Although I know that the language barrier is coming down slowly each day that we are here, it remains my biggest struggle. I keep praying and studying, praying and studying! But the longer I'm here and the more I pray about it God reveals to me all that I am learning through what I view as a deficit. Pride has always been a big stumbling block for me. But when you're in a foreign country and you don't know the language you can kiss your pride goodbye! If I had a peso for every time I had to say "no comprendo" or "no hablo espanol" !! And even when I do understand and I respond I ALWAYS get that look. You know the one someone would give an alien or a two headed person.
Patience obviously is another lesson I'm gleaning from my struggle. I have so many hopes and aspirations for our time here and many of them simply cannot happen without some Spanish fluency. But, fortunately, I'm also learning to just jump in and trust God to do the talking.
Being the Mom of three boys, I've come to appreciate silence over the years. But awkward silence is different! When you're having a conversation with someone who speaks a different language there are MANY awkward pauses! But I've learned that if I'll stop trying to fill the silence God does a fine job of it. He's so cool that way!!
Elsa is one of the house mothers or "Tias" at the home. She and her husband Teo have two sons of their own Felix 15 and Tomas 12. They are in charge of a house FULL of boys. I think they have about 8 or 9 at this time. Elsa is one of those women who just emits the Holy Spirit in everything she does. I knew right away that I wanted to get to know her better. Thanks to our beloved intern Eliza, we found something we have in common. We both love to sew! We also both have a passionate desire to learn the other's language. We decided we would get together and do some crafting "one day". Well, "one day" arrived last week . Our family was all at the home doing some work and Elsa came and asked me what time I would like to come over to her house. I assumed we would visit and try to teach eachother some language skills. I was quite excited for the opportunity to do some bonding! Elsa, however, took me to one of the storage bodegas on the campus where she does sewing. She asked, "What do you need?". She was standing in a closet where fabric and other crafting supplies are kept. Long story short she did a little sewing, I did a little sewing, and we did a little bonding. There were MANY silent pauses and I was just fine with them! I learned that she grew up in Reynosa and has four sisters. Her Mother still lives in town and her Father has passed on. She went to seminary school in Monterrey and before she became a "Tia" she was a stay-at-home mom just like me! We sewed and talked for about 2 and 1/2 hours. But the sweetest part was when she asked if she could take my measurements because her husband wanted her to make me a dress. "ME?" "Si!" Apparently there is some big celebration that goes on in Mexico in September and Teo did not want me to be without the proper dress for the occasion. It will be the traditional white flowing skirt and puffy blouse with red and green ribbon trim. How great is that!! I definitely went home feeling that God had blessed my "deficit" that afternoon. I can't wait to spend more time with Elsa and her family.