"Breaking up is never easy, I know," sings ABBA, el conjunto de rock de los años setenta. But a veces, saying goodbye causes us to look back, to appreciate, and reflejar on the past.
Today a very special class, Spanish for ministry, finished its initial semestre. What a clase--with students from Lutheran, Methodist, Jewish and Presbyterian backgrounds, with an age span from 8 months (my daughter, who visited us once), with a high school and a college student joining in sporadically, and a couple very serious students in their eighties--and representing a racially and culturally diverse group--nos juntamos to learn Spanish from a God-fearing perspective. We read los Salmos. We sang varios himnos. We read Scripture. We discussed la poesía, el arte, la literatura, y together we learned about culture, immigration, religion and ideas that are the mainstay of Hispanic cultura.
(Notice that I'm codeswitching. That term refers to using words from idiomas diferentes, whichever language comes out primero or makes more sense. It's often how real bilingual people really talk, once they know each other and feel relaxed and comfortable in both languages).
Today's class was unique. A friend from México spoke to us about topics of interest to those who work with immigrants: what coming to the USA is like and why people do it; what religious differences and similarities face people who transition into a new life in America; and why our governments operate the way they do, and how that affects our lives and those of others. If Spanish for ministry isn't about communicating in real life, then I don't know if it's really ministry. We watched a documentary called La Frontera, which brought us to the border of the US and Mexico in pictures, tele-journaling, and collage.
All in all, Spanish para el ministerio has been un gran éxito because we can use Spanish to meet others and share the Gospel ahora mismo, right here, right now. We decided that we like one another and our topic so much that we are only saying hasta luego, and we'll be back in two weeks.
Menos mal. I am glad that this was an easy goodbye and that we'll see each other soon. I really love this class.