SHARE YOUR ENGLISH
As a pastor in our city of Costa Mesa, I’m always looking for needs that can be met and people we can help. My wife and I have been making friends with our Hispanic neighbors on Baker St. for several years and our appreciation for their rich culture continues to grow. We’re amazed at their warm family bonds, their passionate work ethic, their exuberant generosity, and of course, the incredible food! Some of our neighbors live with economic hardship, and yet their simple joy and giving hearts inspire us.
We have seen that many of the moms in these homes speak very little English. They’d love to communicate better with their children’s teachers, understand the computer more fully, and have a more confident grasp of the language, but there are obstacles; inconsistent ESL classes, limited childcare, lack of transportation, and intimidating environments. This scenario sets up an incredible need and a powerful way to be a blessing. We have a profound opportunity to share ourselves in the simplest way possible; sharing our English! It’s really that easy. Do you speak English? You can join in!
Along with our community partners, we’ve developed a weekly curriculum that any English speaker can use to facilitate a fun, casual, English class which builds relationships, embodies God’s call to care for others, and impacts the life of a parent, potentially shaping the course of their family for generations to come. On one of our first “Share Your English” nights, we had almost 10 adults (and a battalion of kids) come over to the house. We set up different seating areas, told them to imagine themselves in a restaurant, and had them sit at each table depending on English proficiency. We then went around the tables as “waiters”, taking their “orders” and guiding them through conversational English according to their skill levels. It was a blast! All the while, the children were finding places to run and play in the background. Another time, we had a couple older Hispanic moms practicing English by telling my friend and I (two six foot-plus white guys) how to clean a kitchen. They bossed us around with glee and lots of laughter…and they gained some valuable life skills, too!
Our Spanish speaking friends have been blessed and cared for by this effort in profound ways, and so have we. It’s been such a hit for all of us. A request has been made for a class each week, but our small leadership team can only host one night a month. In order to pull off a weekly gathering, we’d need three more teams to come forward and help in the effort. Would you and a few of your friends be willing to give one night a month toward this Kingdom cause? You don’t need to speak Spanish, and you don’t need to be a trained ESL teacher to jump in. We’ll equip you, walk you through the curriculum, set up the venue, time, and location, and in no time you’ll be experiencing the joy of generosity, making new friends, and joining a brand new dance that you’ve already known the steps to all along; sharing your English!
To help out, contact Heidi or myself…
Justin Fox / firstname.lastname@example.org / 949-294-7039