Many of you may not know that God has given me a love for sign language. This started when I was in 4th grade and went to school with three deaf children who I was fascinated with. They taught me the alphabet and a few words in sign. I didn't do much else with it until a few years back when I went to a church where one of my best friends was a sign language interpreter. I would sit with her in the "sign section" and learned many of the worship songs we did. After a bit of time, I was even able to help interpret some of these songs during the service. I also began teaching my students at school some sign language, which they loved!
My first term teaching here, I taught a sign language class to standard 5, 6, and 7 girls once a week and was amazed at how much they picked up and how thoroughly they enjoyed it! I haven't done much else with it since April, but God changed that today at church! At the beginning of our worship service, one of the leaders at the mission asked me if I would help interpret the service for a young woman who was new to the church and actually just gave her life to Christ last week! I was definitely nervous and seriously questioned my ability to interpret anywhere close to what she needed, but I just prayed and asked the Lord to take over.
Monty is 24 and is a precious young woman. She was so sweet and patient with me, and when I didn't know a word, I would just spell it out for her and she would sign the word for me. We were kind of in our own little world during the whole service. She would look at me as I signed the songs and then join in with me. And when the speaking started, she so patiently and intently concentrated on what I was signing. I wish I could explain how amazing it is to see the look of understanding come over her as she comprehended what I was signing and seemed to really be involved in and enjoying the sermon.
My heart was so full of joy at the end of the church service today. (Which reminds me of my post from yesterday!) What an unexpected and wonderful opportunity to serve God and love on someone here in Botswana in a whole new way. I love how He puts a love in us for something and then uses that thing for His glory. So cool!! And I was encouraged at how intimately involved God is in our lives and how faithfully He provides for our needs. You see, last week she came to church with Jana Lackey, who also knows sign language, and as Jana interpreted for her, Monty gave her life to Christ. But Jana returned to the States on Monday and would not be at church today. God knew this, however, and had already arranged for a mission team to be here working with the children's church so I would "just happen" to be in the service. God is watching over Monty and is taking care of her in a special way. What a special reminder at how much He cares for each of us, too!
P.S. My boarders came back today and it is so good to see them! :)