The English as a Second Language program has been more than just classes, it has been an opportunity to make connections, build relationships, and share the love of Christ with the students. Our online classes have reached many new people across the Island. As a team we wanted to share the fruits of this outreach and a story about one of our English students.
This student lives in Ponce and has been very active in our online English classes, English bible study, and church services. She was a part of our initial launch of our one-on-one classes that we offered in May with short-term team volunteers as well as our summer classes taught by our mission team. After finishing the summer semester of classes, she reached out to us with these words:
“I am so grateful!! Thanks for all the time you have given to us and the teaching, I have learned so much!! I will keep in touch, I connect to Sunday service every week at Fuente de Vida (in the afternoon), last Sunday I watched Pastor Anthony in the morning service (Principe de Paz). I hope to keep participating in the activities you do. I would like to put myself at your service as you have done with me. Thanks again and blessings for all of you”
She later visited with Pastor James and Deaconess Christel in Ponce at their temporary church location where they met in person for the first time.
Back in May she was paired with short term team volunteer, Hilary Tew, from Hope Lutheran Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina which led to a wonderful friendship and opened many opportunities.
One week’s lesson about baptism sparked a wonderful conversation between the two. The student started asking specific questions about baptism and other aspects of the church. Hilary mentioned that she should watch Noticias y Buenas Noticas (News and Good News, the Spanish podcast released weekly by our pastors in PR).
Hilary, after participating in our one-on-one conversation program, used what she experienced to create a similar program for the members from her church that are learning Spanish. Hilary reached out to her partner from the ESL in PR to have Spanish conversations with her students in NC. Her partner from PR meets online about twice a month with a couple from her church. The student from PR who at the beginning of May did not have any connection to the Lutheran Church is now interacting with two different Lutheran Churches! Relationships are growing with our virtual outreach which creates more opportunities to share the love of Christ.
Due to the success of our 5-week English conversation pilot program during May that paired a native English-speaking short-term team volunteer with a student in PR, another round has started this month with new and returning students and volunteers. Please pray with us that this program continues to produce fruit and continues to share the love of Jesus with our neighbors in Puerto Rico.