Thursday, April 28, 2016

Final Update: Thank you

Let me just say, these past eight months have been a crazy ride. Everything from moving to a different country, to taking my first ever Bible classes, having surgery, translating sponsorship letters, using violin for ministry, gaining friends from all around the US and the DR, teaching English, translating for groups… the list goes on and on. Wow, have things changed since I graduated from High School!  

I pray that the efforts I have made here in the DR are not just temporary, but that I have been able to eternally impact people for God’s glory. Only the Lord knows what that impact looks like. I may still be unsure and unaware of the influence I have had on others, but there is one thing that I am sure of: the influence others have had on me.

I wanted to take this chance to say thank you to everyone reading this update. Without realizing it, you have made an impact on me these past eight months. Whether it meant praying for me or providing for me financially to come on this trip, you impacted my life. Thank you so much for being there and faithful to read these updates.

The biggest praise I could say right now is just this whole experience and the amazing things that God has done with it, and the biggest prayer requests I could ask for right now is to be able to transition and be faithful to the things that the Lord has for me to do.

Now off to the next journey… time for the States!

Thank you again! Sincerely, Rebecca

P.S. Would you believe me if I told you that I was able to recap my whole GAP experience in only fifteen pictures? Well, I did it! It’s super cheesy, but it quickly summarizes the goal of the program that I went with and shows some fun shots. If you’re interested getting a general feel for my past eight months, click here!

P.P.S Y’all have been so faithful in praying for me; if you have any prayer requests yourself, please send them to me! I would love to pray for you!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 30: Transition Time!

I would’ve never realized how hard it would be to keep up a blog every week. I sit at my computer and I stare for a long time at the blank screen; it usually takes hours to come up with the five or so paragraphs that make up my weekly updates. Sometimes I feel like my life is so boring that I have nothing to write about. Some people blog and share these crazy life or death situations, and here I am, just freaking out that I saw two cockroaches on the floor. Sometimes people will tell me how crazy my experiences are, but now they’ve become normal to me, so normal that the craziest thing I feel like I will experience will be my transition back to the US.

Just this past weekend, I got a taste of what that transition might look like. My friend and I stayed at the Capital, and it was the greatest time. The family we stayed with is always super welcoming and we got to hang out with a lot of Dominicans our age, which is super rare for us.

On Friday night we all decided to go bowling (fun fact: they only have one bowling place in the DR), and that’s when I realized that returning the US was going to be hard. The flashing lights, the bar and the loud, blasting music reminded me of what I was coming back to: over-stimulation, busyness, chaos. As all of this nostalgia was coming back, I was handed a bowling ball. And although my tendency to get the lowest score out of my friends in bowling didn’t change, I realized that I had. Bowling brought back memories of my old friends, my old life, my old self. I am not that old self anymore, and I’m nervous to see how people will react to that. Maybe they won’t notice, but I definitely will.

My view of this whole world has changed, including my home country called the United States. I’ve come to appreciate some parts of America and despise other parts of it, noticing that no matter where you are, culture influences everything you do. Stripping myself away from that culture-influenced religion in the States and being placed in a different culture made me understand and appreciate the raw goodness of the Bible alone. Only now do I realize that some of the things that I had always taken as fact regarding my beliefs are nowhere found in the Bible. I realize that being busy and always having plans is not always the greatest idea. Most importantly, I realize how important it is to have a good, Biblically-sound community of believers by your side. Man, this transition to the US is going to be tough!

After being over-stimulated in bowling and reflecting on life in the US, I learned that my other friends on a host home had a complete different experience from myself. After hearing a scream of a woman coming from outside their house, they came out to find two guys who were high, running away from a woman who, high herself, was bleeding profusely and refusing help. While I was bowling, going out to eat, getting my nails done, my friends were making sure that the woman got picked up and taken care of. That’s the hard core truth of the DR, some places in the States, and in a lot of parts of the world. Oh, how we can so easily lose perspective!

“Lord, may I not lose perspective when I return. May I continue to learn more and be able to use this time of preparation in the DR to further Your Kingdom in one of the greatest mission fields in the world: the States.”

-          I think I found a Spanish-speaking church in the US that I can plug into when I get back!
-          Teaching on the topic of fasting for the interns at SCORE went well! If anyone feels like talking about fasting with someone, shoot me an email!
-          Despite the nostalgia from bowling, I really did have an amazing weekend with one of my favorite Dominican families.

