Africa Stories, Uncategorized

SMILES and the language barrier

A wise man once told me, “a smile crosses over all language barriers.”

That wise man was Mr. Bill Haring.  He served many years as a missionary in Mexico.  He and his amazing wife and five children had “given up a lot” to GO, but if you ask him, he would tell you that it was his honor to serve the Lord in that way.  I remember sitting at his feet (literally, I sat on the floor beside him) asking him to impart wisdom to me as I would be going on my first mission trip out of the country since becoming a mom.  He shared stories of miracles and stories of the power of the Holy Spirit and has continued to share many tidbits of knowledge throughout the years.  I have taken his wisdom and used it to prepare every single mission team since that meeting.

Many things happen when a smile is exchanged. That moment of hesitation as the locals try to figure out what a new person is doing in their neck of the woods. Maybe a little confusion.

But then, it happens.  One smiles first.  Perhaps a little wave.  And just like that, the barrier is gone.  He was right about the smiles.  It is a simple gesture that means so much. It says, “I see you.” You are important.  You are noticed.

  • Smile.
  • Wave.
  • Pat someone on the shoulder.
  • Hug.

I am thankful that the smile is universal. It is sweet, simple encouragement.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up.”

–Lisa Brodie

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