Thursday WOP – Tyler Whitsett
Title: “Overcoming pantyhose addictions”
Sometimes your best memories come from some very embarrassing situations. I have lived in the mission field for 15 years of my life and know this to be true. One such occasion happened when I was giving one of six week of prayer talks. Prior to the trip I had chosen to be a part of the team of people giving the talks. The topic of the week of prayer series was to be on overcoming and each one of us would talk about a different addiction to overcome. I chose to talk about media addictions because I knew I could relate to it and make it personal and that way the audience would stay engaged and understand it better. The night came when I was to give the media talk. I was somewhat nervous, but I knew that I had prepared, and that I would have a translator which would give me opportunity to think about what I would say next while the translator was talking.
After a few songs, and a short prayer, I went up to the podium to give my overcoming talk. I started out with the generic “Welcome back to the third night of week of prayer” etc, and started talking about overcoming media addictions. I wanted to engage the audience so I asked questions here and there with a show of hands. But as I was talking I noticed that, while the whole congregation was smiling, only the Weimar students and English speaking staff were interacting and raising their hands. I didn’t think much about it and continued on with my talk. The whole talk went smoothly and the translator even covered up some mistakes that I made in English and I was feeling quite happy with how things were going. I got towards the end of the talk and threw in a story about my childhood and how I had a problem with media. I loved using my computer, and while I didn’t do bad things on it, I was wasting my time doing useless things when I could have been doing other things. I told how I couldn’t overcome my computer addiction by myself since the problem was bigger than me and that I needed someone bigger to fix the problem, I needed God. I looked up and scanned the room to see several people nodding their heads and heard a few murmured amens. Then I noticed a row of Belizean people smiling broadly and chuckling. I wondered about it but not for too long because I had to think about what to say next. The whole talk lasted about 45 minutes and I said a prayer to close and people began to file out of the small one room church.
The whole talk went well and I was praising God for the work that He had done through me as I walked out the door towards the waiting bus to go back to the MOVE campus. As I was walking, trying not to stop for too long to avoid the annoying red ants, the translator ran up and I told her how she had done a very good job as this was one of her first times translating up front. As we were talking, she proceeded to tell me about how she had to learn the word for “media” in Spanish. The translation in Spanish can mean two different things depending on whether it has an “o” or an “a” in the end. If it ends with an “o”, it means media, but if it ends with an “a”, it means pantyhose! We had a big laugh because I had asked for a show of hands for how many people struggled with a media addiction and the translation was about how many people struggled with a pantyhose addiction! No wonder only the Weimar students and staff had raised their hands and no-one else had! The whole thing taught me how important it is to learn to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake. We all had a big laugh out of it and no doubt will remember “Tyler and the pantyhose addiction” for years to come!
Thursday WOP – Tyler Whitsett