None of them knew how to speak the language of the Jews.
The inability to grasp God’s Word in a foreign language can pose a real threat to our spiritual health. In the fifth century B.C.E., Nehemiah showed concern when he learned that some children among the Jews who had returned from Babylon could not speak the Hebrew language. These children were actually losing their identity as God’s servants because they could not fully understand the meaning of God’s Word. (Neh. 8:2, 8) Some Christian parents serving in a foreign-language field have come to realize that their children’s interest in the truth has waned. Why? When we read in a foreign tongue, our heart may not be as involved as it would be in our own language. Moreover, the inability to communicate well in another language can be mentally and spiritually draining. So while keeping alive our desire to serve Jehovah in a foreign-language field, we do well to safeguard our spiritual health.
Faith is . . . the convincing evidence of realities that are not seen.
Christian faith is a precious quality. Not all humans possess it. (2 Thess. 3:2) However, Jehovah has given to each one of his worshippers “a measure of faith.” (Rom. 12:3; Gal. 5:22) All who have it should be deeply grateful. Jesus Christ said that his heavenly Father draws people to himself through His Son. (John 6:44, 65) Acquiring faith in Jesus, in turn, makes it possible for an individual to gain forgiveness of sins. That, then, opens up the prospect of enjoying an everlasting relationship with Jehovah. (Rom. 6:23) What did we do to deserve such a wonderful blessing? As sinners, the only thing we deserve is death. (Ps. 103:10) But Jehovah saw a potential for good in us. Out of his undeserved kindness, he opened our heart to the good news. So we began to exercise faith in Jesus with everlasting life in view.
[Paul gave] many words of encouragement to the ones there.
In his letters, Paul spoke highly of his fellow Christians. He had traveled with some of them for years and undoubtedly knew their faults, but he said good things about them. For instance, Paul described Timothy as his “beloved and faithful child in the Lord,” one who would genuinely care for the concerns of other Christians. (1 Cor. 4:17; Phil. 2:19, 20) The apostle commended Titus to the Corinthian congregation as “my companion and a fellow worker for your interests.” (2 Cor. 8:23) How encouraged Timothy and Titus must have been to learn what Paul thought of them! Paul and Barnabas risked their lives by going back to places where they had suffered violent attacks. For instance, even though they had faced fanatic opposition in Lystra, they returned there in order to encourage new disciples to remain in the faith. (Acts 14:19-22) In Ephesus, after Paul faced an angry crowd, he encouraged the disciples there.