I always love studying the Bible with my sisters and brothers in Vietnam! This is from August 10, 2012.
One of the highlights of my mission to Vietnam this summer was the continuation of the Bible classes we had at night. Last summer, we started with the Gospel of Luke. This summer, they remembered exactly where we left off, Luke, chapter 20, so that was our jumping off spot. After completing Luke, we turned to its sequel, Acts, and continued our look at the early Christians. We had two objectives: we wanted to improve our Bible knowledge and we wanted to improve our English skills. Each night, I would make copies of that evening's chapter reading from biblegateway.com. The young ladies asked if I could get the sheets to them early so they could read ahead and work on their comprehension. On some nights when we finished our reading and discussion, we would watch that section from The Visual Bible which I was able to access on youtube.
I've worked with different folks over the years on their English skills through a program called Friendspeak, but I'm not an English teacher. I would read a paragraph and have one of the girls repeat the reading. It's important that they can hear it from someone whose native language is English and not just from someone who would commit the same pronunciation mistakes they make. There are sounds which are very difficult in English for Vietnamese people to make just as there are sounds in Vietnamese I struggle to replicate. I never know how much of their pronunciation to correct as they speak, trying to keep the flow of the reading intact. I've seen marked improvement in their English skills in the past twelve months. In regards to their spiritual growth, that's much harder to gauge and it's not my call anyway, is it? In Acts 27, verse 11, we're told the believers in Berea were more honorable than other listeners because they pored over the word of God to determine if what Paul was preaching was accurate. These girls are all relatively new Christians and they are searching as did the Bereans two millennium ago. They have at least one advantage; the Bereans didn't speak any English! But then, the Bereans were taught by Paul, not Steve.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Bible reading is an education in itself."
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