“I feel like I’m drowning”. Those words have gone through my mind several times since coming to Costa Rica. I can still remember an incident as a kid where I experienced the feeling of drowning. I was at a local spring. I was not a strong swimmer but I could at least doggy paddle my way to safety if necessary, or so I thought. While swimming in shallow water at the springs I failed to recognize that there was an area with a steep drop off. In an instant I found myself underwater, struggling to come up for air. I can still remember the hopeless feeling of using all of my strength to try to get back to shallow water but not making any progress. Unable to call for help verbally, it was just a matter of time before I would slip below the water for good. The next thing I remember was a tug on my arm followed by the feeling of my feet back on firm ground. I was physically and mentally exhausted but alive. While I do not remember who came to my rescue I do know that I would not have made it without their help.
Although I have experienced the physical feeling of drowning, I dare say that the mental/emotional feeling of drowning is just as scary and defeating. While language school is not the first time I have mentally felt like I was in over my head, it does seem to be the most challenging. Every day brings new challenges, from language barriers to cultural and geographical differences. All the while I struggle to grasp the basic concepts of Spanish while new concepts keep flooding in. Yet, I have hope. Hope that “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). I also have the encouragement of my wife along with the prayers and support of you (our family and friends)! God is using you to help refresh us both mentally and spiritually to continue in the pursuit of medical missions.
As I reflect back on these past few weeks I can see how God has been moving to remind us that he brought us here and is walking with us each step of the way. One example is our language teacher encouraging us and providing tailored instruction. We are also having more frequent conversations in Spanish with our house mom, Sylvia. She invited us to a pool party at her brother’s house this past weekend. We gladly accepted the invitation and enjoyed meeting and practicing our Spanish with her family. We have also been able to enjoy some excursions in the community, including visiting the local fire department. We remain grateful for this opportunity to learn and immerse into Latin American cultural which is crucial for us to serve well.
We have remained in good health.
We have been able to attend a few churches in the area and experience worship in a new way.
We would continue to work well with the staff and residents at the nursing home we are volunteering at.
Strength and encouragement as we work hard studying Spanish, specifically learning verbs.
That we would show love and grace to each other through this learning process and long hours of studying.