Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)
TITLE: Called to Quebec
By Tim Pickl
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Looking and acting the part of a clueless English-only-speaking tourist, I stood across the street from the Quebec City’s main train station—Gare du Palais—taking photographs with my small digital camera. As I stood there, I had a flashback to one year ago to-the-day. It was a glorious sunny Sunday morning; our Pastor had just preached his heart out on a sermon entitled, “All Christians are Missionaries.”
At that moment in the warm summer breeze, his words clearly echoed in my mind, “In business, the most important three things they say about marketing is ‘Location, Location, Location’. Well, God has put each and every one of us in a specific location for His purpose, His plan! See: we all have a field to work in. Some are called right where they are now. Others are called to foreign lands, foreign cities—where they speak a foreign language. But we are all called. Praise God! Open your eyes to the harvest, for the harvest is ripe for harvesting!”
I remember being one of the first people to respond: I ran to the altar, knelt down and began praying. Immediately, God gave me a vision of Quebec City—a place I had never been to—where the official language is French, and was foreign to me.
“Not my will, Lord, but Yours be done.”
The next day, I began making preparations. Since I was coming from the United States, I would need a passport, and of course, the funds to make the trip, find a place to live, and begin the mission God gave me.
As I turned to take some photographs of gorgeous flowers along the sidewalk, I was interrupted by a little girl, probably about 5-years-old.
“Bonjour, quel est votre nom?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand—”
“It est okay. Léa est…how do you say en anglais? Familier…fren—”
“Oh, hello, my name est Emma, and my daughter’s name est—”
“Léa—that est good how you say her nom.”
“Mon nom est Léa!”
Emma and I laughed together.
“What est your name, sir?”
“My name is Bill. Officially, my name is William.”
“Okay, William. I have prayed for one year for someone to teach my Léa how to speak fluent anglais.” Emma looked straight into my eyes and added, “And I believe you are the one God sent us.”
It was an eternal moment—confirmation—and instantly I thought, Thank you, Jesus.
“I…I will do that.”
“Good. I want you to meet my staff and feed you. Come along!”
Obedient to where the Lord was leading me, I ducked into a nearby limousine with Emma and Léa. She ordered the driver something in French, and after about 15 minutes, we arrived at a lavish mansion. During the drive over, Emma asked where I was staying, and when I told her the name of the hotel, she replied, “Oh that will not do. You will stay in our place. The west wing is vacant.”
Getting out of the limo, I wasn’t so impressed by the wealth this family had, but I was impressed by the humble, yet confident air Emma had about her. She knew what she wanted, and was determined to get it.
We were met by two servants who opened the double doors leading into the main foyer. As we stepped inside, I couldn’t help but look up.
“Welcome to my home, William. Right off the foyer est our library. It est in there I want you to teach Léa.”
“Oui—yes—for one hour in the morning, then one hour in the afternoon, after her nap.”
And so it began. The Lord helped me teach little Léa English, which was a foreign language to her. We began with simple things.
Over time, I began to truly love these people with an agape love that the Lord put within me when he filled me with His Spirit.
One night during a Thanksgiving-type dinner, Emma announced to the entire household and staff, “William is going to teach us all a Bible Study tonight.”
Emma must have seen the surprised look on my face, and added, speaking only to me, “You remember what we talked about?”
“Yes, we will study how God used foreign languages in Acts, Chapter 2.”
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