College Heights UMC (Elizabethtown District) in collaboration with Dios Siempre Presente conducted a certification course for teaching Bible Based English as a Second Language (BBESL) at College Heights UMC. The ground work for the classes was done by Dr. Freddie Delgado and Rev. Maria Bas Delgado. This effort took several months to coordinate, but with lots of phone calls and meetings, Rebecca Carnell of the North American Missionary Board (NAMB) came two Saturdays, March 29 and April 5, to provide us with study material, teach us practice drills, and how to prepare lesson plans to teach English to those who have another language as their primary language.
Rebecca encouraged us all to remember that we do not have to speak another language to teach them English. The object is to help them learn to speak English so they can be more independent and not have to rely on someone else, who may not always have their best interest in mind. It is also a tremendous opportunity to witness for Jesus Christ.
Twenty-two of us attended the classes. Most of us came from the Elizabethtown area, but there were also three from Louisville, one of whom is a student at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. The material was new to most of us, but Rebecca has a wonderful way of interacting with students. She was able to make it enjoyable and to help us look at things from another perspective. It is truly amazing how many slang terms we use in our everyday life, when taken literally would make no sense to someone who is trying to learn proper English.
It was a wonderful experience for us and some of those in attendance have expressed an interest in becoming part of the Elizabethtown Hispanic Missionary Team. We are looking forward to our next meeting April 25, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. at College Heights UMC. At this meeting we will be making plans to do some visitation in the Hispanic communities and conduct surveys to establish how many people are interested and what the best time to hold the classes will be, based on their work schedules. We are excited with what the Lord has done, is doing, and will continue to do as we walk this journey in Christian love with our neighbors.
Submitted by Rev. Lea Ann Young Johnson, Chairperson
Elizabethtown Hispanic Missionary Team