Before coming to Bolivia, I learned quite a bit of Spanish. I can understand almost everything that I read, and the majority of what I hear. But for some reason, speaking it is very difficult for me! It’s like my mind goes blank when it becomes my turn to talk.
I’m surrounded by a lot of English due to my living situation. It’s not something I’m complaining about by any means, haha! However, I was feeling a restlessness in me about 10 days ago, a feeling that if I really want to make any progress in Spanish, I need to spend more time with people who speak it! I felt almost like I was sinking into a comfort zone, and I wanted a push to make sure I didn’t settle there! I talked to Jesus about how I was feeling, and asked that He would just show me what He wanted me to do about it.
The next day, before it had really even occurred to me to talk to others about what I was feeling, I was asked if I wanted to spend time with members from a local church! Which, yes, means they only knew Spanish! At times it’s awkward. It takes my mind a long time sometimes to piece together the words to say. But the people are showing such patience and grace toward me. I was assured that they understand what I’m trying to say even when I’m struggling, haha.
Since then, I’ve had several opportunities to speak more Spanish! Trying to explain games to kids, meeting neighbors, random weekends away spent with people who only speak German and Spanish… And all this without any striving or conniving on my part.
Our God is Jehovah-Jireh! He is so good to provide for needs that we feel in our hearts even before we think to ask for their supply. I’m excited for how I’ll continue to have opportunities to get to know the local people here and get a better mastery of Spanish.
Fun story: part of getting a two-year visa in Bolivia is getting a medical report done. I got mine back, and in the list of health problems it said, “Obesidad,” Spanish for “obesity.” And in the recommendations, it said I should see a nutritionist.
At first I had this moment of, “Did they mix up my report with someone else’s?!” See… I’m skinny. I’m nowhere near obese… but it turns out that the term “obesity” can refer to any weight problem. So it was saying I’m underweight. XD One of the missionaries here pointed to an apple cake that was on the table. “There’s your nutritionist,” he said. No complaints here! 😂
I was able to play a few rap songs for my students this last week. (Beautiful Eulogy, anyone?!?) At dinner, one announced, “I love crap music!” We were all dying and she couldn’t figure out what was so funny.
All around, life here continues to be a joy, and that joy seems to only be increasing.
Please be praying:
- For rain!!! We had a downpour that lasted a couple of minutes, but everything was as dry as ever only a few hours later. Praise God for that little storm – but we need so much more!
- The water pump is acting up… please pray that it’s either “healed” or gets replaced! We haven’t had to go without, but we do have to be strategic.
- With the electricity situation, it turns out that this area is only given a certain number of transformers per year (no transformer, no electricity). And they’ve already used all the transformers they can. The only way we could get electricity before December is if they removed a transformer from somewhere else. Or, of course, if God gets really creative and provides another way. Which He’s really good at doing. So that’s what I’m praying for. 😁 That, and for joyful hearts to endure the wait for this blessing. Haha.
- That God would provide a couple to become the “parents” for the kids at the orphanage. All the kids there are in a safe place, but there’s no one in their lives to fill in that void. They have adult protectors and providers, but it’s not quite the same. So please pray that God would bring a couple who will lay down their entire lives to being the house parents for all the kids that come and go – and that it would be a Bolivian couple!