Sunday, 29 November -0001 19:00

From the Everts

Written by Evert and Rina Everts
Greeting from Costa Rica. This is the first time that I am writing an article in The Messenger and it is a great pleasure to do so. In this way we hope to stay in touch with each other on a regular basis and be one in the service of our Lord, one in prayers and in sharing the blessings that He give us.

It is somewhat strange to write an article in English, while we are learning Spanish every day. On the other hand, we hear a lot of English around us, because most of the students are from North America, and it seems to be difficult for them to speak Spanish with each other; but then, we also speak Dutch at home. The advantage we have, coming from the Netherlands, is that many other students try to speak Spanish to us.

We have good reason for not speaking English, because it is difficult to learn Spanish and to speak English at the same time. For the children it seems to be less of a problem. They begin to understand and even to speak English and Spanish many times. People have told us that children can learn to speak another language very quickly. We believe it's true.

At this time we are in the last weeks of our stay in Costa Rica [February 2002]. Time is going very fast, and the three months [in Costa Rica] is too short a period to learn the language well, so we have to continue our studies in Guatemala. It is good for us to go to Guatemala, especially for the children. There are hardly any playgrounds here and the curriculum does not connect well with the system from the Netherlands, which we will be using in Guatemala for home schooling.

In these three months we did learn a lot. Not only in connection with the language, but also of the culture of Latin America. Costa Rica is different from Guatemala, but there are many similarities. It was good to taste something of the Tico culture, but also to see something of the influence of the United States, not only in daily life, but also in the church. This is a completely new experience for us. It is clear that we shall also meet this phenomenon in Guatemala, but in a different way.

As we write about the local churches here in Costa Rica, we think of the difficult time we had finding a church where we could feel at home. The churches here are so different from what we were used to. You do appreciate the good side of our church-life in our homeland. On the other hand, you are forced to distinguish what is most important and what things you can accept differently. This is good practice for the future.

On the 4th of March D.V. we will fly to Guatemala, and meet the Herfst family at the airport. During the first months we hope to meet the people, see the churches and the town, and learn more Spanish. Maybe we will also learn our first words in the Achi language.

Recently, we asked someone at the Institute here how things were going. He said: "We clearly notice that we are carried on the prayers of others, our family, friends and the church." We can say the same. Learning another language is not easy. And there are many circumstances, which are strange for us and our children. But when we see how all things are going, we can say that God makes all things well. He is the Lord who knows our ways, our thoughts and needs; He gives us what we need, if we seek Him. We don't need to worry about the future, although we don't know what it will bring. But we may know that the Lord will go with us. He will hear our prayers and yours.

May He bless you all with His mercy and love in Christ.

Evert & Rina Everts

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