, September 10, 2015

Language Learning

The other day, after my language lessons, I met up with my friend Talitha and we went to visit the kids at PeriČ™. We didn't have anything planned to do, we just wanted to hang out with them. I played a little basketball, which turned into a "Keep the Ball Away from Melissa" game, and then spent some time just relaxing with the kids.

At one point, one of the boys says to me, "Let's take a walk." So we get up and amble over to some shady space and sit down. Then a very special thing happened, this 16 year old boy started to open up to me about his life.

It was an awesome moment for me, this is, after all, why I came to Romania. I long for these moments when the kids trust me and tell me when something is on their minds.

This boy shared with me some struggles he was facing, some decisions that he had made (and seemed to regret now), and his issues with school. I asked a few questions and shared a few thoughts with him. However, for me, there was one thing hanging over my head throughout the whole incident: the language barrier.

I know (from personal experience and from research) that just being present is the biggest part of the battle. But something inside me still longs to be able to give some words of comfort, love, and guidance. And, while I understand a lot of what is said, I still don't have it 100%. And when you can't understand fully what the child is telling you, how can you find the words (in your limited vocabulary) to speak to his heart?

I know that God is bigger than any language barrier. I know that the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart when our words cannot. But I also want to be able to audibly speak the love and encouragement of Christ to these kids.
Iubim copii noștrii: We love our kids.
So, my biggest prayer request right now is that you would pray for me as I learn Romanian. I am not even a month in and I already have a sense of longing in my heart to learn as much as I can as fast as I can (I'm not exactly patient). Pray that I will grasp all that my teacher is teaching me. Pray that I will memorize what I need to memorize. Pray that I will be able to practice what I have learned. Pray for understanding of what is being spoken around me. Pray that God will give me wisdom and understanding of this language so that I can be the most efficient vessel I can be. And pray for patience when something doesn't come easily to me.

And please pray for our kiddos. To open up their lives to us is a big step and I never want to miss a chance to show them a glimpse of God.