YWAM Marine Reach NZ New Zealand DTS Discipleship Training School
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English Second Language?

October 19, 2020 - January 1, 2030

English Second Language?

YWAM DTS Marine Reach New Zealand Friends

Andrea Wenger, 25, Switzerland

To be honest, the language wasn’t really a concern when I was choosing the location for my DTS. Growing up in Switzerland, I had learned English in school – not that I was really good at it – and after my apprenticeship, I went to a language course in London, England to
improve my knowledge or lack of it. That’s when I really started to love English. A couple of years later, I arrived in New Zealand. I realized pretty quickly that, while my understanding was decent, I often had a hard time finding the right words and would need to stop mid-
sentence. As a perfectionist, that was pretty annoying but since most of the people around me didn’t speak German, I didn’t have a choice but to try and make mistakes to learn and improve. The people were amazing, most of them were so willing helping to find the right words or were just really patient letting me work it out. A couple of friends I had asked to actually correct when I made grammatical mistakes, so while the Lord was working on my heart, healing wounds and redefining my identity, I also improved in my English.
Something else I realized as soon as lectures started was that my christian- / church English was lacking. I mean I never really needed those expressions and I sometimes didn’t get it. I needed to learn to ask for help for people to explain what these words meant or I had to look them up. Again, people were so willing to help and explain meanings, so it was not at all frightening or worrying, I think having to speak a different language, having to ask and learning to make mistakes was something that was part of my DTS experience. The patience people had towards me and the way they were willing to support revealed a part of God’s
heart for us. That he is patient for us to learn and to teach us…
Something that I really recommend that helped me getting into the language quicker was reading the Bible in English. It not only helped get the vocabulary faster, but I ultimately rediscovered the Bible. Because I had to read intently not skipping words or sentences as we
do when we know a language really well. The “new” way of saying something touched my heart in new ways. And I had to look up words again and again, the meaning of them. I questioned more why these words were used for that context, I was more aware of what I was reading. This is something that stuck with me, today I keep looking up the meaning of words – just in their original language. I keep asking myself why the author chose these words and what they wanted to emphasize with them. But I also keep trying to read the Bible as if it was
my first time, to not lose the wonder of it and to cherish the small discoveries.
It was a beautiful journey to do my DTS in another language, it had its challenges for sure, but I would do it this way all over again.

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October 19, 2020
January 1, 2030
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