Prayer Requests
-          We’ve been talking about these three dreaded words a lot more recently: Reverse Culture Shock. Please pray for all of us that are coming back to the States within the next two weeks, that the transition would be smooth and that we would transition well but also refuse to turn back into our old selves before this GAP program.
-          This week is our last Bible class, and we have finals on Thursday and Friday! Please pray for motivation for everyone to finish strong and study for finals this week!

Friday, April 8, 2016

Week 28: Mission Trips: why do the kids refuse to leave your side? (Translating, part 2)

This might just be me, but have you ever gone on a mission trip and noticed that whenever your group went to a school, an orphanage, or any place with tons of kids, they would always swarm around y’all right after you got off the bus and never leave your side? Usually, we think of them as the nicest kids, we love the attention that they give us, and we get some pretty cute pictures in the midst of all that. But have you ever wondered why that happens?

I’m definitely not an expert on this situation, but I had that happen to me this past week. I had been translating the whole week, helping with VBS and door-to-door evangelism, but I didn’t experience this concept fully until we went to a school one day to play sports. Our bus stopped, the Americans came out, and the kids started running towards us. Throughout the whole time we were there, I had at least five kids trying to hold my hand at once. I’d be playing with some kids and needing to go translate for someone else, and what do you know, the swarm of kids would follow me. To be honest, I really wanted to change my skin color at that time. My personal space bubble was broken and I couldn’t find a way out. That’s another difference between the DR’s culture and the State’s culture: Americans like more personal space. Sometimes I wonder if our obsession with personal space is because it’s super hard for us to truly be real and let people into our lives…

ANYWAYS, as I was struggling to give piggy back rides, lose some kids while I was walking around, and translating for the group, I noticed that every single American had a group of ten or so kids around them. The Dominican translators had to free me and the other Americans from the kids when we needed to get back on the bus. Why do you think that happens? From my personal experience, I think that I can conclude at least two reasons why…

1.      You’re an American: I’m sorry to tell you that these kids are not that nice and as welcoming to their fellow Dominicans (or insert their native nationality here) as they are to you. You’re something new, something different to them. A rare form of species called Americans, the ones who have all the money and have the good life (in their eyes, at least). They may want to play with your hair or play sports with you because they get to say that they interacted with you. I heard the kids that I was working with talking about “their American” that they were hanging out with, kind of like an object that someone could claim. I’m not trying to burst your bubble and I know that not every kid is like this, but it is definitely good to know and be aware.

2.      They want to feel loved: Because you are aware now, you should know that these kids have such a high view of you, without even knowing who you are, and you have a lot of influence over them. With great power, though, comes great responsibility. These kids don’t even know who you are, yet all they want to do is see that you care for them. The kids hug you and want to hang out with you because they love you. As an American going on missions, you have been given a great deal of influence. Make sure you use it wisely. Care for them and love them, knowing that they are human, too. Show Christ’s love for them and show them how much they mean to you.

Isn’t that what we all want, though? To feel different and special, like the most important person in the world cares about us and knows us personally? In this world, we have desires. I’ve never heard of anyone who desired something that wasn’t possible to fill; we have desires because there’s always something that fills that desire. We desire food because there is food in this world. We desire learning because there’s always something new to learn. Maybe we desire to feel special, like someone cares about us more than we can imagine, because such a person exists. Maybe we desire for there to be a God, because there actually is one.

-          This is my second week translating, and I have learned a lot. My ability to speak Spanish has grown, and I was blessed this week to share/translate the Gospel every single day.
-          I was blessed to have worked with wonderful translators and have had really good groups this week to talk to and get to know.

Prayer Requests
-          I’m still working on trying to find a way to keep up my Spanish when I go back to the States. Please pray that God shows me a good opportunity to do just that! I’m praying that it involves some sort of ministry.
-          We have about two weeks left of classes, and then finals are coming up! Pray for endurance for all the students, for the teachers (and students!) that are teaching us this week, and for our hearts, that we will all be open to what the Lord is trying to show us.

