Friday, May 4, 2012

Who's Teaching Whom? Part II

So I did it! I preached my first ever sermon in French, and I lived to tell about it.

My language helper, "Marie" came to hear me, and much to my surprise and delight, she brought her best friend!

Question: When was the last time that you invited a non-Christian friend to church?

Honestly, this is not something that I do on a regular basis. Of course, I don't have that many friends here yet. But still. I was sort of, well, challenged by the fact that this woman, who herself is seeking God, seems to be better at evangelism than I am! She brought a friend to church.

On Tuesday I met with Marie. She wanted to continue getting together weekly, even though I no longer needed her help with my sermon. Graciously, she offered to keep helping me with my French, but she also wanted to keep learning more about God and the Bible. I suggested that we study the book of John together, and she was pleased with the idea. So we have started a study called "The Seven Signs of John." At the end of the study, Marie will have the opportunity to give her life to Christ, if she hasn't done so already.

As we did the first lesson together, I found myself feeling like I was more of an observer than a participant. God is so clearly drawing this woman to Himself, that I just try to stay out of His way. As we discussed the wedding at Cana, I realized that she was enamored with the scriptures.

Question: When was the last time that you were enamored with the scriptures?

Yeah. Well. I wish that I could say that I am always enamored with the Word of God; but I think I take it for granted. Most days I rush through my daily Bible reading as if it were a bothersome chore that I just need to check off my list. I don't marvel. I rarely linger. I fail to cherish the precious words of life.

Our conversation about John chapter 2 was inspiring to me. With each passage in the book of John, we answer the same four questions: What does this passage teach you about human nature? What does this passage teach you about Jesus?  What aspect of your life does this passage address? With whom can you talk about this story? She appreciated each question and gave very thoughtful responses. I was blessed by her insights.

Throughout our 90 minutes together, she patiently but authoritatively corrected my French. I wrote down my mistakes and their corrections, fascinated by the symbiosis of our relationship. Each one searching; Each one growing; Each one engaging; Each one giving. We seamlessly exchanged the roles of teacher and student without ever feeling an interruption in the lessons we were learning. Who could say which of us is more blessed by this friendship? We both acknowledge that God has brought us together.


  1. Congratulations on your preaching! I knew you'd do great. I'm excited to hear more about your friendship with Marie. Sounds like you both are enjoying the fruits of the friendship.

  2. Congratulations! It's always been one of my dreams to speak fluent French. And one of my bucket list goals is to witness to a group of Parisians and bring them to Christ. Keep up the good work.