Saturday, October 9, 2010


Tonight at Chin-Zo worship service, one of the elders read and spoke on the passage in Matthew 13:18-23, which is Jesus' explanation of the parable of the sower. The elder, Mr. Paul, spoke mostly in Zo, with a few English words thrown in for my benefit. At one point, he said this phrase and had the group repeat it over and over: "Zah-Nah-Pih!" I repeated it, because he said it slow enough that I could mimic it, but I had no idea what it meant. I am trying to learn the language, but all I've been able to get so far are simple commands for the kids and family member names... which is not helpful in this particular parable. I squinted my eyes, strained my ears, and prayed for God to bless me with the gift of understanding other languages, if just for a few minutes. But He let me continue to exhaust my brain with trying to focus intently throughout the message.

Near the end I could tell by Mr. Paul's gestures that he was challenging the group to share God's love with those around them - to sow the seeds of good news. Then a powerful prayer time followed, in which everyone laid hands on one of the couples. I couldn't make out why it was for them specifically, but I prayed for the Holy Spirit to be present and at work in their lives. Then I quietly prayed again for God to open my ears to hear and understand this Zo language.

After the service, we ate pork, rice and soup - nothing too strange this time! - and I sat next to Mr. Paul. I asked him about the phrase, "Zah-Nah-Pih!" and what it means. He pointed to his ear and said, "We are listening."

"But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." - Matthew 13:23

Father God, I pray that in whatever language your word is spoken, I may always be receptive - I may always hear and understand, and allow it to produce a great harvest in my life. Lord, I am listening.

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