-          Next week, I will be teaching Bible Study for the interns at SCORE regarding the spiritual discipline of fasting. Pray that I can prepare well and that the Lord speaks through me during this time.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Translating part 1

Since I had to stay in the States for a month extra, I haven’t had an opportunity to truly translate since I’ve been in the Dominican Republic. This week, though, I was super blessed to be able to translate with a fantastic group from Alabama. The first day of translating I was fully immersed by being the only translator in the VBS throughout the day. In some ways it was a lot easier than I thought, and in other ways, I was kicking myself for some of the words I had forgotten in Spanish. Throughout the week I got to play with kids, instruct crafts, help people find the right eye glasses (definitely not becoming an eye doctor anytime soon!), and had fun being able to communicate with the Dominicans and aid the American group by helping them get to know them and their culture on a deeper level.
-                      I have to say that out of all of the days of translating, the second day was the most impactful to me. All throughout this experience I had opportunities to share the Gospel, and God was gracious enough to use me to translate or personally lead someone to Christ almost every day. But this day was unlike all the others. My brain was fried by the end of the day, but ultimately, it was a good type of tiring. I personally felt like I was laboring and aching with these people for them to truly understand the Gospel. Putting your heart and soul into something really takes a lot of energy.
-                      We started with the VBS that day which included coloring, crafts, games, and a Gospel presentation. We were in the same building as the medical group that was trying to prescribe medicine to Dominicans who couldn’t afford to see a doctor. Can you imagine having only a line of chairs to divide the huge line of Dominicans trying to heal themselves or their children in one area, and the little kids screaming and refusing to stand still in another area? It was a bit chaotic, but I loved every second of it.
-                      The gospel sharing started with one girl in the American group wanting to talk to two school girls that were waiting for medicine. We talked with them, shared our testimonies with them (and I had happened to review my testimony in Spanish that morning; it’s funny how God works!), and asked them if they would like to become Christians. They said no, that they “had been Christians” but now aren’t. Throughout the whole time translating, I had been hearing young people saying that same excuse. They say that they do not need to think about it now, but that they would become Christians again later. One girl even told me that she wasn’t a Christian because “the world” was calling her. I would ask them as to where they would go if they died right now and they would immediately reply with the right answer: Hell. They knew the Truth, but they rejected the Truth. I tried to convey them the urgency and importance of this decision, but it wasn’t registering in their minds. At least, I thought that was the case.
-                      At the very end of the day, I was called in to help translate at the evangelism station part of the medical clinic. All patients sit one-on-one (with a translator, of course) to talk about their spiritual state after they had received help to improve their physical state. It’s probably the hardest station to translate for, but honestly, that was my favorite time translating throughout the whole week.
-                              I was fortunate to help translate for the pastor of the group. The first woman who came by was already a Christian and the second woman we talked to still did not feel the call to become one right away. I had been talking to the pastor about my previous attempts at sharing the Gospel when one of the girls that I had been talking to happened to sit down in the chair. She already showed me earlier that she didn’t seem to want to change (she was the one who said that the world was calling her), but after the Pastor spoke with her, it was like something changed in her and she decided right then and there to put her faith in Christ. Praise God! You might get discouraged that people aren’t truly listening to you, and that they may reject you and your message of the Gospel. Know, though, that it isn’t your job to change them; it’s God’s job. It’s only your job to share. Even though she rejected the first time, God didn’t reject her. She came back and I believe that now I will be able to see her again and get to know her better in Heaven.
-                              I’ve grown a lot during this week, especially during this year. I had already known a lot of basic Spanish before I came down, but living in the DR has firmed up what I’ve already learned and helped me learn so much more about certain topics, especially the Gospel. That is my favorite thing to talk about in Spanish. I don’t know why, but I feel like my voice tends to soften when I talk about some sort of spiritual truth in Spanish. Being able to put to use what I’ve learned this week has been a blast, and I’ve really loved the group that I translated for. They are some of the kindest, southern folk that you could ever meet, and they truly have compassion and a heart for the Lord. A lot of times, especially living here for so long, it’s easy to become numb to the poverty and the necessity for everyone to be spiritually right with God. I really feel like this week helped me realign my mindset; these people filled me so much with kindness and love and reminded me of the reason why I am here. My heart is full.

