International Ministries

Life in Costa Rica, volunteer Sarah Nash

April 17, 2012 Journal
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We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.  1 Thessalonians 2:8

Monday, April 16, 2012

Week of exams...is NOT a week at the beach!

I have been meaning to write a blog but I have been struggling to come of with words to express what all that has happened in my life the last few weeks. It could be the fact that writing in English is becoming more and more difficult the more Spanish I learn, or it could be the fact that I'm getting old. (The big quarter of a century is fast approaching, 2 weeks.) 

Where to begin?! I am please to announce that my two big final exams of the year are done! I had my ECO last Friday (oral exam)-- this evaluates my level of fluency. It was very hard; the test was given like an interview testing all my knowledge of Spanish.  I left the room thinking I didn't do as well as I know I could of.  Today I had my 3 hour grammar test! I definitely felt more relaxed and peace from God while taking the exam. It was long, brain stretching, it was a comprehensive test...so remembering back to nouns and rules of the exceptions of masculinos and femininos was a stretch, since I learned them 11 months ago! Thank you for all your prayers during these exams! They were much appreciated! I will get the results on Wednesday or Thursday. I will need to place at an advance low on the ECO, and a 70% on the written to receive a certificate. I would ask if you continue to pray for my studies, tomorrow I have another test for my Language class, and another Grammar test this Friday. Next Wednesday can't come soon enough! Graduation!! I can't believe its 8 days away. I was elected to be the speaker at graduation, and yes it will be in Spanish. It is a reflection of the year along with thanking the teachers. I'm trying to be creative with this so hopefully it will be well received and turn out okay. I feel very honored that my fellow classmates wanted me to be the speaker. 

Outside of learning all the rules of subjuntivo in Español, I have been taking two theology classes at the Baptist Seminary were Gary Baits teaches. I am auditing both classes, that way I can just learn and not have to do homework since I have Spanish homework. One class is called the theology of the ministry and missions call. This class has been very interesting to me and I have been learning a ton, which is surprising since it is all in Spanish. The other class is taught by the famous Gary Baits, it’s a Christian Education class. I wanted to take it since I was helping out in the Sunday school class and was teaching the 3-4 years old class. I am very honored to be a fellow student of Gary's, I have learn a lot and its help me brain storm more of how I prepare my Sunday school class.  I used to be just the teacher for the 3-4 years old, but now I have the other class of 5-10 years old combined. It’s been an a very fun adventure nevertheless. For example, two weeks ago there were only 7 students but this last week there were 12, one being a crying 2 year old that I had to hold while teaching my lesson. Hopefully next week I will have a helper because trying to manage that many kids with a big age range is challenging. 

During the last month I have been going to Aserri at least 4 times a week, whereas before it was just twice at the most. I have enjoyed making house visits to some young women and starting Bible studies with them. I have enjoyed the friendships I have made with them and they are very gracious with my Spanish. I also will begin tutoring them in English along with the Bible study, which is funny because I think my English is getting worse. Por ejemplo, me cuesta escribir este blog en inglés. jajaja.  Please pray for this time of relationship building. 

I spent my time in the Caribbean during Holy week helping Hope's group from California, it was mission team from a Christian high school. We worked in Shirroles which is a community in the mountains and to get there you have to drive a 4x4 truck on a dirt/gravel road a few kilometers, it’s an indigenous community but they all spoke Spanish, and not just the indigenous tongue, which was nice because that would have made for some interesting translations. The group led a VBS the whole week, but Geanny, Josúe and I met up with Hope midweek to help with translation since Hope was the only one in the group that spoke Spanish. We also helped with building furniture for the church, including bunk beds to house future mission teams. I got to help with the painting so that was fun. The rest of our time was spent in Cahuita which is right on the beach, cleaning the Baptist church. I had a great time, however I am always so thankful after spending time in the hot and humidity to return back to San José where it’s less humid, and where there is actually a cool breeze once and a while. 

Thanks for checking in and reading my blog! 

 As each day goes on I become a little more Tica than before, like eating bread and sour cream, mayonnaise with French fries, or walking in heels up the dirt mountain road to the mission church in San Marcos...but I think I will be officially Tica when I can apply mascara and eye liner on the city bus and having it turn out looking good without injuries. 

 I will try to write another blog in a few days on my year anniversary of living in Costa Rica, 52 things I learned about the people, my life, God, Spanish, and the culture every week this year! 

Thank you for your prayers and support as I continue to live out life in Costa Rica.

Blessings,

Sarah Jean

 To read more of Sarah's Blog entries, click here