Mom recently revealed that Dad shared the Gospel with Russians when he was at work out on the oil platform. He spoke Russian to them! As far as we knew, he only spoke English at home.
Mom relates that the platform crews complained because Dad left the intercom on while he witnessed to the Russian rig tender crews at night. Dad’s crew had trouble sleeping while all that Russian talk was blaring into their rooms. One of Dad’s work friends used to tell Mom that some of the men would yell for Dad to be quiet, but he kept it up night after night.
Evidently Dad believed no matter in what language he shared the Gospel, the Holy Spirit would convict.
Ahh, Dad. I sure miss you.
Funny thing is, he was a Baptist deacon and speaking in tongues was not endorsed at church. We talked about that and he told me he prayed for the gift of tongues to be given to him by God if it was okay for now-days. He didn’t wait around for the gifting from the Lord, though. He took right off and began studying Russian back when I was a teenager and living at home. He used to practice out loud while I listened. As far as I could tell, he was doing great. Of course, I couldn’t understand a word. This went on for a few weeks. I did wonder why he was interested in learning Russian all of a sudden, but he never said.
Now I get it. He saw an opportunity to witness to a new group of guys and just had to overcome the communication challenge. Remember, this was back in the middle sixties without the benefit of internet, cell phones, or language apps.
It seems to me now that he tried his best to learn Russian from a book on his days off at home – like a crash course – and then just cut loose and witnessed in fairly fluent Russian at work as the Holy Spirit led. According to the guys who heard it, Dad’s Russian was fluent enough to converse with the boat crews which were anchored up near the platform via radio without an interpreter. I believe someone on those rigs needed to hear the Gospel and Dad was God’s faithful messenger. God’s Word never comes back void. Who knows how many Russians were encouraged by Dad’s testimony?
Remembering now that this was back in the years of the Cold War also! Communistic-imposed atheism denied most Russians exposure to the Good News of Jesus. How these Russians happened to be working in the Inlet, I have no clue; but I believe Dad spoke Russian as the Holy Spirit led while witnessing his faith to them. Did he speak in tongues? I’m just sharing what Mom told me. Dad never spoke Russian that I know of except for in this story.
Dad, I’m dedicating this post to you – remembering your heavenly birthday coming up next month.
4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance … 6And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born?” ~ Acts 2:4, 6-8 NKJV
There is so much more about Dad to tell – it would fill books.