-          Week 1 of translating went well!
-          I get to go on an excursion today to go jump through waterfalls. How cool is that?
-          Over 500 people were treated medically, and over 100 people declared Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior this week through my group. I didn’t write the numbers down to measure our success, but to demonstrate how powerful the Lord is and how willing He is to provide when people come together to do work in His name. Every single person has a story. I pray that their story now continues to be written by God and for God.

Prayer Requests:
-          Every year there is a big group that comes down to do ministry. There are 310 high schoolers coming down today to do ministry, which means that all hands are on deck regarding translating. Please pray for everyone translating and involved with this group, that we will not get weary and that God will provide.
-          Please continue to pray for focus and endurance until the end!
-          Please pray for my transition back to the States

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Week 26: Americans have a bad rep

I was talking with one of my favorite Dominican couples a couple of days ago (I stayed in their village this weekend), and they mentioned to me how hard it is to be an American and a missionary down here in the DR. It’s hard enough just to be a missionary. They said that most missionaries come and return to the States within a year. The longest they really had seen someone stay (besides the missionary couple living in San Jose right now) was a family that stayed for about two years; they had to leave just this past month for the States. What does that say about our country? Does it mean that we really don’t care about the Dominicans? I don’t think so. Or, at least, I hope not. Does it mean that we really don’t think and prepare beforehand before we go? Yes and no. Does it mean that we tend to “go” so often without thinking about how we are affecting the people long term? I think that hits the nail on the head. What does that mean for us and our reputation as Americans?

This past weekend when I stayed in the village, I realized that no matter how hard I try, I cannot get away from the “American-vibe.” Don’t get me wrong, besides the missionary family and a couple other GAP students that were staying with me, there were no other white people around. I saw some packages, though, that told me otherwise. They were given by the US government to the Dominicans, containing rice and beans, which is a staple meal here for every Dominican. Outside of every package contained at least three labels referencing America, saying things like “US Aid,” “From the people of the United States,” and “US International Development.” Do we really need all that on one single package when the main recipient doesn’t even know English? Don’t get me wrong; I love that America is trying to be generous, but I’ve been learning more and more that Americans have a super bad rep here in the DR.

We are known for a lot of things here, like being the most proud country in the world, always thinking that other countries “need” us, and jumping into things before actually knowing how they will affect others. During first semester, I was talking with a worker on a beach. When I mentioned that I was doing ministry here in the DR, he said, “So you think that we need your help?” It’s true; they actually don’t need our help. Sometimes we give out handouts unnecessarily and do things that we don’t need to do so much that the recipients feel inferior instead of valued.

Have you ever heard the phrase that says, “Work smart, not hard?” Well, I think that we could say that in regards to giving and serving. “Give smart, not hard” and “Serve smart, not hard” mean that you shouldn’t give or serve where it doesn’t actually make a difference. Don’t go spreading your money and time out too much that everything you do is done carelessly and without much prayer. God calls us to give and to serve, but sometimes we give and serve so much that we are worn-out, and sometimes we are innocently giving or serving to things that have no meaning or actually are causing more harm than good. When you give and serve smart and not hard, you can feel free to give and serve abundantly in whatever that area is.

In regards to the Dominican and their views on Americans, they see us giving and serving without care for the culture itself. A short term group that recently came down had taught Dominican kids some popular American dancing, not knowing that dancing for the people in the church is seen as questionable for the Church. That most likely caused a stumbling block for the kids and adults to hear the Gospel, because they were so worried that a Christian danced and questioned whether or not they were even Christian. We try to serve, but sometimes we are na├»ve. I’m not saying that we should not serve, but I’m saying that we should serve smarter. Many Dominicans see Americans as people who come and go, but don’t care. If we want to properly care for them, then the best thing to do is to stay and build a true, meaningful relationship. Only then will they understand you more as an individual person and a creation of God, rather than one of the many Americans in the world trying to “help.” I would venture to say that this concept applies to more than just the Dominican Republic.

Semana Santa:
-This week is Semana Santa (Holy Week): the week before Easter. This week is the most dangerous week of the year. People get drunk, act crazy, and have some crazy traditions before Easter Sunday. The government sends out a count at the end of the week, tallying how many people died during the week. Let’s just say that Holy Week is not so holy.
- During Semana Santa, a popular dish to make is Habichuelas con Dulce (Sweet bean dessert). Most people from the US do not like it; it has beans with sweet milk, bread, crackers, raisins, and some other things inside. I tried it and it definitely wasn’t my favorite, but I’m glad that I tried!

