Reach the World at Home

“Please welcome career missionary Judy Lytle as she shares how we can reach the world at home through English language ministry!

“Buenos días. ¿Cómo está? Estoy bien. Espero que su familia esté bien.” What did I just say? Imagine being in a new country and seeing and hearing a language you do not understand. How would you feel? You would be nervous and stressed. You have a constant headache from trying to listen and understand. Now, look around your neighborhood and city. Have you noticed things are not the “same” as years ago? God has brought many cultures and languages to our front door. These are people like you with families, feelings, and dreams. God loves them and Christ died for them just as He died for you. We can remain passive. It is hard to get involved because we must get out of our comfort zone to interact with someone from a different culture. But I don’t believe God wants us to stay in our bubble and ignore those He has placed around us.

How can we welcome them? Smile. Speak to someone from a different culture. Invite them to your church. Another way we can welcome them and share the love of Christ is to teach them English. If they are going to live, work, and study here in the United States, they need to learn English. Your church may have organized classes or you may go the route of conversational English. Volunteer to help in the program your church has. If your church does not provide this opportunity, look for places that do offer English classes and volunteer to help. You don’t have to have a doctorate degree in English. You just need to be able to speak English and love others. Where can you find classes for teaching English as a second language? “Google ESL classes for adults in my area” and see what pops up. Call and plug in. Also, look around your town and city for signs advertising English classes.

Some things to remember if you want to begin or volunteer in an English ministry.

1. Be flexible. Your students are “doing life” and jobs may change so expect interruptions. You may need to change the schedule but don’t give up.
2. Don’t do an English ministry alone. Ask for help from your congregation. Even three or four can make a huge difference.
3. You will have students at all levels of English. Try to minister to all of them.
4. You are not just helping them learn English. You are a part of their world, and you may become a facilitator to help them solve problems they encounter living in a new culture.
5. Don’t just teach English. Teach Jesus and His love.

Oh! Let’s go back to what I said in the first sentence. In case you want to know, I said, “Good morning. How are you? I am fine. I hope your family is well.'”


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