I wish the more supernatural gifts were still around! If you know me, you know which one most interests me! That’s right – speaking in tongues! Every since I was little kid, I remember being fascinated by foreign languages!
I started studying Spanish in the 11th grade. My last year of Spanish I did not go to class. My teacher graciously taught me more accelerated classes after school four days a week. Once I arrived at Oklahoma Christian my freshman year I took Spanish. My sophomore year I began studying Brazilian Portuguese. It was my senior year that my love-hate relationship with the French language began.
Ever since I was a young child, I wanted to speak French! My goal, for many years, was to be fluent in French because I wanted to work for the U.S. State Department or the U.N. I thought I was good at imitating a French accent until I began studying French in college. It seemed as when I got in front of my professor, my accent suddenly went missing and I would begin to speak French with a Latin American accent. My French professor even told me one day, “Vous parlez le français comme un Vénézuélien.” I was a little insulted by the thought that I spoke French like a Venezuela, but I decided to take it as a compliment. Since then, I have bought a number of French CD’s and text books in order to keep learning. I even watch TV Monde, French television every now and then.
I really needed to speak French this last Saturday. Luis Gómez invited the young people from church to go to the Plaza Altamira, also known as the French Plaza to tell people about Jesus. I’ll have to admit I am a little timid and I prefer other types of evangelism, but they we were! I told my partner that we should buy some ice cream from a vendor and that we could talk to her for a while. I quickly realized that our new friend did not speak Spanish very well at all! She spoke French! Our friend Nicole was from Haiti.
She lived in a dangerous barrio in West Caracas and sells ice cream in one of Caracas’ favorite plazas. I used whatever French I could remember . . . I introduced myself, got her name, asked her about her family and where she lived . . . and that was about it! I could not remember any more French! I got so mad at myself!
Did you know that Caracas has a large Haitian community? There are more than 7,500 Haitians in Venezuela, principally in Caracas in the barrios La Vega and Antímano. A great majority of them come to Venezuela looking for better political and economic conditions. There is even a Christian bookstore that sells Bibles in French at a discount to the Haitian community.
What are we doing to help the Haitians in Caracas? How many members from the Lord’s church are praying for and helping these needy families? Who is telling them about God’s unfailing love? In missiology we talked about unreached people groups. For what I know, the Haitians in Caracas are an unreached group!
Who will go and preach to them?