This is a short series about my journey and what happened in my journey to become a pastor. Part 1 is about A Decision and A Book. Part 2 is about A Discovery and Downfall. Part 3 is about The Valley of Death. Part 4 is about Recovering and Remembering That Book. Part 5 is about Romania.
Today’s post is about Many Cultures and Beginning to Teach ESL.
As I shared in Part 5, during my third trip to Romania I felt Jesus prodding me to get more experience with teaching English Second Language.
I went through a training to become a volunteer ESL tutor in March 2000. I told the organization that my mornings were free and to fill up my mornings. After one month, I had 10 students I was meeting with for one on one lessons in the mornings.
One of those students was a man from Iraq who was shy about speaking English in public. After several months with me, he began talking in public in stores and other places. His wife worked for a non-profit agency and knew the Director of ESL for the Community College I currently teach for. She kept telling her that she should hire me as a teacher because her husband had made so much progress. She then told me I should call the Director. I called and we talked on the phone for about 15 minutes. I went in for what I thought would be an interview, but it was for filling out paperwork to be hired.
As I taught over the following years, my home city was not boring for me anymore. I had always wanted to move away because it was a boring place for me. But spending time with so many different cultures became kind of like my own personal Disneyland. My home city became so interesting to me.
I loved spending time with cultures no one knew much about and information was hard to find on the internet about them such as the Yazidi people, The Karen people of Burma, and more. I learned about them by spending time with them in their homes and at cultural celebrations.
To give you an idea of how diverse the refugee/immigrant population of my city is, the Public School System here has children from over 100 different languages enrolled. Of those, I have only learned greetings and phrases in 30 of them.
The first few years, I was just focused on my fun personal Disneyland. But then in May 2002 while praying, I felt the impression of a question in my spirit-“Why did I want you to do this?” Jesus was reminding me of the reason for getting experience with teaching ESL.
So in may of 2002, the ministry application began….
Thank you for reading. God Bless.