Writen in the evening on Friday, May 23, 2008
Nervous. It’s that “butterfly in your stomach” feeling that you get when you are not completely sure about something. Nerves. It’s the only thing that you can think about even when you have a million things on your “to do” list. The meeting is Friday night and I am NERVOUS. I know that with God all things are possible, but I still was extremely nervous- and getting more so as the time drew near. This is how I have been for the past few days- ever since I found out that at tonight's meeting for the mission team, I needed to present my part of the information completely in Spanish without a translator.
This is a new thing for me. In the past, I have always presented material in group meetings in English and someone translate for me. Well, no more. I was told that I am officially no longer getting a translator. I will get assistance when I get “stuck” on a word or phrase, but I am to speak in Spanish.
My Spanish has improved quite a bit while living here in Maracaibo. I can have full conversations with people (one on one or in small groups- really small groups). However, presenting material in a training meeting format is completely different. I have only given presentations in Spanish a few times in the past- and never here in Venezuela. These past times were in Spanish Language school, where we had to talk to our class in Spanish about a particular subject for 10 minutes, and once at a Hispanic church in North Carolina where I presented part of my testimony (also a 10 minute presentation). During these times, what I was going to say was written down WORD FOR WORD and either memorized or read during the presentation. This meeting marks the first time I have ever presented in Spanish in a presentation/ conversational style format without writing down everything I was going to say or memorizing it word for word.
Milestones like this are really important to me. Sometimes, while doing the work I am doing, I fail to take notice of the small accomplishments that I am achieving as part of the growing and learning process while living in a foreign country. It is important to recognize these accomplishments.
I know that God has given me the Spanish language skills that I have. Therefore, it is only proper that He receive the credit for tonight. While I know I made mistakes in my Spanish, the team was able to understand me and the information that was presented. Thank you Lord for giving me the words to speak in Spanish. Gracias Señor. A Tu Nombre sea la Gloria!!