Post 93 / The Next Language
June 7, 2022
A Glorious Landing
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. [2Co 12:2 KJV]
I am almost forced to share Paul’s discourse feature of hiding his identity in 2 Cor. 12. In this case I am not hiding my own identity but the persons and places in this story.
The situation was just about as surreal as Paul’s, as we stood in an unnamed African airport at 1:30 am, holding a $600 dollar invoice for duty on the recording equipment that we had brought with us. We had just completed an overnight train ride, and an overnight flight in the shadow of the earth and had finally arrived to our destination. The head of customs curtly ordered us to leave the inspection room and report to the office for paying duty.
I asked if I could bring in our national Director who was waiting outside. After talking our way through security points several times we got to the woman who was in complete control of the situation. After meeting the Director, who confirmed what we were doing, she abruptly told him to shut up and sit down. She wanted to talk to me. She said she could see from our itinerary that we had been travelling close to 30 hours. She also noticed my age from my passport which she was holding. She asked, “Why is someone your age doing this? Who is paying you? Don’t you have children and grandchildren to enjoy?” She told me that if we had been carrying Bibles as missionaries she would let it go. But she couldn’t see why all this new equipment was necessary.
I told her that we had something better than Bibles. We had the story of Jesus in more than 500 languages of her country. I asked what she spoke as a first language and she told me. While I was trying to find it on 5fish she kept asking me who was paying me to do this. I told her of my cattle that I had sold in order to make this trip. Just then I started playing her language which just “happened” to be the right one out of this language group.
Instantly a message called “What is a Christian?” took center stage. I stopped it, thinking I didn’t want to push our luck too far. She immediately told me to keep it playing and turn the volume up. She was totally absorbed in what she was hearing. One of her workers started asking to hear his language. She responded that he would not be interested because he was a Muslim. (Turns out she was Catholic.) But he insisted so I put the national Director to work finding this man’s language.
We downloaded the 5fish app onto the immigration chief’s phone so she could start to listen on her own phone and also gave her a blue tooth speaker so it would be louder.
Finally, she asked me what I would do if she waived the charges. I said that I would get to work and try to finish recording the rest of the languages in her country. I pointed out that every single piece of equipment in our four large suitcases was for the sole purpose of producing the same messages she was listening to. I did tell her that I had about half the cash in my pocket for the duty and also that I could not give her a bribe because that would not please God. She agreed. She also said that she would allow us to apply that duty money to, instead, getting all the languages with the Gospel.
Then she called her second in command to the office and explained what she was going to do and to see if he agreed. She informed us that she was going to waive the duty because we were doing a good thing for the most deprived groups of Nigeria and we were not charging for anything. She said, “These people have patiently put up with our harassment and I am going to let them go.” She then requested that we pray for them before we left.
So there we stood with her and her Muslim agent praying for them and giving thanks for their mercy and God for looking out for His equipment. Our Director immediately dubbed me the “archbishop of Global Recordings Network.”
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. [Ps 23:5 KJV]
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. [Prov 16:7 KJV]
(Editor’s note: Praise God with us for opened doors. Pray for more “Acts” experiences for Larry and his team as they spend a month in this African country.)
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net