Thursday, February 9, 2012

Exhausting and Exhilarating

Exhausting and Exhilarating.  That about sums up my week.  Preparing hour-long lessons and also coming up with activities and/or crafts for several different groups of women, teens and girls is tiring. 
Having to figure out how to do all of it in Spanish… exhausting!  But, I’m doing it.  Not always all that well, but, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I’m doing it!
Yesterday I had another group of teens in the morning, and our Adult Women in the afternoon.  Today I had our Young Married Women in the morning and our Treces (thirteen year olds) in the afternoon. 

I start each group by telling them that I still have ‘Las orejas Americanas’ (American ears).  They typically laugh, and then jump in to help me out when I can’t remember how to conjugate a verb in the past preterit, or have trouble pronouncing words.
In between groups, little girls stop by for homework help, or just to hang out.  Our big tables offer a lot more space than any of them have in their small homes.  I love having all of them chatting away – even if I can’t catch a lot of what they’re saying. 

If one of them says something they shouldn’t, they all kind of stop and look at me.  Then, I can remind them that God wants girls who are beautiful and precious to use word that are also beautiful and precious.  I don’t have a clue what they’re saying bad, but love that they’re still young enough to ‘tell’ on themselves!!
I’ve also had women come in, or stop me as I walk, to ask about Daisy or chat about themselves.  In smaller groups, and especially one-on-one, I can follow most of what they say.  I’m hoping to spend even more time in the coming weeks getting to know several of the women a lot better. 

One fun thing happened yesterday – I actually understood Ramona telling Luz that I can’t understand when they speak too fast! :O)
Today I also was able to go and visit one of the young women who recently had knee surgery.  I’m excited to say, I could actually understand 99% of what she said!  As I left, her little girl (almost 2) said, “Adios Mama” to me.  I might have melted a tad!!
I’m thankful for this time of complete Spanish all day long, although I have to admit, it is tiring!  I’m so blessed when one of the women takes time to say something a second (or third!) time, or tries to use other words I might understand better. 
Today a few of the girls (aged 12) came by to talk, and offered to come and help out whenever I needed it.  Instead of feeling put out, I was thrilled! 
I pray that as I allow these precious women, teens, and girls, to help me, I will be able to help them, too.  And, really, that’s what it’s all about! 
It’s not about me coming into their world with all the knowledge, wisdom and right answers.  It’s about striving together to learn more about the amazing God we all serve.  That’s so worth the exhaustion! 
I praise God for His good gift of times of exhilaration, too.  They give me energy to keep on going, confident that in my weakness, He is strong. 
P.S.  Please continue to pray for Daisy, as she continues to heal.  I love hearing everyone in El Callejon asking about her!  What a testament to the way God has used her to impact lives there!  I sure do miss our chats, our fellowship, striving together for the sake of God’s glory.

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