Just yesterday I gathered my children around me to share how God had been working in my heart.
“I have a dream…” I began. I didn’t even get to my fifth word and my eight-year-old barged in, sharing her dream from the previous night. And then my four-year-old. And then my two-year-old.
After somehow managing to get back control, I showed them the map titled “Global Status of Evangelical Christianity” that I have been watching evolve for the past decade.
After explaining what each color meant, I was on to my next activity. “Do you know what a refugee is?”
Their blue eyes were big as I defined this new term and explained that many refugees were coming to America. From where? was their next question. It was a perfect lead-in. I got out a chart I had recently been introduced to through the IMB.
Refugee U.S. Arrivals by Country of Nationality
Congo, Democratic Republic 1,863
All other countries, including
I was hoping they were connecting the dots, but just in case they weren’t, I went on to explain. “Where are most of the refugees coming from?” I asked. “Which region of the world?” They are coming from the RED PART of the map. The part of the world that is mostly unreached and unengaged with the gospel.
“…So, maybe they’ll hear the gospel in America…” My eight-year-old was starting to get it. “…and go back and share it in THEIR countries…” The lightbulb was going on for Darcy and I had a front row seat to watch.
“Yes, Darcy! Exactly! That’s exactly what I’m talking about!”
“Not only are there refugees in our county, but there are also many internationals….people who weren’t born here. So, my dream…My dream is that we could offer English classes to the refugees and the internationals who are living in our city. English classes that use the BIBLE as our curriculum. English classes that teach them about their Creator and their Savior…What do you guys think about that?”
I think they liked the idea, although for the next thirty minutes the conversation derailed to various dreams about spelling bees, swimming pools, and ponies.
This idea of starting an ESL ministry at our church in Northern Virginia is one that I’ve been thinking about for the past three years. After spending some time at the first annual Global Think Tank at the IMB headquarters, I feel more compelled than ever by the mission of God. This is God’s mission and He has sent us, the church, to accomplish this.
Please pray that God will send help as I try to launch an ESL ministry at our church. I’m praying for 30 people to get involved loving on internationals in our town. We will be starting a Preschool ESL ministry and a ministry to the international students at our local community college (NOVA Woodbridge).
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”