SHOULD I LEARN SPANISH, EVEN IF I'M ONLY GOING ON A SHORT TERM MISSION TRIP?
Learning Spanish is one of the most crucial steps you can take to prepare yourself for a trip to Latin America or Spain. There are so many advantages to taking the time to learn some Spanish before you go and while you are there.
You Will Make Deeper Relationships With the People You Are Serving
One of the primary reasons to learn some Spanish is the amazing relationships it can foster. Even if your pronunciation is terrible, the very fact that you have tried, makes a huge difference. Learning their language shows them that you truly care and that you are interested in them. It opens up the opportunity for more conversation and it is a great ice-breaker. You can begin relationship building with people by asking them how to say simple things in Spanish, such as objects you can point to. Then try to repeat after them and laugh through the corrections as they laugh at your attempts. Taking time to do this brings fun into the relationship and does something even more important:
You Will Position Yourself As A Learner, Rather Than A Teacher
As you learn Spanish, you will often feel silly, like a child first learning to speak. Spanish has some sounds English speakers never use. You will make mistakes and will have to practice just to say simple things like “Where is the bathroom?” or “What is your name?” These mistakes and challenges are a good thing, as they help you to remain humble. You are there to serve them and to show them the love of Christ. You will do this in part as you humble yourself to be a learner, rather than just a teacher, even in the short time you are there.