Hello, I've been praying about learning a language to use as a bridge to friendship with online friends. I know some of you all have been learning Arabic or Persian. I'd love to hear how learning our friends' languages have helped you form stronger friendships or helped in other ways to make connections. Also, how did you choose which language to learn when there are so many different languages spoken in the closed countries we reach into? The time I thought I would have to work on language learning this summer was swallowed up in other life events. So, now I'm pondering and praying, is this something God is calling me to do, or something I should let go? I'm not asking you all to answer that question for me (although, I'd be happy if you could!!), but trying to get a more clear picture about how the time investment in learning a language may be helpful.
My kids are 15 and 13. Last year I helped my son (15) connect with new friends in Turkey and Indonesia through a site called Pen Pal World. They mostly just emailed back and forth but after a few weeks both of the other boys sort of disappeared. They just quit emailing. He was discouraged by this. Recently I've been connecting with Os. in Turkey who has a family much like mine. He has a 16 year old son and a few weeks ago, I asked him if his son would like to connect with my son. My son speaks pretty good Turkish but his son also speaks pretty good English (both Os. and his wife are teachers and his wife is an English teacher). So, I gave him my son's email address to give to his son. His son emailed right away and they then connected on What's App (I had to help my son download the app and set it up). Last week they had an hour long call. They are planning on calling again this week. As a family we are praying for this family more and more. I stay in pretty good communication with my son about the connection. Here are a few questions I'd love to hear the answers to from some of you as I think about helping others help their kids get started connecting with Muslims online. 1. What initially bubble up in your mind as you read about my son's connection with a Turkish Muslim teen? 2. What are the risks that you could forsee in helping teens make connections with Muslim teens online? 3. Any other things that excite you or concern you as you think about possibly helping your own kids make connections online?