Michelle Norman: “I’ve Lost My Voice”
Michelle and her husband (Matt) are CBF missionaries in Barcelona, Spain, where they serve through local congregations among marginalized and disenfranchised people; often their work is among refugees, immigrants, and international students.
In a recent post on their blog, Michelle explores the important process of language acquisition for missionaries, but more importantly she explores what it’s like to be “the other” in a world where it’s so easy to be silenced on the margins. Though Michelle and Matt’s involvement is not specifically among the same kinds of folks that Grace and Main is living among, it raises an important point: when we take away somebody’s voice, we lessen them, but when we give them a voice we all benefit.
Here’s a sample of her post:
…Not being able to communicate. That is the hardest for me…it is the way I seem to have lost myself by not being able to express who I am through words. Anyone who knows me well, and probably those who know me just a little, know that I love to talk. But here in this new place I have lost my voice. I cannot speak with any level of fluency. At times I find myself wanting to communicate something in a conversation but realize that I would not be able to express it well and instead sit quietly. I am confined to a certain set of vocabulary and I am forced to sit and listen…
Go on over to their blog to read the rest.