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When you go on a missions trip, you'll often hear the words, "please be flexible." When dealing with new cultures, different languages, and a wide variety of personalities and locations, flexibility is often more valuable than anything you could pack in your suitcase.
Of all the activities and ministries I had envisioned myself potentially doing while ministering to Deaf, somehow teaching English had never entered my mind. However, here in Honduras, just about everyone dreams of going to the United States to have a better life, so learning English seems to be a goal for many. If at all possible, children are sent to bilingual schools, which seem to be everywhere. Here at Beacon Baptist Church, English classes have served as an effective means of evangelization in the past, and Team Honduras asked if I could offer a class.
As anticipated, there was immediate interest when English classes were announced in a church service, and less than a week later I was fielding questions about my future classes at a local market, and while attending a local birthday party! The following Sunday a church member's boss showed up for the first time at church because he had questions about the class. Word traveled quickly!
I’ve just completed my third week teaching a 6-week beginner English class. This has been new territory for me, and has actually stretched my Spanish; I have had to explain English word meanings and grammar rules in terms they understand. Thankfully,
having grown up with a very creative, homeschooling mom, I have been able to integrate games and practical experiences to keep the teen and adult students engaged and talking throughout class. (Picture: Little did I realize how much Spanish I would learn, writing the class syllabus!)
This experience has helped me to learn new faces and names and to develop good relationships with some of the more shy church attendees. Additionally, as I prepare the curriculum and learn how best to teach a concept, I am keeping notes so I can be better prepared to teach sign language in the not-too-distant future. What an unanticipated help for me!
Satan is still alive and well, and there have been, and will continue to be battles to fight - usually best fought on one's knees - but I am grateful for the opportunity to learn all sorts of things while teaching English. Thank you for your prayers as I anticipate offering more classes in the upcoming weeks and months.