"Learn a new language and get a new soul." ~Czech Proverb
I have been working on my "new soul" for 6 years now. I can now report that learning Spanish has been, by far, the most frustrating thing I have ever tried to do. I have literally been at the point of tears more than once, and have wanted to quit a 1,000 times. But I keep at it, for reasons I'm not sure even I understand. The other side of the coin, though, is that language learning is incredibly rewarding. On April 10, while in the Dominican Republic, I preached twice in Spanish. It was a little rough, to be sure, but I made it through. So I continue to study every day, in pursuit of that holy grail of language that we call "fluency".
Monday, April 25, 2011
I've already mentioned in earlier posts about the 2 medical clinics that we conducted while in the DR. Both of these took place in sugar cane villages, and the people who live there are, in large part, refugees from Haiti. One of the local missionaries who worked with us told me that 7 Haitians will work in these sugar cane fields for $10 a day. That's $10 divided among seven workers, not $10 each. In fact, much of the world lives like this: scraping by without adequate food, shelter or medical care. Now to be sure, I can't eliminate all human need, but it always feels good trying to make a small dent in it.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Here is a brief summary of what we were doing in the DR: our group was actually made up of 2 groups. There were 6 of us from Brownsville, 3 of which were high school students. We were joined by a group of about 15 or so from a Christian school in West Virginia. Our students were there to interpret. On our first ministry day we visited a couple of schools. I can tell you that it is odd for someone from the US to see someone openly present the gospel in a public school! But present they did, and were well received in each classroom.
Friday, April 22, 2011
We did several things on our trip to the DR, including hosting a medical clinic. We did this on 2 different days, actually. This is the first time I have ever done this, so it was fascinating to me. There was a doctor and a couple of nurses to see patients, and it all went over very well. Everything we needed, including medicine, we took with us. I was the gatekeeper, as it were. It was my job to stave off "creeping chaos", and to call the next person who was to be seen. It was at once gratifying and frustrating. Gratifying because we were really doing some good, and frustrating because we couldn't see everyone who needed attention. It reminded me of the old story, often told, about the kid saving starfish on the beach. When told that his efforts didn't really matter in the light of all that needed to be done, he responded, "Well, it matters to this one!" Indeed it does.
Thursday I was able to teach again in the Bible Institute in Matamoros. The lesson was called "Why I Believe In The Resurrection Of Jesus Christ". It was a thrill to be able to teach this to a group that was so eager to learn. During Holy Week, no less!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Today I called Chuy Avila from Laredo to get an update. Yesterday they held the Team Impact event. Chuy told me that there were about 5,000 people present, and that there were 727 professions of faith. He was thrilled, to say the least. He is hoping to have 5 churches started by the end of the year. Pray for the work in that city. They are off to a good start, but there is much to be done there.
Monday, April 4, 2011
I never quite know what to say when someone asks me, "How was the funeral?" But I can say that Dwight's "celebration service" was a sweet and touching remembrance of a servant who labored long in the Lord's vineyard. On another note, yesterday I taught my Sunday School class for the first time. It was the first time that I have ever given a public speech in Spanish. It was a little rough, but we made it through. Speaking of using Spanish, I leave tomorrow for the Dominican Republic. I will be preaching Sunday at one of the local churches there. Lots more details when I return. Last of all, I will be teaching on the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus at the Bible institute in Matamoros on the day before Good Friday. How cool is that?