Mary Lynne and I arrived to Cochabamba around the middle of August 1998 to study Spanish in the newly opened SIM Language school. We had felt a call to serve the people in the Ayacucho region of Peru and knew that our first step was to learn Spanish.
We soon traveled out to Carachipampa and met you and all the other teachers as well as the other students that we would spend the next eight months with.
As for our experience, it was difficult and productive. Learning a new language is almost like becoming a stroke victim. It is not for cowards or the weak of heart. I (Walter) remember sitting across the table from you during our one-on-one classes and while I was smiling outside, I was crying inside because I could not express my thoughts in Spanish.
This all changed of course and by the time we were finished, we had a fair degree of understanding of the language. It is much better now after twenty years. One of the activities at the language school that proved to be very beneficial to us were the weekly culture classes. We soaked up everything we heard and this has been a great help to us over the years. Few, if any, language schools that we have heard of have offered this.
We appreciate, more than words can express, what the school, and you in particular, did for us. You gave us the ability to communicate and this became the basis for our ministry here in Ayacucho. Although we are working primarily with Quechua speakers, Spanish is the ”bridge” language. In a very real way, your fingerprints are all over what we are doing here. You will never know how much your patience and persistence with these two gringos from Alaska has blessed the folks in our area.
After language school Mary Lynne and I arrived to Ayacucho in May of 2000 and started work translating an existing non-denominational Bible School into the Quechua language. Once this was finished we started opening Quechua Bible Schools all over our corner of the Andes. We have made good use our Spanish studies in Carachipampa. As of 2018, we are still working in the Ayacucho area of Peru. Our website www.teamperu.org includes all of our past ministry newsletters and most of the videos that we have produced describing our ministry.
Dear Walter and Mary Lynne,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write for our blog. You are an important part of my first year with SIM and a language teacher. So many memories come to mind and so much gratefulness to see that you are still serving the Lord in Perú. To Him be the glory.