Friday, March 26, 2010

After language study. our first mission was Nha Trang. Missionary Bill Roberson had started a little church there and served as pastor. Missionary Bob Davis followed Bill when he went on furlough. When Bob went on furlough, it fell my lot to follow him as pastor of the church. I was really green and as the Vietnamese say, "one has studied high but not wide" meaning you have an academic knowledge but not a practical one. This was made painfully aware to me as I tried to preach in Vietnamese each Sunday. In the church was the wife of a former Christian and Missionary Alliance Vietnamese pastor. Each Sunday she would tell me, "Missionary you preached well this morning ------". Now in Vietnamese there are several words which mean "but". One is ma with a falling tone and isn't very strong by itself. Another word is nhung which is a little stronger. Now if you put the two together you get "nhung ma" which is really strong. Now this precious lady when she complemented me on a good sermon would always follow with "Nhung ma, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO SAY?". I yearned for her to leave out the "nhung ma", but I don't remember her ever just saying, "Missionary you preached a good sermon this morning". So, to this day I can live with ma and/or nhung, but always fear I will hear that horrendous "NHUNG MA". And I am getting old now.

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