Cultivate Blog

The Story of Hope ESL Classes with Chinese Moms

Categories: Stories

By Wayne Haston

November Eslarticle

Chris and Rose Duryee are ABWE missionaries in Spain. While on pre-field in the Pacific Northwest, they sought out a church life group to be involved with to expand their contacts and partnership opportunities. They joined one that met together for fellowship and Bible study three Tuesdays each month and on the fourth Tuesday helped serve meals at the local community center. They were thrilled by this group’s desire and mission to impact their community for Christ. Shortly after joining, the group began to pray and search for a way to serve in their community that would better fit their growing families.  One of the wives mentioned that she had met several Chinese moms at a park near her home, and another said she had a Chinese neighbor who was expecting her first baby.  Most of these Chinese families had come to the U.S. for their husband’s jobs with Microsoft, Google, or Amazon. The wives were highly educated but desperately needed to improve their English.  The group decided to start a weekly mom’s group, specifically inviting those who wanted to practice English.

The Monday morning program was an immediate hit with 8 to 10 Chinese moms attending each week.  Seeking to include the husbands as well, Chris and Rose suggested they hold a monthly English Talk Time with all the family invited. The first one was held in their apartment cabana. The kids all watched a movie and the adults talked about vacations. Again, the response was overwhelmingly positive. Zoe, the neighbor and new mom, said she had not learned so much vocabulary in the months she had studied English back in China before coming to the United States. After several months, those attending began to express their deep gratitude and question why this group was so willing to take the time and energy to do this. The life group was able to share that they attended church together and begin to have some spiritual conversations. The meetings grew as those attending invited more of their Chinese friends.

The life group began to discuss how they could begin to bring the Bible into their Talk Time meetings.  Chris and Rose introduced them to The Story of Hope and a plan was made to use it to continue teaching English.

The Story of Hope has a Global English version that is great for teaching English to intermediate and advanced learners. At www.goodsoil.com/ministries/es... you can find a free ESL teacher’s guide for use with The Story of Hope.

At the next Talk Time, when those attending again expressed their thankfulness, the Duryees invited them to a weekly study that would help them understand why they cared so much about them. 

“You know that we are Christians, that we attend local churches, and that we have some beliefs that differ greatly from your traditional beliefs. Studying The Story of Hope with us, will help you understand our beliefs and be a bit of a cultural lesson as well, giving you a foundation for what many people in our country grow up learning.”

They also promised them the opportunity to practice reading English out loud from the Bible. Several in the group were eager to begin!

Over the next few months, they studied both English and the story of God’s redemption.  Rose shares that since attending language school she has a greater understanding of the barrier faced by those hearing the gospel in a language other than their mother tongue. Those involved in the study persevered, however, and they had many great discussions. When they got to the end of the study, those participating readily admitted that their names were not written in Jesus’ Book of Life.  Although some rejected what they had learned, a number of people made a faith decision to trust Christ, including Zoe.  Chris and Rose are convinced that The Story of Hope is a tremendous evangelism tool.  In spite of the language barrier, their friends had read the scriptures for themselves, seen the plan of God’s redemption through Jesus from the beginning of creation into eternity, and clearly understood the message of the Bible and where they stood in their relationship with God.

Shortly after they finished up, Chris and Rose headed off to language training. They are so glad they were able faithfully share the Gospel with these families and for the experience it gave them to work with those in Spain who are interested in learning English.  Some of those from their community life group are now helping support them in this endeavor.  Those in the life group have also been inspired to talk more openly with their Indian and Pakistani friends and The Story of Hope continues to be shared.

November Eslarticle2


The Story of Hope has a Global English version that is great for teaching English to intermediate and advanced learners. At www.goodsoil.com/ministries/es... you can find a free ESL teacher's guide for use with The Story of Hope.

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