If you have been around Asbury for any length of time, you may have noticed our heart for reaching the nations with the Good News of Jesus Christ. You may have seen the posters of teams who have travelled globally, heard a missionary speaker from another country, or have supported a friend who was called to join in on a global mission trip. Our Asbury family uses vacation time and their resources, and puts themselves in uncomfortable surroundings because we know that God has a heart for all nations coming to Him.
Do you want in on a little secret? Not only are we traveling around the globe to share the hope and healing of Jesus Christ, but the nations are coming to us!
Every week, students from over 40 different nations gather on our Asbury campus for free ESL (English as a Second Language) classes. They come with the hope that their English will improve; they leave having heard and seen the love of Jesus Christ.
The first day of a new semester, the students gather for classes and their teachers take them around the campus to tour the facilities. They invite the students into the life of Asbury. They are told that they are welcome to join in on any events that Asbury hosts . In fact, they practice their English by reading the notices about different church activities.
Relationships are formed between the teachers and the students. When class ends, they go out to eat together or have a Bible study where they dive deep into God’s Word. During what could be a very scary time in the lives of the students, they are embraced by Asbury family who loves them and wants to enter into their lives.
Here is an account from Jackie Norton, one of the ESL leaders:
“Over a year ago a family that was invited to ESL became very involved in church programs. When they first arrived they asked if they could attend English classes even though they were Buddhist. One of our pastors assured them they were welcome. The family found so many programs and classes that not only helped their English but introduced them to Christ. The twins attended youth and the preschooler loved her classes. The parents became regular visitors of our church services. Bible studies were also among the activities they enjoyed. They were invited and they came. Now that family has returned to their country. We continue to pray for them and miss them, as we do all of our students when they leave.”
Interested in learning how you can help with the ESL classes? Contact Jackie Norton, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information.