Welcome to today’s post. Today, I want to share with you one of the ‘other’ things Jamie is doing in Costa Rica.
As many of you know, Jamie has been working hard to become fluent in Spanish. Most missionaries spend the first year of their ministry in language school. Some missionaries have learned Spanish either as a child or young adult. Being an “older” adult, it’s harder to learn a new language.
A year of emergence into Spanish on a campus outside the United States runs into the thousands of dollars. Many include living with a local family. Many missionaries have a sending organization that cover this cost.
Jamie and I (The Journey Of2) are a 501(c)3 non-profit. We were not sent by were ordained but we do not belong to an organization. We were sent by God. We go where He sends us and we serve as He directs.
Jamie and I did not have the financial ability nor the time to emerge even one of us in such a course.
When we moved to Honduras, we began serving the community immediately. While not knowing Spanish was a hinderance, we were able to be effective. First and foremost because God was doing the work. Second, because many people on the island spoke English. Third, because Jamie was teaching English.
Every teacher of a second language knows that you need to use the language you are teaching. Therefore, during all the years in Honduras, speaking Spanish while it would be great, was not as much of a priority.
We did seek out Spanish teachers and Jamie took a variety of classes with various teachers on the island. However, we were not able to connect with any teachers actually trained in teaching Spanish as a second language.
Even if we both knew Spanish, we would have still used an interpreter, such as we did with Sabino and Hector as a way of helping them (locals) financially.
Plus, as in most ministries, our long-term goal was to eventually turn things over to the locals; leaving a sustainable ministry when God called us to continue our journey.
Once, while living in Roatan, we were able to send Jamie to language school for one month in Costa Rica at the cost of $1,100. It was an intense course that put Jamie under a lot of stress. However, it gave her a foundation to start with.
Now that we are in Costa Rica, English is not common. We immediately started looking for Spanish teachers. Here, most Costa Ricans (they call themselves Ticos) only speak Spanish, but they want to learn English.
Therefore, Jamie spent many very difficult hours earning her TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate.
A few months ago, Jamie stumbled across an on-line course where you have private lessons with in a live-chat format. It’s called Baselang. For $147 a month you can have unlimited classes each month. The classes are half hour each. Jamie strives to take an hour and a half to two hours a day.
We are active in the service of the Lord, so classes must be taken as time allows.
This is working. She has learned so much but stills has a lone way to go before being considered fluent.
Pray that at some point (hopefully sooner than later) it will all click together for Jamie and she will be fluent in Spanish.
We have no doubt that this will enhance her ability to build Christ-like relationships with the people we serve.
I will share the story of my efforts to learn Spanish in a future post. Know that I am trying.
Ronald L. McDonald