How can a young person live a clean life? By carefully reading the map of your Word. I’m single-minded in pursuit of you; don’t let me miss the road signs you’ve posted. I’ve banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won’t sin myself bankrupt. Be blessed, GOD; train me in your ways of wise living Psalm 119:9-12 (The Message)
¡Hola! Buenas tardes. ¿Cómo estás? Estoy bien, gracias. ¿Cómo puedo ayudarle?
After two weeks of Spanish classes, that is the extent of my conversation skills so far. A woman from church who was raised in Panama is teaching some of us who headed back to Guatemala in October a little Spanish. I took French in High School and College and have forgotten all I knew except, “Bonjour! Comment allez-vous?” Which because I was at a college in the deep south comes out more like, “Bonjewar! Common tally vouz?” I was never good at languages and only took them because they were required for graduation.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of Spanish words that mean and sound almost the same as English words. I am finding Spanish a lot easier that I thought it would be. After two weeks, I already know a lot of words like:
¡Ten cuidado! ¡Al suelo! Compartir vamos! ¡No! ¡No! No le pegues! ¡Atención! ¡Siéntate!”
Which means, “Be careful! Get down! Let’s share! No! No! Don’t hit! Pay attention! Sit down!” Or, when literally translated, “Be careful! To the ground! Share going! No! No! Do not paste you! Attention! Sit down!” All good phrases to know when working with children.
I am also training to be a reporter, as I can ask, “¿Quién? ¿Qué? ¿Cuando? ¿Donde? ¿Por qué? ¿Cómo? ¿Que? ¿Cuánto?” or “Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Which? and How Much?”
I am pleased at how quickly I am absorbing the words. Part of it is because I have a CD that I play in the car that tells me the English word and allows a pause for me to try and say it before giving me the correct Spanish version. I am sure I look funny going down the road talking to the radio and smacking the steering wheel when I mess up. Another reason that the language is coming together for me is because I am highly motivated.
Unlike the French classes of my youth, I want to be in Spanish class. I want to learn the words, not only to make my work at the Malnutrition Center easier, but so that I can show respect for the people of the country that has become dear to my heart. Husband had to roll his eyes last night when I discovered that our waiter was Guatemalan and we carried on a conversation (en Inglés) extolling the virtues of his homeland. I am eager to learn.
As much as I desire to learn Spanish, I should be willing to study the Bible and learn of the God who motivates me to fly to a foreign land to minister. I am reading my way through the Bible in a year having started in Job and Acts. Some parts seem to drag on forever, but in other sections, I speed through reading more than is required for that day interested in the story and wanting more. How about you? Are you passionate about learning God’s Word?