To Learn Spanish or Not!
Several times in my life I have attempted to learn Spanish. Krista is nearly fluent in the language and has been blessed with the opportunity to use it in the work place. She has told me about times when her patients at the hospital were totally clueless regarding what a family member was going through. When they were finally able to talk to someone who could translate what the doctor was saying, their faces lit up.
It seems as if the population of Spanish-only speakers in America is growing. I do not consider this a bad thing, but simply another hurdle in being able to reach people who are in need. I took a year of Spanish in college but sadly, there is not a great Spanish speaking population in Searcy, Arkansas. I purchased a “How to Learn Spanish CD” but who has time to do that. As I near graduation from my marriage and family therapy program, the need to know Spanish fluently is even more glaring. I recently heard that in Abilene (population 100,000 +) there are only two Spanish speaking therapists. This is shocking since there is such a large community of Hispanic people.
Krista and I are faced with an important decision. We want to be able to reach out to others as a team. We have had many chances to serve in Latin American countries and I have felt at a deficit because of my lack of language skills. Upon graduating next August, we are trying to decide if we ought to go to a Latin American country for a few months so that I can go to language learning school full time and be immersed in a culture where I will have no choice but to become fluent. There are several schools we know of. The main ones we have looked at are in Costa Rica and Guatemala. The one in Guatemala, Christian Spanish Academy, seems to be my favorite option right now.
There are many details we are considering regarding this decision. If we were to go for 12 weeks, the cost including airfare would be $5700. We have considered raising support for this given our goals. Missionaries in foreign countries have to learn the language. Why would doing domesitic mission work to Hispanic communities be any different. This is just one of the factors on our minds in making this decision.
Please pray for us as we try and decide what we want to do when we grow up!