“I’ve never met a missionary before,” replied a young man at the language school when I explained to him why we are in Uruguay. How sad that there are people all over Uruguay who have never crossed paths with a missionary. “. . . the labourers are few.” (Matthew 9:37) Please pray for more laborers!
Starting Language School
I started full-time Spanish language school on October 4, and Christa and the boys are taking some classes in the afternoons. The plan is for Christa to start full-time language school in December when we will have a sitter for the kids. I studied Spanish some before we arrived in Uruguay, while also knowing that the Spanish spoken here is different than anywhere else, except in Argentina. I’ve had many “Aha!” moments when I realize that a word that I couldn’t understand here in Uruguay was similar to a word I already knew in Spanish. For example, the word for here is aquí in most places; but in Uruguay, they say acá! My language teacher, Santiago, teaches completely in Spanish, and the textbooks are also completely in Spanish. At first, that was pretty daunting for me, but it has really helped me get an ear for the language. I am progressing well in my language studies and have seen my comprehension and speaking ability increase. I have been able to practice speaking with an online tutor who can correct my mistakes, which I think is important, even if it is humbling. The church family we are with has been very patient with us as we are learning the language. Please pray that we learn the language quickly and thoroughly.
On October 23, there was a Ladies’ Meeting at a church about three hours northeast of us in a city called Rocha. The missionary family was one we had spent time with before, so I wanted to visit them again and see their new building. There were 96 ladies who came from 4 churches in Uruguay. We enjoyed helping with the preparation for that. Rain was predicted for that day, but the Lord held the rain off while the ladies were outside. We decided to stay and visit the church on Sunday. It was so nice to fellowship with and learn from that faithful missionary.
We have been able to get involved in some ministry areas, even in spite of the language barrier. We’ve enjoyed being a part of teen activities at the church, where there’s preaching also. Christa has been able to play the piano on Sunday mornings. I’ve gone to a men’s activity with fellowship, preaching, and, of course, food! That night we ate dinner around 9:30, which is typical for many Uruguayans. I didn’t leave the church that night until 11:30! I’ve been able to help bring kids to church by helping to walk them to church. We love that we get to be here serving the Lord!
Thank you for faithfully praying and giving so we can work at reaching Uruguay with the Gospel. We love you and pray for you regularly.
Your missionaries to Uruguay,
Tim, Christa, Ethan, Evan, and Emmalynn Simmons