Heart language matters

I saw the importance of communication today.

For many years, Mr. and Mrs. Lee have rented a storage unit whenever they move.

Mrs. Lee is deaf.

I remember the first time I met them, which was the first month I started working at Storage Depot (before I started learning sign language). My boss had to write back and forth with Mrs. Lee about pricing and unit sizes.

heart languageFast forward to now, 11 months into my learning sign language. I was able to interpret for Mrs. Lee and she came to life! She talked and talked! It was so cool to see the power of communication in action.

Knowing someone’s heart language is important, especially when you’re on the mission field.

Each of us was born with an innate desire to be known and understood. Language barriers are the biggest deterrents to connection.

I’ve received a TON of help from the deaf community because week after week I show up and try. Even when I completely mess up, my friends kindly and gently encourage me and teach me the right way. Who could guess that my bumbling efforts would be so well received? I certainly didn’t expect it!

For many of my deaf friends, though, their own parents never made an effort to learn sign language. One of my friend’s mom started learning sign once my friend was grown. As my friend shared the story with me, there were tears in her eyes.

“This is what I’ve always wanted.”

Heart language matters. If you want to make an impact learn a culture’s heart language.

And this is true of any culture–not just deaf culture.

So, for all of my friends who feel drawn to a certain country or culture, take this advice from someone who has seen the difference: Language is key.

Celebrating a wonderful beginning

Last fall, I started my journey of learning sign language. This September will mark my first full year as a student and future interpreter.
I never imagined this journey would be as fulfilling and jam packed with adventure as it has been.

When I started learning, I honestly had no idea what to expect. Taking a sign language class was me stepping out in faith. It’s something I had wanted to do for over 3 years and I decided that it was time to quit putting it off.

I fell in love almost instantly with the language and it’s people!

All along the way, I have committed myself to prayer, asking God for opportunities to learn, grow, and serve.

The answer to this prayer has come in the form of great friendships–including one friend who I consider my mentor–with individuals who are willing to teach an eager newbie.

The opportunities to serve are beyond my wildest dreams for only being a beginner! All I can say is God is faithful…

There’s a lot more I could talk about but I will stop for now. We will definitely talk about this subject more as the year progresses.

Today I just wanted to reminisce and give thanks to God for a great first year.