Anyone who has spent a large amount of time in a foreign country without the support of his or her home community has empathy as to how fearful it can be. I’ve spent some time living overseas in areas where I did not know the language and culture well. During this time, any problems that occurred seemed magnified due to the fact that I was isolated and going about my daily routine without a way for me to verbally process issues with others.
We are living in a time where many of our local communities are filled with immigrants from all over the world. They all have stories. Some have fled war-savaged areas. Some have moved to be with the one they love. Some are just looking for better economic opportunity. Many are isolated and without community. Leviticus 19:34 reminds us:
“The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.”
Working with ESOL programs in the community gives us the opportunity to live out God’s commandment in Leviticus. It gives us a chance to love immigrants residing among us. We can befriend them, provide community for them, and meet some of their emotional and physical needs all while providing them with an education of the English language.
I have befriended many individuals through my years of teaching ESOL, and I can honestly say I have learned more from them than they have learned from me. If you can give one night a week of your time to teach at any of the local immigrant centers in the county, your life will be richly blessed. The following is a link to some local centers that need teachers and classroom aids to invest some time in the lives of our immigrants:
Click the link below for ways to get involved!