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Get on the Stick!

The popsicle stick that is! We’ve been subjected to some strange exercises in order to get our mouths into the correct condition for speaking Spanish, but none have been as odd or humbling as the popsicle stick.

English speakers don’t open their mouths habitually as they speak. Therefore, we have trouble with several of the Spanish sounds that require an open mouth. The popsicle stick helps us “feel” the way that our mouths should be positioned. Of course, both the look and the sound produced by this practice were absolutely hilarious. Click here or on the picture to hear a sample of what we were doing in the classroom. In case you can’t make it out, I’m reading 1Tim 2:5,6 in Spanish

If there is one thing that we have learned so far here at CINCEL it is that life goes on even when you have left the country.

As we looked forward to language school, we expected the rigors of classes, the hours of homework, and the difficulties of navigating through a new culture, but you never quite grasp the effects of culture on everyday life until you attempt to live your everyday life in another culture.

While we were in the United States itinerating, we were blessed with wonderful health. However since we have landed in Costa Rica, four out of five of us have seen the doctor! In fact, Kelly just returned today from an appointment for Rebekah. We are also facing the prospect of minor surgery for Jonathan, our almost 3 year-old, in the coming weeks.

None of these situations are emergencies, and yet, when compounded with the rigors of language and culture acquisition, they serve as “extra stress”–that is Spanish, by the way, for extra stress–that can lead us into despondency.

Still with all of the things being thrown at us now, we are thankful for what we have: a comfortable house, food to eat, an opportunity to fulfill God’s call on our lives, and supporters like you to continue to hold up our needs to the Lord. So we choose to be thankful. As Dan Betzer’s byline stated today: “I cried for the lack of shoes until I saw someone without any feet.”

So we continue the struggle that is language school, realizing that life does not stop during this process, but eternally thankful for the strength that God gives us to accomplish all things…including scheduling a doctor’s appointment in Spanish!

We have made it to San Jose, Costa Rica! We have been in Costa Rica since Tuesday and are now getting settled into a routine before classes begin on Tuesday. We are relieved and excited to be here although a bit overwhelmed at the realization that we now have the equivalent communication skills of a two-year old!

However, even though we have left the United States, we find that are thoughts are constantly brought back as we continue to hear reports on the damage and the situation on the Gulf Coast. We ask that you would continue to remember us, be we hope that you would find time to remember the victims of Hurricane Katrina in your thoughts and prayers. Also, if you feel so lead, I know of two excellent organizations that will facilitate your relief contributions: Convoy of Hope and Rural Compassion. Both are Assemblies of God ministries, and both are playing a large role in facilitating relief, spiritual as well as physical, to these distressed people.

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