Each week as part of our ESL (English as a Second Language – for adults) program, after an hour of instruction, all the classes come together and we tell a Bible story and then give announcements. We use Chronological Bible Story Telling – basically, if you had someone who had never heard the name of Jesus, how would you give them a complete view of the Bible in just a few short sessions? About 12 to be exact? So we hit the major stories of the Bible and unpack what it means to need and have a savior.
The first time it was my turn to teach on the passover, I royally screwed it up.
You see, I have always taught the beginner’s class. It’s my favorite (it’s also all I know), and many of my students speak so very little English. So when you’re telling a complicated story like how the Angel of Death asked the Israelites to kill a lamb and put the blood over their door posts so they would be passed over and their firstborn would be saved… there’s a lot of big words that can be confusing to a new English speaker.
So I decided to “help” simplify the story.
I was doing really great, and was so proud of myself, until I got to the part where I needed to explain who the Egyptians were, and who the Israelites were. I thought it would be helpful to differentiate between the two by explaining how the Israelites were the GOOD GUYS and the Egyptians were the BAD GUYS. I probably called the Egyptians the BAD GUYS 3-4 times before I looked up…
And saw a row of Egyptian students looking back at me.
You know those moments in life where you want to crawl in a hole and die? This was one of those moments.