Life Before the Field – Language School

Ministry News

A Time for Preparation

Before our missionaries join the field, they go through a series of trainings.  One is Language school.  Hear from missionary, Jessica Dennis, about what it’s like trying to learn another language.

Voy a compartir mis noticias de esta mes contigo.  Feliz dia de independecia!   Esta en mi corazon el deseo de estar contigo en este dia per no es posible. Pero, la buena noticia es que vamos a tener una celebracion despues de clases en miercoles.

Or: I’m going to share my news with you for this month.  Happy Independence day! I wish to be with you on this day, however, it’s not possible.  But the good news is that we are going to have a party here for all the students after classes on Wednesday.

(Yup, I can write like a 5 year old!  Better than the two year old from a couple months ago!! and in all honesty, I had some help with the use of some of the words. My original sentences were more like a 3.5 year old)

Wow what a time this has been back in Costa Rica.  Not all good and not all bad, but some of each!  Which is life right?  A few highlights:I had a friend visit, many of you know Sharon Potzer, she came and spent a few days here.  It was a nice treat to have a familiar face here and we did some fun stuff!

Jessica in CR

Ligia and I went to Limon for a weekend, she owns a house there and we went for 2 nights.  It was definitely not my favorite place to go in Costa Rica, the weekend ended up being quite different than I expected.  We did have a nice time at a beach nearby.  Here we are drinking limonada con hierbabuena (Lemonade with mint)

Jessica smoothie

The following weekend, I went with a friend to Guatemala for my visa run.  We spent three nights in Antigua, and I fell in love with that city.  I cannot wait to go back.  The food was amazing, but we just touched the surface of all there is to see there.
group in Guatamala

Another family also came to Guatemala for the weekend, and we got to spend some time together.  This is the Fletcher family and they have been amazing and a source of much encouragement for me, Jason and I are in classes together at the Institute and Rachel is fluent from growing up as a missionary kid in Paraguay.  Their kiddos are awesome, and number 5 will be here hopefully before I leave!


This picture is of two volcanos in Guatamala.  The one on the left is Volcan Fuego, it erupted about a month ago and several hundreds of people (maybe even thousands) lost their lives.  It was pretty amazing to be so close to an active volcano.  You can see it had just erupted when I took this picture.

How am I doing?

This season has been stretching for me.  I changed the primary picture of my newsletter because it represents how I’ve been feeling.  I have spent much of the last two months feeling like that boat, just being tossed around and a bit adrift.  And while that hasn’t changed totally, my perspective on these last several weeks has changed a bit.

I am currently standing at the bottom of a mountain right now.  The journey up is going to be difficult, as it’s going to change the idea I have of who I am.  It’s going to change my perspective.  It’s going to change how I would have attempted to climb this mountain in the past, which frankly would have been to find a way around it.  Surely there is a tunnel or another road I can take that goes around it?

Nope, not this time and not this mountain.  Because this one is important.  I am important enough to climb this mountain.  What waits for me at the top is more than I can imagine.  More than I can think of to ask for.  And this season is for asking.

They warned us in our first few days of language school that while we will learn Spanish while we’re here, that won’t be our primary reason for being here.  That God will use this time to grow us closer to Him than we’ll learn Spanish.

While this is all mostly metaphors, God is asking me to do something physical as well.  There are two entrances to the institute.  The south gate is the closer of the two gates to me, and the one I’ve been using since the third day of classes here way back in January.  The north gate is the main gate, but in between me and the north gate is a hill.  It’s a big hill for me, and every time I climb it my knees remind me that they are not so young.  But God has asked me to climb it every day until I leave. And so I have been.  Not sure what will come out of this.   Even if it is only obedience to what he asked me to do, I’m doing it!

Love and Miss you all!

(PS — if you think of it, I’d love to hear from you!  Even if it’s a prayer request or just to share something that is going on with you! Or even just a note to say hi!)

Jessica headshot

Jessica Dennis

Jessica grew up going to church and knew she wanted to be a missionary and work with children from a young age.  Life got busy and she spent her time raising her son.  Attending a missions trip in February 2017 with her church to the Dominican Republic and working with SCORE, she knew God was calling her at this time to move forward with that dream.  He has continued to make the pathway clear, and she is excited to be moving forward in His direction.

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