A missionary was recently reflecting on his many years of service overseas. Among the things he shared was how he felt that his answering the call to serve was probably the easiest part of his becoming a missionary. When asked what the most challenging part had been, he smiled and responded, "Every day since!" But when pressed to pinpoint just one aspect, he didn't hesitate. "Language fluency." While he had gone to language school and had spent years speaking the language, he still misunderstood what people said to him. Even worse was when he thought he had the right word or saying, only to find out later that it was entirely the wrong thing to have said. He gave an example of a phrase he had heard and had used almost daily. To his ear, it sounded like, "Everyone ready? Let's go.". He was horrified when someone finally told him what he was saying was a series of swear words. Despite all of the time in the country, he still couldn't tell the two phrases apart.
Pray for our missionaries to speak well and to clearly understand the language(s) where they serve. Pray for them to learn quickly, remember accurately, and pronounce well. Pray that those they are speaking with will not be offended when they get it wrong, and when they do, it will provide an opportunity to learn to and build a Christ centred relationship.