I hope your Thanksgiving was full of reminders of how the Lord loves and provides for His children. My Thanksgiving was pretty great, spent with lots of family and lots of noise!
Okay, this summer at STINT Briefing we watched a movie called Outsourced; the movie was about a man, Todd, that was sent to India to help improve a call center for the company he worked for (it sold novelty items). He came there to simply get the job done, but he knew nothing of the culture. This lack of knowledge put him in some very uncomfortable positions. I won't spoil the movie, but it did put a lot of things into perspective for many of us at STINT briefing. Well now this movie has been made into a show on NBC (I think), called Outsourced. This show has quickly become a favorite of mine, even in the short amount of time that it's been on air; every episode, Todd learns something new about India (the people, place, culture, and religion) and sees the USA more objectively. Every episode, he offends someone(s) and has to relearn the way he interacts/treats others. For instance, one episode he had to teach about sexual-harassment, so he showed a video that was considered porn in India because the couple kissed. In India, couples don't kiss on movies or in public. A lot of his employers walked out on the video because it was offensive/uncomfortable to them, but he didn't understand what the big deal was because we view far worse in the States. Once someone explained to him the immodesty of the video, Todd apologized and never showed that video again.
Each time I watch this show, I ponder what things I will learn and adjust to in Argentina. Todd had to quickly learn that different cultures aren't necessarily wrong, they're just different. I understand that and look forward to living in the Argentine culture, I think there will be somethings that I really appreciate and enjoy about the culture and there'll be somethings that I will have to adhere to but don't necessarily get/like.
In 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul says : "To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some." This is what I want to do, I want to go to Argentina and be a part of their culture so that Argentines will learn what it means to have a relationship with the Creator of all cultures, Who loves all cultures!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Ever since Kindergarten, I have loved Spanish. It's a beautiful language that's attached to a beautiful culture with a rich history. In elementary school we had a resident Spanish teacher, Señora Maria, who would come to our class and teach us basic Spanish, like: good morning/afternoon, hello, how are you?, colors, and other stuff. I always looked forward to her visits, but halfway through elementary school, she was no longer 'allowed' to teach us Spanish, but she was still at our school; so what she would do was come under the guise of giving our teacher a break and when the teacher was gone (she knew what was going on) she would give us a brief lesson on Spanish. So it was early that I developed a love for Spanish, and this love led me to study it on my own and to take classes, and at one point try to minor in it. There are many memories of my childhood that point to my love for Spanish and the people of Latin America; looking back now I realize that it was God preparing me for Costa Rica and Argentina and beyond. All that to say that I am excited about speaking Spanish in Argentina, I am excited about hearing it and learning it. A lot of people ask me whether or not I'm fluent and the answer is NO! I will be taking Spanish class(es) in Argentina to learn the dialect of Spanish which is called Castellano (kast-e-shano). This Spanish dialect and accent is very different from others in Latin America and I look forward to learning it. I have been studying Spanish for a long time, but there's nothing like learning by immersion and that's exactly the experience of STINT; I was talking to some teammates who are already down there, and they say that we get thrown straight into ministry and meetings that are, of course, all in Spanish! They said that it's really taught them to depend on the Lord for even their communication skills. So...I'm so excited about the language aspect of STINT; I used to always say that I wanted to learn the language of the people so I may minister to there very hearts.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
So sometimes I'll be dealing with something, serious or not so much, in my life and I think " I can't wait to be in Argentina, so I won't have to deal with this." As of late I've thought that about my car; I'm grateful for it and I definitely need it. BUT I sure do hate car maintenance; it makes NO sense to me, all those liquids you got to keep pouring/pumping in, all those lights to look at/understand in the dashboard, the insurance stuff to worry about, ick! I'm just no good at it. So in addition to ministry in Argentina, I'm uber anticipatory of not having to deal with a car for a year. I know it's silly, but I seriously despise that car stuff, there are so many other things I'd rather be doing with my time and energy than dealing with my car!