Did you ever wonder what the world was like before Babel? Imagine, just for a second, a world with free communication. After living overseas, that is something I’ve longed for, but never as much as I do now. There is something beautiful when a moment can transcend language and culture. That’s what I experienced on my latest journey.
This past week, I traveled to Kozdolui, Bulgaria with Paz y Esperanza, a Spanish church planting ministry. (Of course these churches are in Bulgarian). The whole trip, Spanish and Bulgarian were spoken, with necessary information translated into English. So, as you can imagine, I was basically lost (except for my elementary Spanish, the few words that translated from Russian, and direct translation from the one English speaker). However, in the midst of my confusion, there was no denying that God was at work.
My main goal on this trip was to film and edit a three-minute promotional video to share the vision and mission of Paz y Esperanza in Bulgaria. While doing that, I watched God move mightily.
There is a gypsy community, situated on the edge of the city where poverty and ostracism are common. On this trip, house pastors, most from that community, were trained in themes like the holiness of God and leading a family. We prayed with a bedridden man who had lost his will to live after an aneurism, filmed life stories from a woman formerly involved in witchcraft, celebrated two baptisms, and laughed with children who had a once in a lifetime opportunity to have their portraits taken.
In the midst of these moments, I couldn’t understand many words, but smiles, hugs, and even secret handshakes were common. There are many ways to say love. The following words are examples: love, amor, люблю, szeret, and liebe. Yet, we can also speak love through time, attention, care, gifts, and our body language.
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” – 1 John 3:18
How do you say love?