When we say “heart language”, we mean the language that speaks to the heart. The language a person hears their mother speak, the language they learned as a child, the language a person uses with those most close to them.
You might wonder, “Wouldn’t evangelism just be easier if everyone learned English?” Well, think about it…. I’m going to insert a verse from a language in the same branch as English. See if you can figure out which verse it is.
“Denn Gott hat die Menschen so sehr geliebt, dass er seinen einzigen Sohn für sie hergab. Jeder, der an ihn glaubt, wird nicht zugrunde gehen, sondern das ewige Leben haben.”
Didn’t get it? OK, try this one. It has a lot of words that sound like English….
“God i gat wanpela pikinini tasol i stap. Tasol God i laikim tumas olgeta manmeri bilong graun, olsem na em i givem dispel wanpela pikinini long ol. Em i mekim olsem bilong olgeta manmeri i bilip long e mol i no ken lus. Nogat. Bai ol i kisim laip i stap gut oltaim oltaim.”
So did you pick it up that time? Some of the words sound familiar didn’t they? No? OK, how about….
“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
So now you know it is John 3:16. Can you imagine having to learn German or Tok Pisin to read the Bible for your spiritual nourishment? I can’t. That’s why we’re in Papua New Guinea supporting the work of Bible translation.
*Photo by J&M Matsumaru