Schizophrenia and Grace: Spanish Bible Study Adventures #3

This Wednesday I went to the Lamb Center for our weekly Spanish Bible study. There were three Hispanic guys there at 10:15 but they had all left (fled?) by 10:30, so Maritza and I were going to say a prayer and go home, but then we saw a white lady (we’ll name her Grace for privacy reasons) in the chapel where the Spanish Bible study meets. Grace said that she wanted to practice her Spanish so she was hoping to sit in with us. Our reading was Ephesians 3:1-13, which I found to be a very challenging passage to understand in Spanish. Grace’s enthusiasm for talking in Spanish quickly dropped away so I found myself talking to her in English and translating our conversation into Spanish for Maritza. Continue reading

Piedra angular vs. tropiezo: Spanish Bible study adventures #2

We continue our journey through the book of Ephesians at the Wednesday morning Lamb Center Spanish Bible study. This week we covered Ephesians 2:11-22, where Paul talks about how Christ has destroyed the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind as a privileged white person doing a Bible study with Hispanic homeless guys are all the cultural and socioeconomic walls that separate me from them. But that topic never really came up and it really didn’t need to. Continue reading

Fe temporal vs. fe salvador: Spanish Bible study adventures #1

I have started leading a Wednesday morning Bible study in Spanish at the Lamb Center, a homeless drop-in center in Fairfax, VA. We have been going through the book of Ephesians since it’s fairly short and super-rich theologically. It’s very interesting to lead a Bible study in a different language where I understand about half of what is being said by the other participants. They’ve been very talkative, which is awesome, but they’ll sometimes share long personal stories that I lose track of. Thankfully I am accompanied each week by Maritza Monsalvo, the wife of Pastor Medardo Serrano who leads the Spanish congregation that meets at Burke UMC on Saturdays. It usually isn’t until the drive home when we debrief and I learn what in the world we actually talked about. Continue reading