Everyday Differences

Author: Michael Babienco

April 2024

“Okay, pair conversation! M-san and C-san, please work together. And . . .” Our Japanese language-school teacher paused for a moment, glanced at Caitlyn and me, and then continued. “Michael-san and Caitlyn-san, is it okay for you to talk together?” During the first few days of class, we had not been paired together for conversation practice. Now was our first opportunity to practice with one another. We said it was no problem and began talking to one another in Japanese.

Strange, I thought. We’re married! Why would she have to ask? Later that week, a different language school teacher asked us the same question.

In our third week of class, the mystery was finally solved. After pairing us together again, the language school teacher who first asked if it would be okay began explaining the situation. “You know, married couples are not usually glad about being paired together. When it happens, they look at each other with disappointed expressions and are not happy. So we don’t usually put married couples together for conversation practice. But you are a different couple. You are happy to talk with one another.”

Sometimes, the opportunity to share how Jesus can make a difference in our lives comes through one-time events like a sermon or a Bible study. But more often, our love for Jesus and the difference He makes is shown through our everyday actions. I did not previously see language school as a significant opportunity for witnessing. Now, I see that even how we treat each other can cause our teachers to see a difference.

Please keep us in prayer as we learn the Japanese language and seek to show the love of Jesus to our Japanese teachers and fellow students.