I was so blessed to have a ministry opportunity in Montreal Canada. Not only did God speak during the preaching, but he was speaking throughout the entire trip. Here are a few insights from my time in Canada.
People look the same until they open their mouths. Are we what we look like or the message that we speak? If I did not know I was in Canada I would not have known by sheer appearance. Everyone there looked like the people I see every day in Virginia in the US. However, there was a difference. I didn’t notice the difference until each person spoke. Whether in English or French, the distinction came whenever someone opened their mouth. — Lesson: I wonder how many Christians are mistaken as being just like everyone else. Let me clarify, there should be no belittling of others, nor raising to a pedestal those who are of the faith, however, I do believe that when a Christian opens their mouth their should be some distinction. There should an accent of hope, good news, and encouragement. I clearly heard God say to me that actions matter, but your words make a difference in how you live, and how or if other see Jesus when they listen to your conversation.
Preaching with interpreter is the echo of God’s word.
I preached with an interpreter. This was a surprisingly great first for me. When I preached there was an anointed young lady who interepreted for me. The congregation was half English speaking and half French. So, while I listened to God and then spoke, she would in turn translate, and repeat it in French. — Lesson: I think God gives us the Holy Spirit as a translator. When we speak, people don’t just hear our words, the Spirit translate, and then repeats it to them. This is important because now the goal is not for people to always remember what we said, but for them to walk away with God’s version of what it means for them in their context, in their life, and for their purpose. God uses the double vocative and says His words more than once at the same time.
Purpose of The People. While the church congregation size was not a large church, the vision and purpose of the people was GLOBAL. Each person from the Pastor to the late congregant spoke to God as if they represented a large group. Each person represent a geographical area not just themselves. They prayed for Canada, not their families, church, or even their city. They believed that God would move as a result of their prayers and effective the ENTIRE COUNTRY! — Lesson: While I do believe that hurt people, hurt people and that there is a need for self-care; I must admit this global perspective was one to consider. I believe everyone should have something and some others bigger than themselves that they represent. Who do you represent? What group of people? Geographically, by gender, social class, or some other distinction. Whoever they are, make your next prayer and praise moment bigger than you.The worship there spoke of Montreal and Canada as if they were ambassadors or intercessors to God for the country
Bilingual Requirement. I met two unassuming individuals that really caused me to take a self evaluation. One was a drug dealer attempting to sell me some street pills. The other was the low wage receptionist on the other end of the phone. Yes, even the speed drug deaaler is bilingual. — Lesson: Why do we always make people speak our language in order to communicate. Learning an additional language should not be optional it should be a requirement. For the world it is a necessity to exist in one of the top countries in the world. As Christians it is important because it shows we care about others and we aren’t forcing them to bend to our rules, but we will gladly come to where they are. This is bigger than English or French, this is about speaking the language of pain, suffering, or inequality so that together we can still co-exist peacefully.
I continue to ask myself- Why have I not learned another language. This is not the first time I have felt inadequate. Lack of languages learned reduces fellowship and fellowship reveals common relationships (James O Davis)