Thursday, March 6, 2008

ELI

English Language Institute

So I had been praying about other ways to get involved now that I'm at home during the day with a baby. I really would love to hang out with moms in the area and start something, but obviously the language barrier hinders that. I wanted to move to Hungary because I love the country and its people. I am not qualified to do anything but teach, so teaching at ICSB allowed us to come over here. But my real desire has always been to get involved with the Hungarian people.

The school hosts these classes for people wanting to learn English called the English Language Institute. With just moving here, starting school, and having a baby on the way, I really couldn't get involved in it this fall. Then I heard through the grapevine that one of the Hungarians at the school was going to start another branch of ELI this spring on Wednesday nights and was looking for people willing to teach English at it. It was kind of at the last minute when I heard about it, so I went and talked to Attila yesterday.

The purpose of ELI is to teach Hungarians English and through that, allow them to see our love for Christ shine through and be open and willing to share with them should the opportunity arise. We don't lure them in with the promise of teaching English and then jam Scripture down their throat. It's all about building a relationship and showing them Christ's love. If God opens the door to share Christ with them, then we need to follow the Holy Spirit's leading. As I have learned many times over in my life, it is the Holy Spirit who leads and directs, not us. So we need to allow him to work in his time, not ours, as his is SO much better. (Despite what we might think at the moment!)

Anyway, after Attila shared all of it with me, I knew this was an answer to prayer. I am really excited about getting involved this way. Getting up in front and teaching adults is different than teaching a bunch of 8 year olds, but I have never really been that terrified of public speaking, so I think this is one way that I can get involved and be used. Attila asked me what level I would be interested in teaching, and we both thought the intermediate level would be best. I definitely can't do beginner because those are the people who don't speak a word of English, so I wouldn't be able to explain any of it in their own language to understand. There is a certified ELL teacher who can do advanced as that gets into all sorts of grammar stuff that most Americans don't even know!

So last night was the first night, mainly introductions and figuring out which level people should be in for class. We were expecting 20-30 people to come, but there were about 60 people! It was quite overwhelming but I did get to talk with several people but mostly Petra (a 6th grader) and Titusz (a college student). They will definitely be at the advanced level as we had quite the conversations in English!

The class itself is free, and the only thing they have to buy is the book, which costs about $20. I wish I could find a deal like that to learn Hungarian! We were just astonished how many people came out for the class. I don't quite exactly know what I'm doing, but I'm really looking forward to it!

Just pray that I would be open to whatever the Holy Spirit leads me to do and that I would ultimately show them Christ's love through this class. Also, we need more teachers to help since there was a much higher demand than expected. There are only 3 of us currently with my intermediate group being the largest! So pray that God would lead others to join in on teaching!

3 comments:

Emily McCaman said...

Yay! I'm excited God is opening doors and answering prayers! Sounds like you are more missionary than teacher right now! Awesome!

Kristin said...

Kristen, I am glad that you found a place to serve that you are excited about! I am sure that God will use you in many ways.

rae-anna46 said...

Teaching ESL is so fun - I'm really happy for you that you were able to find a place to be involved! I too prefer teaching intermediate level - that's what i'm teaching now. (Did I ever tell you that I went to my orientation night for ECC and found out Mrs. Radloff was teaching in the classroom next to mine? Such a small world).