Thursday, December 18, 2008

Squirrels...a repost.

Learning another language is not always fun or easy, but it is interesting! Spanish is an easy language, linguistically speaking, to learn. It is a phonetic language where, unlike in English, the phonetic rules rarely have exceptions. Grammatically, it is ordered and organized around the verbs, so once you learn the forms, you just begin to add vocabulary and work on accents. The most difficult for me is the subjunctive forms of the verbs. Arrggghh!!!!

I did not appreciate this aspect of the Spanish language until much later when I would need to learn the Ye'kwana language. The Ye'kwana language is everything the Spanish language is not. Add to that the fact you have no language instructors or anyone around you who even knows what a verb is. The grammar is different in that the nouns are possessed and the language is built around the nouns. I used to say that the nouns were possessed alright, DEMON possessed!!!

But back to squirrels... When we first arrived in Venezuela, my husband took the pastorate of Iglesia Bautista La Santa Biblia and immediately had to begin preparing sermons for 4 messages a week. He spoke Spanish fairly well, but still had to put a lot of time and effort into sermon preparation.

One Sunday he stood to deliver the sermon to the congregation. His sermon was well thought out, very well developed, easy three point outline to follow along with good illustrations to emphasize his points. The subject matter of the sermon was "Pride".

For 30 minutes he delivered his sermon on "Pride". He railed on the congregation to search out "pride' where ever it might be found in our lives. God abhors "Pride" and there is no place for "pride" in the christian's life. As I said, it was a challenging message.

The problem was that the congregation was not responsive. Actually, they were responding, but not appropriately! Many people were grinning ear to ear. Others were obviously trying not to laugh out loud. Some chose to look down at their feet for the entire sermon, with their shoulders shaking with silent mirth! The youth of the congregation were outright laughing.

After the service, my husband was disheartened with the spirit of the congregation. He told me he knew he had been led to speak against "Pride" and did not understand the problem with the people. I had to tell him... for 30 minutes he had orated not against "Pride" ( the Spanish word is "Orgullo") but rather against "Squirrels"!!! ( the Spanish word is "Ardilla)

The mental pictures were quite funny! Christians hunting out squirrels and killing them! God hating squirrels! No room for squirrels in the christian's life! A real riot !!!!

The following week my husband did not want to preach!! He was embarrassed about the sermon of the week before, however, being the Pastor, he had to swallow his "squirrels" and preach any way!


Findalis said...

LOL! I could just imagine the laughter on that sermon.

Soul Skittles said...

:D That's hilarious!!

firepig said...

Cute anecdote.I have one as well from when I first arrived in Venezuela and my husband and I went to a government dinner with his boss.I had heard many folks use the expression" pelando bolas" and I imagined it meant 'broken' from the contexts in which it was used.His boss reached into her purse, took out a cigarette that unfortunately was broken in half.

I looked at her, and proudly announced( thinking I was showing off my Spanish), that her cigarette was pelando bola.

She almost choked from laughter.

Another example of where pride leads us.

Spanish is very verby isn't it?

Interesting tidbits about languages.Thanks!

Jungle Mom said...


Jungle Mom said...

firpig, Bwahahaa!

Betty said...

LOL! I hadn´t read this yet. Funny. I feel for him.

Joshua said...

Once i was Translating for a fellow missionary Siberia Tom i dont remember if her was preaching or just giving a testimony, i do remember he used a story of a dad throwing the life preserver to his sons friend who did not know how to swim instead of his son who didnt know how to swim the reason was the friend was not saved. but either way somewhere in the course of me translating he said pride which reminded me of this story, and i was doing all i could to not laugh and when it was my turn to translate i said squirrel and the looks of all the people who heard were so funny. I did however only sy it once and did not put it into the title of my sermon hahah

The Chambers Family said...

That is hilarious! =)