Greetings from warm and windy south Texas! We are both one week into our two-semester Spanish language program at the Rio Grande Bible Institute in Edinburg, Texas. Some may wonder why we would spend a whole year this way between deputation and Chile. While we are eager to get to Chile and join the Flincks and the church family in Antofagasta, we know that being able to communicate (not just talk) in Spanish is absolutely important.
The gospel ministry is a word-based activity. When Jesus commanded his disciples to “go into all the world,” they were to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We have a life-giving message that must be communicated precisely, clearly, and passionately (cf. 2 Cor 4:13). To do that in Chile, we need to speak Spanish—not just be able to order off a menu or buy things at the store, but be able to understand the hearts of people and communicate truth to them. This is a long-term endeavor: we are still learning things in English—we plan to spend the rest of our lives learning Spanish!
So we have gone “back to school” full-time studying Spanish in south Texas, just twenty minutes from the Mexican border. This allows us to devote ourselves completely to language study without the added challenges of an entirely new country and culture. We are each enrolled in 18 hours of Spanish classes: grammar, phonetics, listening and speaking labs, and an hour with a language helper every day.
We want to be good stewards of this opportunity and squeeze out every drop of instruction and experience we can, but we also get tired and weary. Galatians 5:22–23 tells us that the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of Christlikeness in our lives, and one of the specific fruits mentioned is self-control. Please pray that as God “works in us,” we will “work out” that kind of obedience and Christlikeness.
It’s been awhile since we took a “first day of school” picture!
Bekah has a phonetics lab every day where she practices saying Spanish sounds correctly.
Thank God with us:
- For God’s grace in protection as we drove 1,500 miles a week ago from Ohio to Texas.
- For God’s grace in physical strength over the first week of settling in and getting adjusted.
- For the beautiful warm weather in south Texas (sorry, northern friends!).
Pray to God with us:
- For God’s grace in physical strength and rest as we get into the routine of school.
- For God’s Holy Spirit to produce in us the Christlike fruit of self-control as we work hard studying and learning.
- For our GMSA missionary teammates as they travel to Lican Ray, Chile for their annual missionary conference, January 23–29).