"It's not exactly a robot," Mark explained, describing what he was making with the legos. "It's a human transport robot. It was in.... what was that movie about the planet with the big blue people? They had big mechanical things that people were transported in."
Yes, Mark is sitting on the floor with Julia and the boys, playing with legos. And he doesn't know I'm quoting him right now.
He deserves some time to unwind. I was stressed out over teaching three pre-scripted children's lessons in Spanish. Even the review questions were in Spanish! But Mark just preached an hour long Spanish sermon today.
He wrote two sermons in Spanish, asked the tutor to read through them, and then preached last week and today, filling in for Pastor Rolim who is on vacation. He also led two youth group meetings in a study on the life of Jonah.
A challege like this provides him with a reliable measure of how far he has come and how far he has to go. I am grateful that he can lead a Bible Study and preach. It's a confirmation that God has given him the abilities to communicate Biblical truths in both of these contexts.
And yet we both have so far to go. We are looking forward to the day when we can relax in a conversation with a Uruguayan, culturally and linguistically, and communicate well.
I remind myself that people don't always communicate well in their first language! In the grocery store this week, an older gentleman asked a store employee a question about the fruit. She asked him to repeat the question, but she still didn't understand him. He replied with a smile, "I'm speaking clearly. Why don't you understand me?" She smiled, and they both tried a third time to understand one another.
Sometimes I want to say, "I'm speaking clearly. Why don't you understand me?" In my case, I'm not using the correct verb, I'm not accenting the right syllable, or I'm using a Costa Rican word. (i.e. beans are not "frijoles." They're "porotos.") Thankfully, my listener smiles (or laughs), and we try again.