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On Mission with Jesus

Elizabeth and Brian, and their 1 year old daughter Noa, moved to Antequera, Spain at the end of 2023 to begin a a placement as missionaries working with TMS. They have been reflecting on their experiences of being immersed in foreign land, with an unfamiliar language and very different culture.

Their insights are a challenge to us all for our own discipleship as we remember that ‘we are citizens of heaven’ (Philippians 3:20) and called to incarnation in the places that the Lord has put us as every day missionaries  – at home or in a foreign land. 

Elizabeth writes: I have been meditating on John 1:14. “So the Word became human and made his home among us” (NLT). Jesus did not stay “home” with his Father, instead, out of his great love for us and obedience to his Father, he made a new home with us. When we, out of love for and obedience to the Father, go to a new culture and create a new home, we are imitating Jesus’ way of mission. This is the heart behind why we are focusing on language and culture this first year. We want to make our home This takes time and intentional learning about their lives, language and customs. We will never stop being students of this culture, however our vision is that out of our learning we will be able to more effectively testify to the light and life that Jesus brings.

Brian writes: I have been thinking about Joseph. I imagine his experience of not knowing the Egyptian language after being sold into slavery. This year, I have keenly felt my lack of skill in Spanish. As such, I have been imagining the lessons in humility that Joseph must have learned as a stranger in Egypt. And I have been imagining how his experience of being placed far away from his family drew him into a deeper trust that his God would provide for all that he needed.

I’m not going to lie: language learning is hardOn top of learning new vocabulary and grammar, there is the added challenge of learning how to sound like a local in the way you speak. I have had several Spaniards tell me, “You picked the worst part of Spain to learn Spanish. The accent here can be very hard to understand!”

As I have been thinking about learning my local dialect of Spanish, I have frequently thought of how Jesus spoke with a particular accent from a small, grungy town called Nazareth. In fact, Jesus and his disciples could be picked out of a crowd because of the way they spoke: “your accent gives you away” (Matthew 26:73). Amazingly, Jesus identified with his people in such a way that he was even willing to take on a less prestigious manner of speech. That was part of his incarnation. Are we not called to the same? 

Please pray for Elizabeth, Brian and Noa on their journey of language learning. Pray for humility as they step into a new task. Pray for local friends and guides who can help is in thier journey. Pray for the ability to laugh at themselves 🙂

Contact us if you would like to know more about Brian and Elizabeth’s missionary endeavours.

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