In the various places I’ve lived, I’ve always learned that finding community is the most important priority. One way I tried to do that here was to start a small group/Bible study at our church.
Looking back now, this was a lofty goal, considering I was hardly fluent in the language. Each Wednesday night, I wandered my way through the unlit streets to find the hostess’ home. I really didn’t realize how much I relied on Google maps in the U.S. until I tried to find my way around without any technological assistance.
One particular study, I sat awkwardly waiting for the group to start, as the women filed in and rattled off their day’s anecdotes at lightening speed. I felt like a child lost in a store. I gazed around the room, hoping to catch a word or two I understood. It was more like trying to jump in to double-dutch–when do I enter? So I sat in silence.
This was why I needed to type up each lesson that I prepared ahead of time. Chris was gracious enough to help me with edits but I could not veer from my script. A little difficult to experience community when you can’t improvise.
Most of the women in our group were single or divorced. I was the newlywed. I was out of my element in more than one way here. But this is what finding community is about, you put yourself out there in hopes of finding a shared connection. I began to read my way through the study about reading the Bible to find daily encouragement. As I closed the lesson, I went off script.
I wanted to challenge the women with a tangible way to put the lesson into practice. I urged them to write out their favorite verse on their “esposo”. I meant to say my newest learned vocabulary, “espejo.” That’s right, I urged these single women to write their Scripture on their husbands, not their mirrors.
I guess laughter is a shared connection!
(**In November that year, I moved to Guatemala for a month to improve my Spanish.)
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