Real service is one of the most demanding ways one person can help another. It is not simply creating an answer to a problem, as hard as that is in itself. Service isn’t just helping someone or pulling a person to their feet when they fall down. Service is meeting a person where they are–on their ground–and struggling to help them there.
We worked at the Southern Sudan Community Association, helping to teach refugees English. However, I wasn’t teaching Sudanese people, I was teaching two men from Nepal. I don’t know Sudanese, and I speak Nepalese about as well. Language barriers are always difficult to get past, but you need to work to overcome them.
Though we are no longer working with the SSCA anymore, we are still helping refugees, now from Burma, which is coincidentally another language I don’t speak. It isn’t any easier, but giving real service is never easy. But, the good thing about service is that anyone can do it, you don’t need any language skills to be with other people.