Posts Tagged ‘ESL’

Lord, Lead Us & Guide Us!
Worship with Our Hispanic Group on Friday nights

Worship with Our Hispanic Group on Friday nights

The Lord is working on both sides of the border. There are needs everywhere we turn. One of my constant prayers is for the Lord to direct and lead us to the best, and most important things that we should focus on.

It’s not easy working on the border, there are so many opportunities. Yet as I often tell my kids, keep your eyes on Jesus and take one day at a time. That’s what we try to do.

God’s Work Through ESL
Lauren Howard leading some of our ESL students

Lauren Howard leading some of our ESL students

At the end of last year we lost one of our faithful ESL teachers, and he has been hard to replace. The Lord has heard our cry for help, for more teachers!

God is faithful, and he provided two excellent teachers for our Wednesday night class. Two young women, Lauren Howard and Berkeley Bagwell, who speak Spanish and have served the Lord in Spanish-speaking countries. They both have a heart to serve in foreign missions again in the future.

I’m thankful for all the energy and the new ideas they bring to our ESL class. They are great at loving on the students and reaching out to them.

Our Friday class which had been strong is making a comeback. We have two other new teachers for that class, and they are beginning to get things moving in a positive direction.

A New Class at the YMCA
Berkley Bagwell our other ESL teacher on Wednesday nights with Antonia & Yemali

Berkeley Bagwell our other ESL teacher on Wednesday nights with Antonia & Yamile

We are working on starting up a new class at the YMCA. Pastor Stephen Phelan met one of the leaders at the local ‘Y’ and he asked Stephen if we could provide ESL for them.

We are praising the Lord about this, because it opens up a completely new audience for us!

Almost every week we see people giving their lives to Christ. It’s wonderful to be in an environment where the Lord’s Spirit is moving in the hearts of men and women. Many of those that are deciding to follow Jesus are from our Hispanic group.

The Lord has used community outreach activities like ESL to make a difference in people’s lives. It meets a need as they desire to learn. Frequently, they come away with more! New life In Christ. Hallelujah!! Praise the Lord with us.

Praise & Prayer

Praise the Lord with us, and please pray with us. We look to Jesus to give us wisdom where to focus. We pray that God will strengthen our ESL program, and that more students will attend. Also that the Lord will raise up someone to direct our ESL program for me. O Lord, that many will come to Christ as we bless the community through teaching English.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Our third ESL class - opening night

Our third ESL class – opening night

We kicked off our third ESL class on Wednesday night. The class got off to a good start.

A Person of Peace

There was a woman in the parking lot with her three children before the class. I told her about our free English class, and invited her to come. She came! Then she called two of her sisters and they joined the class as well.

The woman’s name is Anna. Anna said she is going to invite more friends next week. The Lord has blessed us with a people gatherer. She is a person of peace.

All the teachers at Fay Elementary School will be giving each student a flyer promoting the ESL class today, so we should have even more students next week.

Thank You Lord!

I thank the Lord for how he has opened the doors for us to expand our ESL outreach. We started 2013 with one class, and now we have three.

We still have a ways to go to develop our ESL program, but we’ve made some great progress. It’s gratifying to see the Lord bless. I’m so encouraged, and I feel like I’m just watching God work.

It’s fun to be on this journey with Jesus. I know a big reason for the success we’ve had is our wonderful prayer partners.

Prayer Needs

Continue to pray for our teachers, childcare workers and more students. Pray that we will be a blessing to the community, and that the Lord touches the hearts of those that come.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

ESL, English as a second or foreign language

Our Growing ESL class

It’s So thrilling to see the Lord touching people’s lives here on the border!

Taking Jesus to the Streets

I mentioned in past posts that we’ve been taking Jesus to the streets each week, inviting people to our English class. Vicente and I have been walking the streets in the neighborhood where we hold the ESL class to pass out flyers and to get the word out.

We’ve enjoyed meeting new people, and going back to some of the stores and community centers to see that they have our flyers. Many of the parents in the community don’t speak English. When they go to pick their kids up at the school they have an opportunity to take one of our English class ads.

God is Blessing – People are Coming

The Lord has rewarded our efforts. New people have started coming!

students, ESL, English as a second or foreign language

Students are eager to learn

It’s so wonderful to see the Lord work through his people. He’s provided more teachers which led us to believe that he wants to grow our ESL outreach. Now he’s starting to bring more students. Immigrants and refugees are coming and they are enjoying the class. It’s fun to watch the Lord at work.

When Vicente and I are on the streets, some of the people ask us if we offer GED classes, or citizenship classes. We realize there are more opportunities to minister in the community.

The Lord Hears Our Prayers

I realize one big reason why the Lord is blessing is that many are praying. Thanks so much for standing with us in prayer!

Pray with us for wisdom and God’s blessing as we seek to minister in the community. Some of the things we need for this outreach to grow are more people with the expertise and willingness to teach, and more classroom space to hold the classes.

“Lord, please do bring us workers and provide the classrooms and space for us to expand our reach, so that we might be an even greater blessing to the community. May the light of your gospel shine forth, that many might come to know and serve you.”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

English: An Italian immigrant makes an America...

English: An Italian immigrant makes an American breakfast aided by instructional materials from the YMCA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow! We had a great day yesterday. God opened a door for us, and I’m excited to see where it leads.

Vicente, Billy, Matt and I walked the streets in City Heights to promote our ESL class. Our hope is that the ESL outreach will grow. The Lord is blessing us with a number of volunteers. Friends that are willing to help teach. This gives us reason to believe God is in this.

While we were handing out flyers and inviting people to come to our ESL class we noticed a local elementary school was ready to end the day. The parents began gathering to pick up their children.

