top of page

No Language School?

Many people ask how I learned Spanish. The short answer is, immersion. But unless you live in a Spanish-speaking country or neighborhood, immersion rarely happens by mistake.

Spanish never really interested me before college. Arabic seemed much more useful on the modern-day missions field, so I jumped into learning Arabic with gusto.... for less than a year. School assignments crowded out my time, and with no consistent accountability, it took a back seat.

Then, a Bible institute teacher mentioned something during a lecture, "if you think God wants you to be a missionary, learn a language; any language." That helped broaden my perspective, and when my nursing program required a language class as a prerequisite, I wasn't as disappointed to see that Arabic wasn't on the list of options. Spanish 101 happened to fit my schedule, so I signed up. The teacher assumed we'd all had some Spanish

Then, something clicked. Then a whole phrase, then an entire sentence! It was elementary, but I was on a roll. I took a part-time job to pay my way for a 3-week study abroad trip to Mexico, where we stayed with a Mexican family and attended Spanish classes 6-8 hours a day. Discovering the value of immersion, that Fall I volunteered to be a pianist in a Spanish ministry my church was just starting.

The Spanish pastor had been a missionary to Bolivia for over 25 years, and he - along with his family - opened the Latino world to

My nursing studies continued, and I was encouraged to create a "self-study" class focusing on Spanish interpreting while earning my Bachelor's degree. Through this, I had the privilege of shadowing professional interpreters in Johns Hopkins Hospital, as well as interpreting for a research project in a mobile clinic. In 2014 my nurse manager encouraged me to attend a Qualified

Though I still have much to learn in this beautiful language, it has been a joy to discover the Hispanic world and touch this rich missions field right here in my own backyard. Hasta la proxima vez, Dios les bendiga! (Until next time, God bless!)

bottom of page