A Unique Missionary Experience

Recently a Bible College student asked me to answer some questions for a class of hers. Here is one of the questions she sent me, and my answer.

What is a unique experience you have had?

One day I picked up my wife from Language School in Sao Paulo, Brazil to take her shopping. We were new to the country and city and went exploring in some little shops in a Jewish area of town. Our Portuguese Language skills were almost nil, but growing.

My wife and I walked into a lady’s clothing store so that she might look for new clothes. While she tried on clothes in the back room, I noticed that the young sales clerk, Asian-looking, was reading something. I looked to see what it was and saw that it was a Bible.

So I asked her, in my best Portuguese, “Do you understand what you are reading?” She said, “No.” So I asked to see her Bible. She brought it to me and to my surprise, it was a Gideon’s Bible in both Korean and English, not Portuguese as I expected.

I asked if I could show her some verses. She agreed. So I started looking up verses in English and then pointing across the page to the same verse in Korean. She could not read English and so she read the Korean.

She spoke acceptable Portuguese but probably had not been in Brazil very long either since she still had a strong Korean accent. So our conversation was in a language we had both learned after coming to Brazil.

During this time a few customers came into the store. She would give them prices on items and then return to looking at the Bible verses I was showing her.

Soon Vicki was finished trying on clothes, but I told her to keep trying on more things while I talked to this young lady. Pretty soon I had the price of each clothes item memorized and I began to answer the questions about prices as each customer came in. This kept her thoughts about salvation from being interrupted by customers. (She was the only sales clerk in the store.)

After a period of time and many Bible verses, this young Korean lady in Brazil prayed and trusted Christ as her Savior! Praise the Lord. What a blessing this was to us as new missionaries!

God indeed is willing to use us in our weaknesses. Vicki and I had very little Portuguese skills at that time, but He led us to a lady with a Gideon’s Bible, in Korean, to help us lead her to Christ. God wants to use you also, if you will only make yourself available to Him.

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