Many of the parents don’t speak English, so it was a prime time and place to be.

ESL, Dave and Vicente

Dave with Vicente

Vicente met one of the teachers and explained to her what we were doing. We asked the teacher, Jessica if we might be able to put up one of our flyers on a bulletin board inside the school. She introduced us to the principal. The principal got very excited when we told her we were offering English classes for free. She said, these parents need some help like this.

We were very encouraged that the principal was open to putting up the flyers, and helping us promote the class. I was really blown away by what she said next. She said that she thought we could use her school after 6:00 in the evening to hold our classes. This is a huge answer to prayer! One of the problems we’ve had is the place we are using is only available in the evenings on Fridays. Thank you Jesus for opening this door!

We have to fill out some paperwork to be able to use a classroom, but it looks positive. Thanks for praying with us. It’s so fun being on journey with Jesus.

“O Lord, please bring more students and work through us to effectively love those in the community of City Heights.”

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Emily, Oliva, Elizabeth and Dawn (from left to right)

Emily, Oliva, Elizabeth and Dawn (from left to right)

It was so good to hear Oliva share her testimony in front of the church this past Sunday.

She was looking for a job in a Spanish newspaper. In the process of looking for some job opportunities she saw something about an English class. That perked her interest. She decided to go.

Our ESL team which includes Ray Call and our intern, Emily Gryder received Oliva with open arms. She felt very welcomed. Then Emily invited Oliva to a Bible study on Friday nights. Oliva thought, “Church on Friday night?” She wasn’t sure about it, but she decided to go check it out.

Our intern, Emily has done a great job over the last several months. She really has loved on and ministered to Oliva.

While at the Friday night service Oliva met Edgardo Avila. He is the pastor that leads the Spanish-speaking ministry. Edgardo’s wife, Elizabeth was very warm to her. Before you know it, Oliva was attending church on Sunday mornings!

She said she grew up in a church, but she really didn’t understand the gospel message. The Lord used the ESL program and some of the people connected with it to lead Oliva to Christ. She understood the difference between knowing about God, and having a relationship with God. She put her faith in the risen Lord.

Now Oliva prays for her grown children and prayers that they will come to church, and get to know Jesus. Let’s join her in prayer that her children and grand children will come to a saving knowledge of Christ! One of Oliva’s daughters has already come to visit the church. God is indeed on the move!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

A lot of bars on doors and windows in City Heights

A lot of bars on doors and windows in City Heights

Yesterday and today I am walking the streets in City Heights. Jim DeWitt, Ray Call, Zach Lutz and I are taking it to the streets for Jesus. We are praying for the community and inviting the people we meet to come to our ESL classes.

I enjoyed getting out and meeting the people. I saw a lot of fear in their eyes as they live in a tough neighborhood and are trying to make it. Most of the people we met spoke Spanish, so as we interacted with them in Spanish their eyes would light up. They enjoyed chatting with us.

We met two painters, both named Juan. We met Antonio who drives a truck loaded with candy. He sells candy as he drives around the neighborhood. Two young mothers, Blanca and Lizbeth were walking their babies in strollers. They were wary of us at first, but they warmed up to us as we asked about their little ones.

There is some suspicion, some distrust at first. They are wondering what we are up to? What is our angle? But they do warm up when they see we aren’t selling anything, and a number of them have a genuine interest in learning English.

Our prayer is that we will be a light in the community. That the love of Christ will emanate from us. We pray that they will join us for the ESL classes on Fridays, and that they will grow to know and love the Savior.

Pray with us that many respond as we take Jesus to the Streets!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org

Dick & Vicki Gascho

Dick & Vicki Gascho

Is God really on your side? Have you ever wondered about that? It is a thought-provoking question, isn’t it? I know we’d all like to believe that He is.

Recently my good friend and ministry coach, Dick Gascho and I discussed this question. Dick is a veteran missionary who serves with Greater Europe Mission. He’s been a great source of encouragement to me over the last several years. You can learn more about Dick, and his coaching ministry at leaderlifecoaching.com.

At first blush it seems like a slam dunk.

If you are in Christ, you can be confident that God is for you. In fact, Paul states in Romans,

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31, 32 ESV) So yes, we can say God is for us. Nothing can come between us.

But when Joshua asked this question of the commander of the Lord’s Army, he responded differently. Commentators of the Bible believe the commander of the Lord’s Army refers to the pre-incarnate Christ.

When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’” (Joshua 5:13 ESV)

Do you ever wonder if God is for you or for those that are against you? That is Joshua’s question.

Then notice how God answers. “And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the Lord. Now I have come.‘” (Joshua 5:14 ESV) Can you believe that God says no to Josh? In effect the Lord says, “No, I’m not on either side.” How can the Lord say this to Joshua?

The sense here is that God will not follow Joshua’s agenda. The pre-incarnate seeks to encourage Joshua, but He also makes it clear that he needs to get on board with God and follow Him. He needs to make sure he, and the people he is leading are on God’s side. If you read the entire book of Joshua you will learn that the Israelites didn’t win all their battles. They made mistakes. They didn’t always follow well.

Fall down and worship

Fall down and worship

Maybe the question about whether God is for us is not entirely the right question to ask?

But Joshua does have a wonderful response. His response is to worship.

And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” (Joshua 5:14-15 ESV)

We have confidence that if we are in Christ, nothing will separate us from the love of Christ. Yet don’t ask God to follow your agenda, follow Him. Worship Him. That is the response He is looking for.

In His Grip, Dave

P.S. Keep praying for our upcoming ESL training that will begin this Friday, March 23rd. We just found out there is an issue with the electricity in the place we are holding the training this weekend.

DiasoLifeontheBorder.org