While the cause of my hair turning gray may have been caused by getting older, it was dark when we went to Mongolia (1993) and getting gray when we left (1996). Once our family ventured out at -40 F. My daughter Mandi took a picture of the hole in the ice that I fell through on the Tuul River outside of Ulaanbataar. Cold weather builds character (I am told).
Most of the countries where missionaries live, have escape plans in case of war, but for Mongolia, we had an escape plan in case the heat went off. Pray for missionaries as they may endure hardships.
Learning the culture of a country is important. The sign read “Please Look to the Right” in Hong Kong. In the cartoon not knowing the culture or language can get you hurt.
In Nairobi, Kenya it took about two weeks to get use to driving on the left side, shifting with the left hand, and driving in those round-a-bouts with three lanes of traffic. Coming back to driving in the USA after four years of driving on the left side was far more dangerous.
Thank you for sharing. I am available to speak in churches on missions and may not look like the young man in the cartoon.
Its true, try it and see if you don’t feel like a toddler again. Missionaries start at birth in a new language and start again as adult babies in a new language (sometimes more than once). Ask any missionary and they will tell you it is a humbling experience. I hid two punchlines from older blogs in the last box. I dabbled a little in computer coloring.
Thank you reading my 1st month of cartoons. I am learning something each time I sit in front of the three empty boxes. This blog will help you pray for the needs of missionaries and hopefully make you smile. Today I participated in the Leah Fun Run and was thankful it was a 3K rather than a 3 mile (I love Metric). I am available to speak on missions.
Updated to correct a word.
In Honduras I used all three of these phrases in Spanish the first night at the restaurant. It was exciting to step across the language barrier and be understood. That was thirty years ago. My son Scotty and I traveled from Ulaanbataar, Mongolia to Ulan Ude, Russia knowing how to say in Russian: Hello, Thank You, and Five Bread. Most of these phrases should be said with a smile as in the cartoon.
The first phrases we learned in Mongolia were about buying food. Gonsuk taught me how to ask, “Do you have potatoes?” While “Jesus loves you” is very important, “How much are the eggs?” is also important. Most Baptist missionaries learn the language rather than rely on interpreters. While this is slower at first in ministry, it helps build personal relationships and makes you a part of the community.
Someone asked me yesterday, “How much is 110 kilograms?” I replied, “In the cartoon, my hair is still dark brown”.
Please as you travel Europe, don’t be overly concerned about the holes. The chance of you falling into a hole in a country where you don’t speak any of the language is just one in seven. (The holes are deeper in Eastern Europe). Try as you travel to learn some of the language, it can benefit you greatly. I think the four people in box #2 are asking, “Need Help?”
While I wasn’t in a hole, I felt like I was in a hole when we first moved to Mongolia and Kenya. Pray for new missionaries as they are learning a new tongue so they can share the Good News in someone’s heart language. I am praying for Phay and Ckott as they continue to grow in a new language.
Saturday was the 164 annual Brunson reunion in Elba, Alabama. Meine Mutter, Gisela Brunson, 94, was the oldest to attend. I greeted my mother that morning in perfect German using the two phrases I have used thousands of times.
It took a long time to get from box #1 to box #2 in the cartoon, and it took six months to get to box #1. First there was a private tutor, then language school, and then a private tutor again. I studied DAILY the whole time we were in Mongolia. The four sentences turned into a church. Each Sunday the lesson got longer and more people came, then I stepped out of the picture and started a second work. I was invited back to speak at Chinese Fellowship Church just before leaving Mongolia. While no one said out loud, “you received the gift of tongues”, there were Wows from those two Mongols who sat from the beginning and listened each Sunday as I struggled through a lesson. Tsitsik really said, “What happened to you!”, she had asked me many times to get an interpreter and now those words flowed for twenty long minutes.
My buddy Duke and I prayed as we walked passed every house in my subdivision, if we saw toys in the yard, we prayed for the children and if their name was on the mail box, we prayed for the home by name. We didn’t stop or close our eyes as we prayed out loud taking turns. People who saw us thought we were walking and talking. Dr. Jonathan and I prayed walked through Ujiji, Tanzania a city that was 95% Muslim and walked by three Mosques. Once a care taker invited Cindy and I into a Mosque in Kigoma so we prayer walked on the tour without our shoes.
You can pray anytime, anywhere, for any reason, and for any amount of time. With prayer walking you set aside a time, you go to a certain place, for a certain reason, and for a certain amount of time. Me, I am good for about two hours max.
And now: a cartoon in color. I remember my first communion in a Lutheran Church. I was in the last group to go down to the alter, since the back row went last. The cup had been used by everyone! But as an 18-year-old man, my thoughts soon went from germs to other things.
For two years I visited several denominations, most once, a few many times. Most churches use the same language, but the meanings are so different. Please have a great week.
My first memory of having that deer in the headlights look was in the Summer of 1971 at R.A. Camp working with deaf campers. If Carl, my interpreter, left for a moment, then there I was not having a clue what the campers were saying. I had that look many times in many languages. Many times I didn’t have that look but understood what was spoken. My sophomore year I took a course on Sunday nights in sign language which prepared me for the next two summers when I was blessed with deaf campers but no interpreter.
The deer in the headlights look shows up in more than one chapter because that is the best way to describe how I felt. Going on vacation or a week long mission trip is different than living in a new culture and language.