Testimony by Lucas Henderson

Posted by West End Presbyterian Church on

I began volunteering with the ESL program at WEPC in September 2022 because I had a desire to help immigrants and I wanted to get involved with how the church is reaching out to the diverse neighbors it has.  I co-taught a small group of pre-literate men.  We ended the year with four students (two Afghans, one Columbian, & one Venezuelan), although we had others that shared part of the year with us.  I felt well-equipped with the resources available, but always wished I had been able to put a little more time into preparing.  There were plenty of awkward moments, miscommunications, and frustrations from not being able to communicate something clearly.  We taught a little English, they learned a little English, we laughed, and we got to know each other.   

It was unbelievable to hear some of the life stories of the men and their families.  These stories included physical harm, hardship, enormous distances traveled, leaving behind everything, and being planted in a foreign land with a different culture and language.  I am thankful for their friendships and their welcoming of me and my family.  I admire their sense of community, hospitality, determination, humility, and adaptability.  The students have expressed to me that they feel important to the people of WEPC.  I am so thankful for these relationships.