In last Sunday’s message, I talked about God’s plan to reveal His love in Jesus to people from every nation and language. I shared my own dream that Bethel would increasingly see people from different nationalities come to know Jesus Christ and take part in the church’s life. I’m excited to share with you that this dream is already being fulfilled in an exciting way.
On Monday evenings our ESL (English as a Second Language) ministry meets. Thirty students, speaking 21 different languages, come through Bethel’s doors each week to improve their language skills. There are people in attendance from China, Korea, Burma, Pakistan, Portugal, Bosnia, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Algeria, Liberia, El Salvador, and Columbia. Along with learning English, students also have the opportunity to learn about faith.
The teachers in the program attend Bethel or other Christian churches, so many casual opportunities to talk about faith arise. Social events for the students and their families during the year also create natural bridges for faith-conversations. In addition to these more or less spontaneous opportunities, students are invited to optional discussions about the most influential book ever written - the Bible. (This coming season, ministry directors Fred and Grace Tomek plan to use “The Hope” video, an excellent summary of the biblical story and God’s promise for all people.)
Fred and Grace and the other six ESL teachers love the participants and are eager for them to learn the English language, but they have a deeper desire to see them learn about the savior. Grace writes, “Truthfully, there is nothing more exciting than sharing the wonder of life and forgiveness through Jesus!”
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