Friday, February 4, 2011

every language

We are monolingual creatures
from a monolingual homeland.

Every once in awhile we find ourselves staggered
by how knowledgeable the Filipino people are.

On any given Sunday, the people of the small church we attend
function interchangeably in many languages.

"The Word of God
The New Testament

God's Word is usually read in English,
though sometimes also in
and the singing is in these languages too.

The preaching is another mix,
of Tagalog,

and Cebuano.

Some members follow along in other Bibles
translated into their own mother-tongue.
The one above used by Leeza is Ata Manobo.

***Just for fun...
make a guess: to which two books
are the Bibles pictured above open?***

As if that isn't enough,
a few members of the congregation also read the language of the blind,

Above, Amy and Elise finger the pages in wonder.

This volume (also pictured below)
is one half of the book of Matthew
in Braille,
in Cebuano.

Alan, who is legally blind,
'reads' from the Word in preparation to preach.

His hands deftly fly over the pages,
searching for the location he wants to review.

Kelly then reads aloud from the Braille,
seamlessly moving from word to word.

Then Alan preaches with passion and an amazing memory,
quoting those precious words.

And we leave each week humbled by these people
who speak so many Filipino languages,
yet are patient with our faltering Cebuano
and who graciously work
to engage us in English!

"You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals, because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God
from every tribe
and language
and people
and nation."
Revelation 5:9


Carl G. said...

I think the 2nd one is Thessalonians.
I also think our monolingualism is a function of our western hubris and maybe even cultural megalomania.

us5 said...

ummm...can you translate please?!?

and YES!!! you are the WINNER!!! the second Bible is open to Thessalonians. (i actually think it was 1st Thess. though...)

Judy said...

Hey! That's what I thought too--Thessalonians! But I didn't comment soon enough--my brother beat me to the punch. I think Carl is saying something about bean dip and a superhero movie or something.

us5 said...

any guesses on the 1st Bible? I'll post the answer soon, after I pass the bean dip...

us5 said...

for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath..."Santiago" is the book of James!