"The best missionary is the Bible in the mother tongue..."
- Cameron Townsend (Wycliffe founder) -
I took a deep bummed-out breath when I saw him from a distance (no class tonight, I thought, we should be having this night off, but since he didn't know, I'll go ahead and teach him).
Surprisingly, I didn't have such a bad attitude about a change-of-plans like I normally would (thank You, Holy Spirit), so despite my bummed-outed-ness, I was in a pretty cheerful mood. I put the dogs in the back of the house and let him in.
"There class...um...yesterday? Um...in the night?"
"Yes, we had class last night," I responded.
"Oh," he smiled awkwardly, "I could not come...problems...in my home." "My mother no understand me."
We talked some more (he insisted on keeping the conversation in English, but it was a bit of a Spanglish dialogue). He told me how he's never felt so lonely before. He's sad, he's depressed, he's confused, and no one understands him. He actually expressed very clearly in English that his "heart is empty."
Are you kidding me? You mean this guy's gonna walk right in here and hand me an opportunity to talk about Jesus, just like that? This is what English Language Ministry is all about, and how exciting to see its purpose taking form in such a practical, wonderful way...but you know what? I'm not very good at this stuff! (Ironic, huh?)
I told him that Jesus has given me peace, joy, and comfort when I've been sad, and that I have a relationship with Him and He's changed my life. I suggested that he talk to God and read the Bible, because the Bible can bring light to his heart, because it has truth. "Really?" he asked. "Yes! The Bible is alive, active, and can bring light to your heart."
"Oh, I no have," he said.
"You don't have a Bible?"
Well, I got up from my chair and grabbed a Spanish NIV New Testament Bible that a short term team had donated (THANKS GUYS!!), and handed it to him. "But if I give it to you, please read some of it." He was delighted!
"Really?!? I can not accept."
"Yes you can! See," I wrote his name on the front page, "it has your name in it, so it's yours."
He was all smiles. "I will read tomorrow," he said, "I promise."
We talked some more and when he left I told him we would pray for him. Please pray with me, those of you who feel lead. He has an empty heart that's searching desperately for purpose and peace, and the only One who can satisfy his heart is Jesus Christ. The first time we met him, he was drunk; I think it's because he's depressed and looking for comfort. Please pray that he'll read the Bible and that the Holy Spirit will reveal Christ to him as he reads the holy Scripture.