On Day 19, I am thankful for my ESL class. In particular, I am thankful for:
Donje (Congo) and Afiwa (Togo). Missing from this picture are my other favorite Africans – Cecille and Kate (Ivory Coast), Lucienne (Berundi), and sweet Manga (Egypt) along with all of her adorable (and talkative) kids.
I am thankful for Rosie, a spirited woman who joined our class about 10 days after she moved here from Colombia and literally spoke about two sentences of English. But lucky for her (except I know God knew exactly what he was doing) we had two of the nicest students from Colombia (all from the same city – Bogota) already in our class, and they immediately became best friends. All three are now going to our church’s Spanish Sunday school class, and because we offer translation via headphones of the main worship service, they have sat with us in church. My heart did a back flip that Sunday with excitement.
I am thankful for Christina (Mexico) and also for her father-in-law Leonardo (Venezuela), who was one of our most faithful students in our beginner class. We ended up befriending this entire family – they are particularly special to us. (I’m also thankful for my co-teacher, mix-tape making friend and bridesmaid Katie.)
I am thankful for Carolina (Mexico), Kati (Colombia), her mother Hermalina (Colombia) and Rosie (Colombia). These ladies helped translate for each other, allowed Mr. Right to practice his Spanish, and were such fun students to teach.
I am thankful for all of the countries represented in this picture. And I am most thankful that as the semester came to a close, I can proudly say that our church now has attendees from Syria, Colombia (3), Mexico (2), and hopefully soon a new visitor from Congo. Please join me in praying for these sweet students, that God would protect them and provide them community during our two-month class break, and that he would help them find their way back next semester. It’s a scary place out there when you don’t speak the language or understand our crazy culture. Please pray that God would continue to make them brave, and to make them hungry for his love.
Please also join me in praying that we will find more teachers who want to love on these students, as I expect our numbers will increase even more in January. I promise that they will get a much bigger blessing than what they put in.