Spanish Classes Now Underway!
3 weeks in and much to learn…
Good Evening to all of our friends and family in the U.S. and around the world!!
We wanted to give you all a quick update on how to specifically pray for us here in the Dominican Republic. One of our goals in arriving here this summer was to begin language school as speaking Spanish is vital to our ministry effectiveness. For this reason, many missionaries will take their first year just to learn their new country’s language, and then begin ministry. We know of many missionaries who first go to Costa Rica for their Spanish studies, and then they transition to the Dominican Republic. But we sensed God leading us in a different direction. We already had ministry going in our Haitian Immigrant Church in Santiago, DR & knew God wanted us here to study and be available to assist our friends with the feeding center.
Two years ago, we put a plan in place that, once we arrived, we would begin taking classes from Arelis Garcia, the founder of Isla Language School, and a friend of many missionaries here in Santiago. We reached out to Arelis back in February to confirm the arrangement was still on, and she confirmed her excitement about teaching us. She asked us to reach out to her after we arrived in June, and we could set things up. So after arriving and getting settled, we attempted to connect with Arelis, only to discover that she had passed away from cancer. We were very sad as she had been a huge blessing to many people. So that put language classes on the back burner until we could pray and ask God to help us put together an alternate strategy for learning Spanish.
Towards the end of summer, we visited with missionary friends who introduced us to Kendy Martinez, who along with her husband, is involved in a local ministry in the DR. We were also introduced to Hillary, who we were interested in possibly teaching the twins Spanish. So after meeting Kendy and Hillary, God confirmed that they were the ones He had brought into our life to help us with our Spanish lessons! We are now 3 weeks in and are enjoying classes 5 days every week and they are such a great help to us!! We have much to learn, but slowly and surely we are getting there! Pray for us as we continue to process a new way of communicating…we need God’s help to keep things clear and to process all we are being taught. And pray for patience for Kendy and our new Dominican/Haitian friends as we practice our newfound “skills”! Dios, ayuda por favor!
We would also appreciate your prayers as we find balance between doing ministry here, full-time language school, Jill homeschooling the girls and the girls doing full-time language school plus home school, looking for a home, buying furnishings to fill our hope-to-have-soon-to-be-home, and still getting settled in country. It has been a bit overwhelming at times and it has caused us to have to back up and examine our priorities. We CAN’T do ministry without the Lord!! So He is #1 and then ministry can’t happen without learning the language, so we know that has to be #2!!! #3 has to be getting settled. #4 is doing life in the country – home school, etc. So please pray that God shows us where to taper off here or there and that we always make sure that He is first!!! We must keep our eyes on Him and always allow Him to lead.
Here’s a pic of us and Kendy in class …:)
Lastly, today is a national holiday in the DR as they celebrate “Our Lady of Las Mercedes”, who appeared to the native indians here on the island when the Spaniards were invading. She instructed the Indians to kill themselves therefore making the Spanish habitation much easier. Pray that as we learn Spanish, we can use it to share with others the true gospel of Jesus! These people need to know there is hope in Christ!
Thanks again for your faithful prayers!
Jeff, Jill, & girls