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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Lan­gu­a­ge bar­riers, doubts, and God’s gui­dan­ce

Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.9.2018 6.01

While bi­king from Eu­ro­pe through Asia, I have met thou­sands of pe­op­le from tens of count­ries. There have been child­ren, ado­les­cents, el­ders, be­lie­vers, at­heists, men, and wo­men. I have of­ten been the first fo­reig­ner ever to vi­sit a small vil­la­ge. Most of these mee­tings have been short, just a coup­le of mi­nu­tes. So­me­ti­mes I have spent a few days with the same pe­op­le, oc­ca­si­o­nal­ly even a week.

Few of the pe­op­le I have met have spo­ken Eng­lish. I have usu­al­ly tried to le­arn a few use­ful words and phra­ses in the lo­cal lan­gu­a­ge. Our com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on has most­ly been about or­de­ring food, as­king about where I could pitch my tent, or pre­sen­ting my­self. Dis­cus­si­ons have con­sis­ted of simp­le re­pe­ti­ti­on of sing­le words, lis­te­ning and gu­es­sing, with smi­les and ges­tu­res to help. Goog­le trans­la­tor has so­me­ti­mes made things ea­sier, but it has sel­dom hel­ped us to re­ach a dee­per le­vel where we could have dis­cus­sed opi­ni­ons, po­li­tics, or re­li­gi­on.

I have so­me­ti­mes thought that, for most of the pe­op­le I have met, I am pro­bab­ly the on­ly Con­ser­va­ti­ve La­es­ta­di­an Chris­ti­an they will ever meet in their li­ves. The Bib­le com­pa­res faith to a cand­le that shi­nes in dark­ness and be­lie­vers to so­wers who sow the seed of God’s word. The winds of the world may be so strong that they thre­a­ten to blow out the cand­le of faith. How can a weak be­lie­ver like my­self be a so­wer? I seem to have so lit­t­le faith that there is not­hing to sow.

While alo­ne far from ot­her be­lie­vers and live ser­vi­ces, I have gai­ned strength from lis­te­ning to on­li­ne and arc­hi­ved ser­vi­ces and songs of Zion. But sin­ce I am al­wa­ys on the road, it is not al­wa­ys pos­sib­le to lis­ten to on­li­ne ser­vi­ces. I meet be­lie­vers sel­dom, and I most­ly need to con­cent­ra­te on prac­ti­cal mat­ters, such as fin­ding a place where I can have a meal and spend the night or, in the long run, to tra­vel wit­hin visa const­raints and al­so have time for rest. My thoughts are most­ly strict­ly fo­cu­sed on eve­ry­day mat­ters, and I al­most seem to for­get about faith. I of­ten feel I am lo­sing my faith like the pro­di­gal son, and I have many doubts and temp­ta­ti­ons. Could I help any­bo­dy to find the tre­a­su­re of faith?

But when I look back at my jour­ney, I cle­ar­ly see God’s gui­dan­ce. The na­tu­re around me has of­ten been so be­au­ti­ful that I have been touc­hed by the splen­dor of God’s cre­a­ti­on.

I could not have ma­na­ged this jour­ney wit­hout the help of many pe­op­le. Va­ri­ous prob­lems have been sol­ved in most mi­ra­cu­lous ways. I have been led to meet pe­op­le who have hel­ped me to make prog­ress on my way. Ma­y­be they have al­so been led to meet me, a weak child of God.

In these thoughts, I have of­ten been si­lent­ly sin­ging these words of a song of Zion.

Ten­ding the Mas­ter’s vi­ney­ard, my la­bor has been weak: I’ve of­ten held the sick­le while I’ve been so­wing seed. Oh, that one sheaf would ri­pen, be ta­ken in­to he­a­ven

to glo­ri­fy the Lord.

Text: Mar­kus Kau­ha­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal Fin­nish blog post here.

17.1.2020

Kos­kaan en ota hä­nel­tä pois ar­mo­a­ni, mi­nun liit­to­ni kes­tää hor­ju­mat­ta. Ps. 89:29

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