Twelve years of being taught the language of Spanish and spending time with individuals from various Spanish speaking cultures did not prepare me in the way I was expecting.
Written by Carl T — Interning in Mexico
I have never written a blog before, but after 4 years of college I think I can manage. With a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, I also thought I would be able to manage before coming to Querétaro. Twelve years of being taught the language of Spanish and spending time with individuals from various Spanish speaking cultures did not prepare me in the way I was expecting. I arrived in Queretaro, Mexico this past Monday and have never known how exhausting translating can be….especially while trying to serve the Lord. Before coming here I considered myself fluent, but another criteria that I am adding to my own personal definition of what it means to be fluent is to have endurance. I found out that my endurance to speak Spanish was about as long as a 50 minute to 1½ hour length of time, which is also about as long as my Spanish classes were. My degree had made me sufficient in speaking Spanish within the classroom, but had only given me the TOOLS to thrive in a Spanish speaking country.
If you’ve read this far into my blog I have only talked about how hard Spanish is, and how tired I am, blah blah blah. Honestly it may just sound like complaints. But I came to Querétaro to serve, and I can’t help to see the goodness of GOD within my “suffering”. Writing out my thoughts has given me a similar perspective as David in many of his psalms. That even though I may complain, and my brain may be exhausted, GOD is still a good GOD all the time! So, in my season of “suffering”, I have been able to recognize that all the tools that school has taught me the past 12 years were enough. It is enough for me to survive, to be able to learn for myself, and to be able to trust GOD all over again for him to provide more growth. His grace is sufficient, and I know that through the testing of faith in trials produces perseverance, and the completion of perseverance produces maturity (James 1:3-4).
So, I no longer consider it suffering to be tired of translating and not understanding every word in Spanish. Instead I see a new opportunity to see my weakness as what it truly is and rely more on GOD.
There could be other things that I could have written about since arriving in Querétaro, but the language barrier has been the biggest battle for me. However, I am very excited for GOD and myself to overcome this language barrier so that this large discomfort in serving in another country lessens more and more.