Why I am Learning Spanish
I started learning Spanish this past week.
I am learning a foreign language for two reasons. First, because of Babel, humanity speaks many languages instead of one common language. The barrier of language is born out of Man’s sin and disobedience. God told us to multiply and fill the earth and instead we huddled and planned a rebellion. So God forced the issue by creating the various languages.
The second reason I am learning a foreign language is because I want to be able to talk to my new daughter. I don’t even know her name and I probably won’t meet her for another year, but just like couples do all kinds of things to prepare for the arrival of a biological child, international adoption comes with its own package of preparation. Our daughter is coming to us from Colombia. She will be between the ages of 7 and 9, and she will speak Spanish. At this moment right now, she probably has no idea she is going to grow up in the United States and learn to speak English fluently. She will learn English better than I will learn Spanish, but when Julie and I decided that it was God’s plan for us to adopt from Colombia, then it all of a sudden became God’s plan to learn Spanish.
I took Spanish in college and am ashamed to admit that I completely blew it off. The only reason I took Spanish was that it was a requirement for graduation. I successfully avoided Spanish in high school and instead took a year of French. Yeh, French. What was I thinking? I wasn’t. I didn’t learn much French either. For some reason, that I think was driven by a very youthful and sinful resentment of Mexican immigration, I think I was trying to rebel and avoid learning the one language that would have benefited me most and which most of my friends took in school – Spanish. My running from Spanish and then laziness toward the language was pure folly on my part driven by an attitude of sin and arrogance.
I traveled on mission to Argentina eight years ago and knew then that I had made a huge mistake. Oh, how I wished I had paid more attention in Spanish class at OBU! I came home promising myself I was going to learn Spanish on my own and better prepare myself for mission opportunities in the future. Besides the mission aspect, it seems that the longer I live in my own country the more I wish I knew Spanish – like when I go to Walmart! After Argentina and my promise to myself to learn Spanish I even went and purchased some cheap software to help. Sadly it all came of nothing. I went to Ecuador on mission last November and in many ways it was Argentina all over again.
And then came the decision to adopt from Colombia. So that’s it. No more excuses. I have waited long enough. Too long. And so last week, my wife by my side, we dove into our first lessons of Fluez Spanish. I am pumped. I keep thinking about a smiling 8-ish year old girl who needs a mom and a dad and someone to say they love her – in her language.
So there you have it. That’s why I am learning Spanish.