Gotta Know the Lingo

What do you get when you cross Nicaraguan Spanish speakers by birth with an American Spanish speaker by education? You get a crash course in cultural communication!

We just returned from this year’s mission trip to Nicaragua, and living, communing and speaking with the people has been out of this world. (Or, rather out of this country!)

First off, the Spanish I learned in school is much slower compared to the rapid-fire Central American Spanish. I kept asking for people to repeat things and to speak slower so my brain could keep pace. Despacio, por favor!

Secondly, my conversational Spanish is much better than my technical Spanish  I tried to use charades whenever I asked for directions or went into a store. (FYI: I don’t think the nationals play charades.)

Lastly, I could make my way around Nicaragua with a few key words:

VOLCAN. (Volcano.)
PLAYA. (Beach.)
PLAZA. (City Square.)

ENSA. (Best soda ever.)

With all of it’s excitement, traveling for a mission trip definitely feels overwhelming at first – things are going by so fast, and you begin tallying up all of your language and cultural mistakes. You can be tempted to doubt your ability, and even God’s ability to work through you.

But God has promised us that he will not allow any temptation to be more than we can bear. It says so in His lingo! So don’t worry if you can’t speak the language or if you have a hard time understanding the people. We know what God says, and His words are the words to know.

Check out the Maximum Missions page to see videos and testimonies about missions. Let God speak directly to you and use you in extraordinary ways!