I remember reading this story as a young teen and just being blown away by it… and I believe one of the lessons from this story is … get to know your Bible well.
“Soon a frail old man hobbled into the room, wheezing with the simple effort of crossing to the desk. He was Gheorghe, president of a national denomination, and the young man with him was Ion, the denomination secretary. But after the introductions, the conversation stalled. Andrew spoke no Rumanian, and neither man spoke English, Dutch, or German. They sat together, staring at one another, until Andrew noticed a well-worn Bible on Gheorghe’s desk. He had an idea.
Andrew pulled out his own Dutch Bible and flipped the pages to 1 Corinthians 16:20. He held out the Bible to Gheorghe and Ion. The name of the book and the verse numbers were distinguishable even in another language, and Gheorghe quickly grabbed the Rumanian Bible from his desk and flipped to the verse Andrew had indicated. The two Rumanian men leaned together over the Bible and read the verse.
“All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with a holy kiss.”
They looked at each other and then grinned at Andrew. Gheorghe’s fingers flew through the familiar pages until he reached Proverbs 25:25. He showed it to Andrew. Andrew found it in his Dutch Bible and read it.
“As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”
Andrew laughed out loud, and Gheorghe and Ion joined him. Andrew turned to Philemon, verses 4 and 5. Gheorghe and Ion found the verses and smiled as they read in Rumanian.
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord . . .”
Ion took the weathered Bible from Gheorghe and scanned the next few verses of Philemon. He pointed to verse 7, and as Andrew read it in Dutch, tears pricked his eyelids.
“For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
For more than half an hour, Andrew conversed with Gheorghe and Ion solely through God’s Word. They traded passages back and forth, finding everything they needed to say within those hallowed pages. When their time together was done, they were fast friends. Although they had not spoken a single word to one another out loud, their hearts had spoken the language of love. They had spoken the language of God.”