Tuesday, October 18, 2011

More Than a Language Lesson

Well its been about 2 months now since I started my language lessons and each day my brain is being forced to absorbed so many new words that I suffer from information overload. But overall it has all been good. One of the things I pray for each morning as my tutor Chheut and I meet is that our two hour session would be more than a language lesson. God is definitely answering this prayer and instead of feeling exhausted after 2 hours of language, I am beginning to feel more energized. Why is that? I have noticed a pattern. When my loak crew (teacher) and I start talking about spiritual issues, the lesson flies by. In some ways we are going off topic but in another ways, I think we are in tune with God's plan for in the process I am learning Christian language.

My Loak Crew is a baby Christian as he has only been a believer for 1 1/2 years but like many of the young believers that I have gotten to meet here, he has such a hunger for God. After teaching me, he then goes to New Life Fellowship and studies the bible for 2 hours in English! One of the ways he gets me talking in Khmer is to ask what I did yesterday and what time I got in the morning and then what I do after that. By asking the same questions over and over, it reinforces what I learn and how I remember. So when I tell him in Khmer that I read my bible and pray for 1 1/2 hours each morning, he then proceeds to ask what I read and what is God speaking to me about. That ends up leading to a whole spiritual conversation as I intersperse my limited Khmer with English words which he then gives to me. So my Christian vocabulary is increasing....if only I can remember it all but at least I have my notes. In many ways, God is using both of us to sharpen one another as we each share about our Christian journey and what is going on in our lives.

Today's discussion led into knowing our 5 love languages and how we give and receive love. This is the first time he has ever heard of this and so it was an opportunity to share with him what my love languages are and ask him what his is.  Its amazing how the Lord brings to mind previous discussions that we have had as  I was able to use examples from our previous conversation in which he had shared how his friends were having problems with their girlfriends. We talked about how the love languages can help identify if his friends are feeling loved by their girlfriends and visa versa. Of course being my little brother, I couldn't help tease him that when he dates this is a good question to ask his girlfriend. In fact, I've been trying to set him up with one of my younger sisters in Svay Pak but the timing at the moment is a bit off...but that's another story for another day. By the time we had finished this discussion 1 hr and 15 minutes had already passed by. Nonetheless, it made the lesson all the more fun and gives me more opportunity to now have these kind of discussions with my other young brothers and sisters in Svay Pak.

This was not exactly the lesson that was planned. After all, I was suppose to be learning about different types of transportation and driving in the city and giving directions in Khmer. Not exactly an exciting topic but an important one. We did eventually get to that and I suddenly began to feel tired. I wonder why!

All in all, the Lord is so gracious in how He orchestrates lessons and discussions. I am thankful that I have a tutor who is a Christian. It allows the conversation to go at a much deeper level and leads to many interesting conversations as we share about what Christ is teaching us through our daily life experiences. More than that, it motivates me at a whole new level to learn this language --- God truly knows how to get my juices going and what energizes me. It is times like this when I can honestly say that I am experiencing His promises in Jeremiah 32:38-41, They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.  I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul. Indeed it is times like this when I experience His goodness as He continues to plant me in this land by giving me a desire to learn this language through His ways. 

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