By Felixa Valladares de Kunkle
I realized some time ago that being able to speak Spanish is a great privilege, especially when the Latin American Spanish-speaking community is growing within the United States and especially within LMC. The language contains so much of the richness and fullness of the Spanish culture that it feels like being with family or at home when speaking. Spanish-speaking congregations provide this feeling when they open their doors to those who need family. Sharing our praises and meals in fraternal fellowship anoints and feeds hearts and spirits with the love of Christ. LMC represents Spanish-speaking congregations in the states of Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana to name a few, and in the countries of Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba. The Spanish-speaking churches will continue to grow, and they will continue to bless us with their joy and their very special way of praising and praying to the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we like to say, “The Spanish language is a language of heaven.”
Spanish comes from a rough dialect of spoken Latin that came to what is today Spain and Portugal from the Roman Empire as early as 218 BCE. This connection to Latin-speaking Romans classifies it as a Romance language. The language evolved there after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century. Other languages, including Greek, Arabic, and native languages of the Americas contributed words to modern Spanish. Today, it is a global language with nearly 500 million native speakers, mainly in Spain and the Americas. It is one of the official languages of the United Nations. Alongside English and French, it is also one of the most taught foreign languages throughout the world.