Yo tengo sed.
Podria traer otro vaso de agua?

I am thirsty.
Could you bring another glass of water?

Jesus en el ultimo dia de la fiesta
En el ultimo dia, el mas solemne de la fiesta, Jesus se puso de pie y exclamo:
--iSi alguno tiene sed, te venga a mi y beba! De aquel que cree en mi, como dice la
Escritura, brotaran rios de agua viva.
-Juan 7:37-38

Jesus promises living water
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice:
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the
Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
-John 7:37-38

Yo tengo sed.
Estas sediento?

These Spanish words roll off my tongue clumsily. I took Japanese in college, and somehow Japanese has always made more sense than the lilt of this Latin American language. In fact, for me, Asia has always made more sense than South and Central America. My heart resonates with the culture and people of Asia more than any other in the world. And that's okay...unless I allow it to only break for Asia. God loves the world; so should I.

And thus, I am going to El Salvador.

And thus, I step awkwardly and timidly into a culture about which I know far too little.

And thus, my heart begins to break.

This journey toward El Salvador happened quickly -- and more conventionally than usual for me. I am one who gets an itch to go and goes. I plan the itinerary, buy the tickets and arrange the accomodation. I pack my bag, bid my farewells and head into the unknown. Alone. Needing nothing but God and a thirst for adventure.

This time, I do not go alone. I am privileged to join my good friends Dave and Sarah and Barb. And thirst has other implications.

I am going to serve with Living Water International, an organization whose simple mission is to provide a cup of water in Jesus' name. We will drill a well, install a hand pump, love on the locals and educate them about good hygiene practices in order to help them prevent water-borne disease.

Journeying into El Salvador cannot be about satiating my desire for adventure -- though it likely will. It cannot be a tribute to my fierce Western individuality. I go to pour myself into the lives of others, to seek to understand their ways, their hurts, their thirsts. Over and over, God has brought John 3:30 to mind: "He must become greater; I must become less." I hope God's increase and my decrease comes through community with a people who are just now starting to tug at my heart strings. I pray so.

As our June 13 departure approaches, I find my relation with water changing.

I no longer toss half-finished glasses of water down the drain. I do not let the water run as I wash my face at night. I take shorter showers.

I revel in the roar and froth of a flowing creek. I cry at the reflection of clouds in a clear mountain lake.

I long for brotaran rios de agua viva.

Or something like that. No hablo espanol muy bien. But I'm learning.

Yo tengo sed.


J Stu said...

Yes! Love the espanol venturing here. Keep it up, you're doing great.

Spanish is funny in its idiomatic-ness.

For instance, they say "i have thirst" (tengo sed) rather than "i am thirsty."

Also, if you want to ask someone if he or she is thirsty it's the same form of "sed" but change the "tener" verb so it's "tiene sed?"
"are you thirsty?" No sweat.

Good work! Latinos are largely unguarded folks who love big. Just let em be huggy on you and you'll be in!

Praying for you guys!

Hannah said...

Thanks for the pointers, J Stu! I so appreciate your knowledge in this area. And your passion for Latinos is infectious. Really. In a good way.