-          I am still free from lice!
-          Weekends in San Jose are always my favorite. Every person in San Jose knows my name. I’ll be going down to pick up some food for a friend and I’ll hear two or three groups of people call out my name. I guess it’s not that hard, since I’m one of the regular white people that comes to the village, but it has been fun to be able to meet new people, visit at others’ houses, and get groups of kids to come together and hang out.

Prayer Requests:
-          Please continue to pray for my Spanish as I will be translating next week and the week after.
-          Please pray that my eyes and ears are open to what the Lord is doing here in the DR and that I will take the opportunities that are given to me to glorify His name.
-          Please pray for peace.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week 25: The Elephant in the Room...

It is crazy how such a small bug could make such a big impact.

Do you remember in elementary school when the teachers wouldn’t let people share hats and when people refused to share pillows? Do you remember the reason why? I do, but I ignored that reason before and thought it was silly. Not anymore.

I’m about to say it; are you ready? …I got lice.

There it is. I said it.

Other people had gotten lice around us recently, but our GAP group was lice free… until they checked my head and found some critters making a home on my scalp.

Not only did I have lice, but I had super lice: more likely to burrow in the head and be a bigger deal than the others. Lice attach onto American’s heads way better than Dominican’s heads (why us???) and a group went out to an unknowingly lice-infested village… Nevertheless they decided to also hop on over to my head, which I guess could be considered a compliment since lice like clean hair. Gotta find the good in every situation, I guess :)

But with that compliment also comes a lot of complications. The act of having lice wasn’t the problem, but rather all the treatments and special precautionary measures that I had to take this week consumed all of my free time. I stayed over with the interns in order to not infect any other GAP student (which was actually kind of fun but unsuccessful as another student got lice after me) and had to put things like vinegar, Listerine, and a weird Dominican gel treatment in my hair. I had to wash ALL my clothes, put my mattresses and pillows out to bake in the sun, and after all that was done, I had to basically re-move into my apartment.

Those inconveniences weren’t as bad as how I felt emotionally, though. Do you remember the unclean people in the Bible that had to let everyone know how unclean they were, wherever they went? I really feel for those people more than I have before. I’m definitely not saying that my situation was as bad as theirs, but I truly have a new level of understanding for those people that I had never had. I was so nervous for anyone else to get lice from me that I basically isolated myself from people until it was gone. I stayed a good, long distance from everyone I came into contact with. I felt like a bother, and I didn’t want to get anyone “unclean” as well.

And this lice epidemic for me ended in three days. I cannot imagine being unclean for years, or being considered the outcast because of a chronic medical situation I had. It’s a pretty lonely feeling, and I would never wish it on anybody.

Feeling unclean doesn’t have to just be physical, though. Have you ever felt unclean in your spiritual walk? I know I have. We feel like we aren’t worthy, like we have to let people know how many faults we have or hide all of them in fear that we won’t be liked because we feel so dirty. Yet, while we are yet sinners, Christ died for us. While we are dirty, Christ doesn’t decide to keep His healthy distance. He comes right up to us, takes us in, and calls us His children. Only after that do we become cleansed, not before. How awesome we are to have a God like that.

I had some people who really demonstrated me that type of love. They took me in and made me feel welcome; they invited me to join them in study and in daily life while the rest of the GAP students were getting checked and taking the precautionary measures necessary to make sure that it didn’t spread to anyone else. I am so thankful for that group that took me in, for they brushed my hair more times than I can count and helped me with this whole de-bugging process. If y’all are reading this right now, you’re the best!

I learn more and more about the Dominican every day…
-          If you are at someone’s house and yawn, you are signaling to them that you are hungry and they should feed you. In the DR, yawning either means that you’re tired or you’re hungry.
-          If you are the maid of honor or the best man at a wedding, you are responsible for helping pay for part of the wedding. Dominicans will ask Americans to be their maid of honor or best man, assuming that they’ll help pay, and get offended when they don’t. #TheMoreYouKnow

-          As of right now, I am lice free! Wohoo!!!
-          I had some pretty fantastic chocolate lava cake this weekend. ‘Nuff said.

