A Missionary Experience

Pastor Wade Moody, Iglesia VIDA Church

My husband, Rod, was off on the day I was scheduled to make a presentation about Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot at Iglesia VIDA. I asked Pastor Moody if he wanted Rod to hold a special service for children. He welcomed the idea.

I helped Rod set things up for his service and then found a seat on the front row in the sanctuary. After the offering, Pastor Moody introduced me to the congregation and then handed me the microphone. “Wait for the translation,” he said. His church minsters to the Hispanic community and offers a bi-lingual service. For the next ten minutes, I had a taste of what it might be like to speak in a foreign land as everything I said was translated into Spanish. I quickly learned that speaking short phrases worked best.

I had abbreviated the excerpt knowing the bi-lingual service would double the ten minutes it took to read it. Some of the congregation members were from Honduras so shared how I started writing. When I taught Sunday School, one of the students was from Honduras. One day, she came to class with a cassette recorder. She planned to record the lesson and put it on the radio in Honduras. The audio quality on the inexpensive equipment was poor, so I started giving her a copy of my notes. Others in the class requested copies of the notes. I wrote more and more of what I said until I was writing the entire lesson and reading it.  The single mother and hairdresser quickly ran into financial problems and discovered translating English into Spanish more difficult than she had anticipated. The project was abandoned, but I never stopped writing.

After the service, I stood by my display in the foyer. Some of the children were showing Squiggy, Rod’s diver that lives in a water filled two liter bottle, to their father. Rod uses Squiggy to teach the children a simple message about obedience. He controls Squiggy by applying slight pressure to the bottle. The pressure causes the diver to sink to the bottom of the bottle. When he released the pressure, the diver rises to the top. It appears the diver has a mind of his own and either obeys or disobeys Rod. By the end of the lesson, the diver will only move at Rod’s command. After the service Rod showed the children how to control the diver, and they were entertaining their father. The father looked at me and said, “That is so cool.”

Dalyz purchased a book. She was surprised that I remembered her name. When we visited to interview Pastor Moody, the service was in Spanish, and she had translated for me. She was thrilled to learn I had included her in Pastor Moody’s story.

Rod Myers, Children’s Pastor, with Squiggy

While I chatted with Dalyz, a young man who attended the University of New Orleans perused the back of a promotional card with comments people had made about the book. He was impressed by the atheist statement “The personal approach of telling stories about the effect of faith in people’s lives paid off. It’s a fluid read that strikes a chord. I would not be surprised if this book goes into multiple printings.”

“Did an atheist really say that?”

“Yes,” I replied. “His story is the last chapter in the book.”

“You should come to UNO.”

“I’d love to. Do you know someone who could invite me?”

While he thought about it, Dalyz paid for his book, which has been a common occurrence since I started selling Finding Faith in the City Care Forgot.

I sold the last book to a young woman who spoke broken English. She had recently come to America and friends had chided her for not learning the language. “I’m going to use your book to learn how to read English,” she said.

My husband pointed to his wrist as a sign he was ready to go. He doesn’t wear a watch, but I knew what he meant. He had promised our son that he would help him put up a fence, and it was getting late. I cleared the table of my promotional materials and pack up the remaining unsold books. While my husband and son worked on the fence, I spent the rest of the day playing with my grandchildren. The end of a perfect day.

About Teena Myers

Teena Myers is the Chairman of Southern Christian Writers, a freelance writer and author of three books.
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