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Language Learning Lessons

Language Learning Lessons


Hello, friends and family! 🙂 I hope you are all doing well and starting to see signs of spring and sunshine back in the blustery Midwest (or wherever you are)! It is beautiful here with the trees blossoming already! I think March might just be my favorite month here! My last two months have been primarily focused on language learning, but I have also been getting into the hospital more, which has been fun! It was crazy to me that it had been nine months since I last caught a baby!! I really missed birth!!


I have had the privilege of going on a few community visits where we go out to remote villages and either provide mobile medical clinics or our hospital pastor runs community programs. These have always been exciting to me to see what life actually looks like for Tarahumara people. And I love that the hospital values a consistent presence in outlying areas to share the love of Jesus.


In the hospital I have been able to help out in some ways. I have been able to start learning how they do things here, provide some teaching along the way, and even assist in GYN surgery when we had a visiting OB/GYN for a week! It was such a cool experience to be in surgeries that are so intertwined with my profession but I have never actually seen.


But the bulk of my time and energy has been spent on language learning, both formally in my classes and informally in social settings. To be completely honest, it has been super hard. Language learning is such a long and humiliating process (despite what other people say) and it truly has made me realize the immensity of a language and how grateful I am that I know English so naturally. “Oh, it’s just Spanish”; “you already know a lot of Spanish”; “you’ll pick it up just by living there.” All things that I wish I could agree with, but my current reality begs to differ. Language learning is a slow process, especially for me with the pitiful state of my ears and my ever-present tinnitus plus masks in the hospital and people talking quickly or quietly or with all the background noise. I have been learning so much about waiting and trusting, truly trusting, in God. The root of the word “to wait” (which also is the same in Spanish!) is HOPE. While periods of waiting can seem endless and full of no hope, I must choose to be diligent in the waiting (keep up my studies!), be open to lessons God is teaching me (the ways it has brought up my weaknesses), and maintain a deeper sense of hope and expectation at how the Lord will provide. Trusting Him in this way reminds me of when Peter stepped out of the boat. This task is definitely beyond my natural abilities and probably also beyond the laws of science, but that is what an active trust in God looks like. When we have given our all, when we do not have control, or there is no other hope, that is when we have to rely on God. I do not know how He will come through in this situation, but I do know that He has loved and sustained me in the past and He will continue to love and sustain me. So now it’s just up to me to step out of the boat.


I am like the deaf, who cannot hear,

like the mute who cannot speak;

I have become like one who does not hear,

whose mouth can offer no reply.

THAT is the struggle of language learning! BUT in the next verse, the psalmist commits himself to…

Lord, I wait for You;

You will answer, Lord my God.

Psalm 38:13-15

How beautiful it is that we can put our hope and trust in a God who answers. A God who truly sees us and sustains us in His great love.



I will be starting to officially work in the hospital next week (yikes!!) by seeing women in the clinic area. Please pray for me as I step out of the boat that I am able to understand the patients fully and provide them with the best care. Of course, if it does not go well, we will figure something else out, but I am eager to get into the hospital officially. I will still continue my language classes and self-study on the days I am not in the hospital.

Now, I must give a huge, very overdue, shout-out to my two language helpers, Raque and Jackie, who have taught me so much and I have loved getting to know them, and my invaluable roommate and dear friend, Haley, who offers endless love and support through the hard times. They are tangible, everyday reminders of God’s love and faithfulness towards me.

Lydia (schoolteacher), Jackie, her two daughters, Raque, and me during our Purim celebration

Haley and me on one of our ‘English respite’ hikes 🙂


Finally, I ask for prayer for the hospital specifically in its need for doctors and the current construction projects. Due to Mexican medical schooling/specialties (good things!), we now only have two attending doctors to run the hospital and no provider for the mobile clinics. Please pray that the Lord would send the needed help so that we can continue to provide quality medical care to the Tarahumara people and that we can continue our presence as Kingdom workers bringing good news of Hope and Love to a hurting people.


Thank you!! Love, Caitlin


If you would like to contribute financially, the ways to give are listed below.

  1. Give online/set up monthly recurring donations:
  2. Text to give/set up recurring donations: Text “CAITLIN” to 71777
  3. Checks can be mailed and made payable to Christian Health Service Corps PO Box 132 Fruitvale, TX 75127. Write “Missionary 181” in the note of the check.
  4. Set up an automatic bill pay online through your bank (to avoid the 3% processing fee). Account number: Project 181.


For more information about Hospital Misión Tarahumara:

For more information about Christian Health Service Corps:

If you have not yet talked to me personally and would like to schedule a meeting: [email protected] or 269.930.2781



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PO Box 132

Fruitvale, TX 75127

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