Prayer Requests
-          We have a lot of things coming around the corner! Host homes, classes, and two weeks of translating for short term mission groups… Pray for strength and that I remember all I’ve learned regarding Spanish.
-          I’m still in a bit of spiritual warfare. Please be praying… hard
-          The end of this wonderful adventure is just around the corner. Please be praying that I am “all-in” while I’m here while also being able to figure out specifics for what I am doing this summer to keep up with Spanish, work with ministries, and work in general.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 24: Perspective

We had just been in the swimming hole of these gorgeous, glorious waterfalls, and now about 20 people are jam-packed in a single jeep that had the gas on E the whole time to go see the pyramids. As excited as we are, our drive is not the most pleasant one. The insane beauty of the waterfalls and the mountainous view did not mask the coldness of the water while we were swimming. It was freezing.  Granted, not everyone who saw the waterfalls was dumb enough to get in. But me, being stubborn and ready for adventure, did. I could see my breath in the jeep afterwards. And at times while driving, we were about two feet away from huge cliffs.

We drove like this for hours, singing songs and linking arms with the people next to us, or asking those on the floor of the jeep to sit on our toes to keep them warm. I’m not joking, I was shivering. And too stubborn to use someone’s sweatshirt to cover my exposed knees, but that’s not the point. When we eventually got to our destination to see the pyramids that we had frozen our toes off for, we saw one, single pyramid, not even 20 feet high. I attached a picture so y’all can see. I wish you all could see our faces when we reached to the final destination, too. We were bummed. Fog started to cover the pyramid so much that we couldn’t take many good pics of it, either.

I realized that sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem.

We were in church, listening to the Dominicans sing and preach, while sharing our testimonies and songs with them as well. As usual in the Dominican, if an American comes to church, the kids gather around, throughout the whole service. You ultimately have at least one kid on your lap, maybe even one or two fighting for that valued lap-spot. And another kid playing with your hair. And of course, as we all know, kids love to talk. We definitely had to shush these kids a lot.

One day, though, a little girl was sitting on my lap, talking, like the rest of the kids. To others (especially the people behind me), she was a bother. As I got closer, trying to hear what she was saying, I eventually realized that she was trying to read my Bible for herself. I scanned all the other people sitting attentively to the pastor, either gaining truth from him or maybe even daydreaming and wondering what they were going to do next after this service. I realized that what this girl was doing was more precious than that. She was trying to learn for herself. Yet, people still tried to shush her.

Sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem.

We were painting a church, inside and out, and I find a group of students and leaders, sitting on chairs. “What slackers, have they been here for a long time?” I thought. (And of course, I was doing nothing as well. It’s crazy how we tend to judge others before we judge ourselves). As I leaned in closer to hear what they were saying, I realized that they were sharing the Gospel with this man. He was caught in a downward spiral of believing that being a good person to get to Heaven, and they were encouraging him that faith in Christ is the only way he could have eternal life; he didn’t have to be “good enough” because he never would be good enough. After that conversation, instead of trying to find work for myself, I decided to look lazy and sit down, too, to pray for that guy’s salvation while they were witnessing.

Just a disclaimer, I don’t usually do those sorts of things. God definitely was working on me in that moment, and fortunately that time I listened to Him. Usually, I don’t. But what I once thought was slacking, with them sitting on chairs, I eventually participated in, because I received the greater perspective after searching deeper into the situation.

Sometimes, things aren’t the way they seem. We need to search deeper and get that greater perspective.

Sometimes, you’ll find out that the thing you’ve been hoping to achieve for the longest time wasn’t that great in the first place. Other times, you find out that the people, things, and experiences you overlooked became the greatest memories you have. Sometimes you find opportunities to do something you never thought you could. The key is to realize that things happen for a reason, find the good, and not be afraid to struggle to find a new perspective. Let us not shy away from the things that seem hard or seem worthless; we may be missing out on being a part of something bigger than ourselves.

-Our mission trip went super well; it was a time to relax as well as a time to work and share both the Gospel and our testimonies.
-My sickness has now (almost) gone away!

Prayer Requests:
-The GAP student in the States seems to be good to go soon to return to the DR. Pray that she heals up soon and that no more complications will happen while she’s back!

-That I am completely focused here on Spanish and Bible/not getting distracted.