Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Role of Prayer in Language Learning

Prayer plays a crucial role in our adult English classes. How, you may wonder? Have you ever tried to learn another language? It is a humbling experience as you bumble through strange phrases and create faux-pas simply by transposing letters in words. We let our ESL students know right out of the gate that prayer will be a part of our class. “How can we pray for you?” is a question that no student is prepared to answer the first class session. But we remind students weekly that God is interested in helping them learn English and can give them confidence and help them remember vocabulary. This becomes an ongoing request, but students soon begin to also share their personal situations and specific needs for prayer.

Developing deep relationships lies at the heart of Mission Adelante. Every time a student shares a prayer need, we become better able to understand them and deepen our friendship with them. The habit of praying together creates a unique bond. It allows us to support Hispanics in dark times, encourage them in dreary seasons, and celebrate with them God’s faithfulness. When our students see God at work in answering their prayers and they view volunteers and staff as caring friends, they move closer to seeking God with all their heart.

Last year Maria began coming to English classes. Her level was very low. She aspired to take the US citizenship test, though, which is conducted entirely in English and sought extra tutoring to prepare for it. After the first session she remarked, “we haven’t prayed together.” Maria came to believe in the importance of prayer and her need for God’s intervention. We spend many days working with her and praying together. Although she has yet to attend a bible study or worship celebration, we still connect with her and her husband, José. And she passed her test two weeks ago and gives thanks to God! This is just one example of how learning English and seeking God go hand in hand with Mission Adelante. Please pray for students to draw closer to the Lord as we pray together.

In other news:
  • Megan McDermott is continuing a Bible study on the topic of purity for the second summer with a group of pre-teen and early teen girls, which they kicked-off with a slumber party last Friday night. Karlie Mann, Kids Adelante volunteer, is also leading a group of girls in a special weekly Bible study over the course of the summer. We are so excited about these kids' enthusiasm to use their free time this summer to learn about the Lord!
  • We continue to enjoy watching the transformation of our facility as we near the completion of sheetrocking and look forward to all our new walls being taped and mudded during the next few weeks.

Prayer needs:

  • Two families in our faith community are presently suffering geographical separation from the husband/father. Please pray for God to strengthen their faith in his goodness and sovereignty.
  • Pray for God to protect from harm the family of an English student that is threatened by domestic violence.
  • As Jarrett and Megan plan for the second year of Leaders In Training, our intensive tutoring and character development program, please pray that God will grant them discernment in selecting the individual kids that will be invited to participate.
  • Pray for our staff members to get the much-needed rest and recharge during our Mid-trimester Break tomorrow through Saturday.
Current needs:
  • We're already collecting school supplies to distribute to about 60 community kids in August. It would be most helpful for backpacks to come already stocked with all the supplies an elementary school student will need. Those items are listed below. Could you organize a "Backpack Drive" for your church or group?

BACKPACK
500 sheets wide lined notebook paper
5 wide lined spiral notebooks
4 glue sticks (keep in package)
1 - 8 oz. bottle Elmer's glue (no blue glue)
1 small zippered bag for pencils
1 pkg. erasable pens (blue or black)
5 pocket folders
1 box colored pencils
1 ruler
2 "Sharpie" markers
2 pkgs. 3 x 5 index cards
1 red felt tip pen
1 pkg. #2 pencils
2 boxes crayons (24)
1 pair small scissors

  • Box fans or oscillating fans for use in our facility and for distribution through our resource center.
  • A widow air conditioner

Important upcoming dates:

  • July 1-4: Midterm break. The Mission Adelante office will be closed and there will be no activities on Thursday. **There will be English tutoring this evening.**

1 comment:

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