Being the Only Person who Doesn’t Understand Spanish at a Spanish Church Gathering

Today in the morning sermon I was reminded that I’m not to look down on other Christians (Matt 18.10-14) but care for them and treat them with the dignity of God’s love and care for them. Tonight God sent me to Iglesia Nueva Vida for a fellow pastor’s installation. I had a set of headphones on which translated what was being said from the front in real time. I didn’t understand the songs that were sung. I did not understand what was being said when the translators got lost at times. And yet I was worshiping Jesus with his people saved by his gospel. What a joy and pleasure it was! It was a good experience to be on the outside linguistically. We have many Spanish speaking brothers (and other languages) who are part of our association but are unable to understand our Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association executive board meetings. Now I was in their shoes. I was happy to share in their praising our Lord Jesus. I was convicted and challenged by the preaching of the Word to pray with more dependence on God for help for my church members. God also showed me my sin of not expecting conversion fruit as if our gospel is not powerful or the Spirit is unwilling to change hearts and minds.
 
Because of this experience I want to be more sensitive to other cultures and languages that don’t speak English at our multi-ethnic inter-church meetings. I also have a deeper resolve to encourage pastors and Christians who speak other languages to work toward biblical church health. I challenge all of you Christians reading this to find ways to encourage Christians, pastors, and churches who speak in a different mother tongue than yours.

Jesus died for people from every ethnic people group. To him be all glory and praise. Regarding Jesus it says in Revelation 5.9-10

You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because You were slaughtered,
and You redeemed people
for God by Your blood
from every tribe and language
and people and nation.
You made them a kingdom
and priests to our God,
and they will reign on the earth.

PJ Tibayan

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