English language program ministers to international community
From Laura Danner, Director of ESOL and Friendship Partners
Briarwood ESOL: A bridge to the world of those who might not otherwise enter our doors.
Briarwood’s English for Speakers of Other Languages program includes two classes weekly meeting at the Acton Road location and one class that meets at the Hispanic Congregation location on Hwy 119.
Monday morning ESOL classes start with 12 volunteer teachers and helpers preparing for 35-50 students from 19 countries. Students bring friends, join their classes, and enjoy love and encouragement in an English classroom setting.
At a typical Wednesday evening ESOL class, two volunteers set up the evening’s snacks and place signs outside to guide people to the meeting area for registration and greetings. It’s a relaxed scene as 10-15 students and 4 teachers arrive from work or home, grab a quick bite from the snack table, and visit with each other before class.
Tuesday evening Hispanic ESOL is a multi-level single class taught by a Briarwood couple with a great heart for the Hispanic Community. This class provides the flexibility and relaxed environment needed by the individuals attending. It is a small class with a big impact!
ESOL classes include laughter, hard work, and teachers and volunteers witnessing through their lives to international friends who’ve found a safe place for discussions. Students include scholars, professionals, their wives and husbands, and immigrants living in Birmingham for a myriad of reasons. Birmingham’s limited mass transit makes these classes a key interaction with Americans each week.
English is our format, but unconditional Love and its testimony in our lives is the ultimate goal.
- Praise for the resources of time, talent, and treasure God has provided to make the program a reality.
- Pray that students will join us for the Walk Thru Nativity, our main congregation and ethnic congregations, and time with teachers and others during Thanksgiving and Christmas.
- Pray for new teachers and volunteers to help as the student numbers continue to climb.
- Pray for our students as they represent our outreach to: Japan, Cuba, Columbia, Libya, South Korea, China, Switzerland, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey, Chile, Honduras, Tanzania, China, Morocco, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and to Austria (via Skype!)