A post from Christine Jones, a member at Restoration:
Teaching English is a great way to meet your immigrant neighbors!
Sarita is living the American dream. Maybe not the way one might imagine, but Sarita and her husband came to the USA ten years ago from Nepal in search of a better life. In the time I’ve known her, she has given birth to a second son, passed her driver’s exam, received accolades from her boss for excellent customer service, had her older son short-listed for the prestigious Thomas Jefferson High School, and most recently, bought a townhouse in Manassas! Although Sarita used to live and work near me, I actually met Sarita through an ESOL ministry.
I’ll miss seeing Sarita now that she lives further away. But I won’t miss all that I learned from her, including what it means to be an immigrant in this country. Of course, every immigrant story is different, but by teaching English to immigrants, I have learned many of these stories. Some are heartbreaking, but many are full of small successes that are easy to celebrate.
And the best part of teaching English to immigrants in our area is the ease with which I can share my faith with them. Teaching in a church-based program, the students expect to learn about my faith, especially when it is my motivation for serving. It is so easy to bring up Jesus (and “act normal”) in the context of holidays, illness, even back to school – as I mention how I pray over my kids each morning as they leave the house.
ESOL is an easy way to reach out to our immigrant neighbors. And we are exploring this possibility along the Ballston Corridor. Come join us for an international meal and a chance to hear stories. There is no long term commitment to serve. We are simply praying, sharing and discerning where and how we might be led to serve this population.
The dinner will be Sunday, September 11, 6:30pm at a home in N. Arlington. RVSP to Julianna Hutchins (julianna.hutchins[at]gmail[dot]com) and we’ll send you the exact address. And we’d love to hear your stories of times you’ve reached out to an immigrant and been blessed!
“You and the foreigner shall be the same before the LORD.” Numbers 15:15b (NIV)
– Christine Jones