Speaking in tongues

It's really important to pray for people who preach and teach and minister in languages other than their mother tongue. There are countless pitfalls to trap the unwary.

Here is a story from a worker in Burkina Faso that illustrates some of the them. http://www.voiceinthedesert.org.uk/keith/stuff/tongues.html

A good friend told me of how he once preached in French about Joshua the high priest and his dirty clothes. At the door an elderly lady said, "I prefer sweet clothes". Dirty clothes are vetements sales (vetmong sarl). Vetements sales with an accent (ventmong salay) are savoury clothes.

I lead a monthly Bible study in Welsh, and some months ago I was speaking about how the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ addresses the problems of the present, the future and July. (The word for July, gorffennaf, is very like the word for the past, gorffennol. I had actually typed gorffennaf in my notes.)

Recently after a Bible study about Ananias & Sapphira, someone asked me to switch the light on, and I didn't understand - partly because you have to listen harder when it's not your mother tongue! It must be like having a four-year-old preaching to you!

If the only thing that is hurt is your ego, then there's no harm in that! But it's important that hearers are able to hear God's word, and not people's blunders.


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