“Spain won’t just get your message, they’ll get you.”
The reality is that we won’t simply take the Gospel to Spain. We’ll take ourselves–our strengths and weaknesses, our knowledge and ignorance, our joys and pains. And the people in Spain will not merely hear what we proclaim, they’ll interpret our message by our lives.
So during this period of raising up partners for our ministry to Spain, we prepare as individuals. At Mission Training in Colorado, we joined forty other workers for two weeks of language exercises, and two weeks of personal preparation.
It was difficult, but it was well worth it.The language exercises stretched our ears and tongues and jaws. The trainers focused on moving us beyond our English-speaking sound box. For Spanish, we have nearly the same alphabet, but the difference between a Spanish “v” and an English “v” is noticeable. In order to better communicate in Spain, we will be spending a lot of time practicing the Spanish sounds.
The second two weeks made the first two weeks feel like a vacation.
During the second two weeks, the staff at MTI helped us prepare for transition into a new culture, for saying goodbye to family, for periods of extreme stress, for conflict in our relationship with each other and with other missionaries. We discussed personality styles in conflict, cross-cultural disagreements over secondary issues in Scripture, and ways to practice Sabbath rest while in the midst of intense ministry activity. It wasn’t uncommon to spend the morning in worship, the afternoon in tears, and the evening in prayer.
But we do this for one reason–that Christ might be worshiped in Spain. So, our goal is to imitate Paul’s practice of being all things to all people. Even down to how we pronounce the letter “v.”
In the midst of all the work, we had the opportunity to celebrate our 12th anniversary with Dan’s folks! It was a very nice couple of days, in which we visited a very cheap, very scary amusement park in Denver ($2 entrance fees and rides out of the 1920’s), a soccer game, and a national park.
We’ve added some pictures from the last month below. Some faces are blurred out for safety.
If you are not currently receiving our updates and would like to, feel free to sign up here.
Yours in Christ,
Dan & Anna J.