Call centres 3 – I spoke too soon!

30 08 2010

When troubles with the phone company are no longer solely problems with my level of communication, and just might be caused by their miscommunication – you know you’ve hit 9 months. I rarely find call-centres rewarding but to be able to stand my ground in Spanish while clarifying why after 4 weeks I still had no credit has boosted my confidence! Of course come 10 months I may realize that I had actually misunderstood from the beginning…

The thing with learning more, is you realise how much you have left to learn – and that’s where I’m at. I am confident enough now in Spanish that daily situations no longer leave me neither quaking nor exhausted. Being able to follow a conversation and participate has been a huge milestone but I now realise how much I think and communicate differently from those around me and how much I want to say. The frustration is knowing just how far I have to go – and that to some extent I have given up living in my heart language and that ease of communication, for the sake of reaching people here. The rich part of that is that I am so thankful that it was never a quick comeback, a well phrased argument, penetrating question or a beautiful illustration that would win people to Christ – it was and is always the Spirit – the same Spirit that has been working through God’s word to show Christ. My clay-ness is just a little more obvious from moment to moment as I struggle to match the gender of the articles and pronouns…

Praying on mass

26 08 2010

I have this good group of friends here – they are pretty mixed, from Spain and all over South America – and pretty mixed in terms of personalities, life experience and expression of their faith. I guess that happens when you are a foreigner because in part you end up with all the others that need a family… But off their on bat they’ve started meeting up each week to pray. Which is awesome! The way we go about that is for me each week a lesson in culture and in patience. Firstly, the bibles don’t come out – secondly, the sharing part can become a counselling session (which is good in a way but I’d rather pray then counsel over coffee so I don’t have to pray when my eyes are begging to sleep) and then the more charismatic expressions leave me between delighted, exasperated and just plain confused. With everyone praying their own words to themselves at the same time, I can’t hear the out loud prayer! But I’m loving being part of a group that are keen to encourage each other. I’d really like to be in a Bible study though, so I’m looking at hunting one down either in our church or at another for the rest of the year.