“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” -1 Peter 3:15
I just wrote about how I came across a very specific chapter in an unexpected place about sharing faith right after praying for more direction in that area. But that isn’t the end.
The next day, yesterday, a plumber came over to fix a leak in my bathroom. It was a team of two, and while one of them was working, I sat in our living room with the other, named Borey, making conversation with my broken Khmer.
My roommate, Ney, has that picture Christ, the Way of Life hanging up on our wall. After just a few minutes, Borey asked me what the picture was about. Happily surprised that he asked, I started to explain it.
That was no easy feat. After trying from a few different angles, Borey asked another question: “Why did he die?”
Now that put me on the spot. How could I explain this in Khmer? Finally, after far too much stumbling over my words, I think I got the message across that He died because people made many mistakes, and we didn’t like Him. Far from satisfactory, I think. I just have to pray that he has some sanctified imagination, now.
But I don’t want to have to pray for that from here on out. Maybe one of the best things about being in Cambodia and learning to communicate in a new language is that I have had to decide what I want to communicate. Since my vocabulary is limited, I can’t communicate everything. I have to prioritize and get specific. I have to develop my approach to sharing the Gospel intentionally.
And that’s something I think everyone should do. I was always comfortable with my language–I always had plenty of ways of explaining things–so I never really worried about crafting my conversations in advance. But when it comes to explaining something as nebulous as the Christian faith has become, I think each of us needs more definition to our belief, whether it’s in Khmer or in English. When the chance to share the Gospel comes, it is often very brief. Make the most of every opportunity by always being prepared to answer.