Testimony by Monica Davis

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When the ESL team announced that we would be moving from workbooks to oral Bible stories in simple English last summer during COVID, I was surprised and a little apprehensive, but trusted that God was leading the team to this decision.  We received extensive training and support in workshops from Heather Glissman and her team.  Learning to tell stories orally without written materials was a challenge to my brain.  I am a visual learner and had to exercise learning muscles that I have not used much in the past.  Although the process was difficult for me, it became easier over time.

Due to COVID restrictions, we were not able to offer nursery services, a children's program, or indoor classrooms.  We met in the parking lot and prayed for good weather each week.  Although the numbers were down significantly from previous years, the students who came to English conversation classes enjoyed the new format.  The Bible story was told by a teacher, acted out by volunteers, retold in small groups by group leaders and students, and acted out by the students. The repetition helped the students to learn new vocabulary in context.  Then, we asked 5 questions: 

  1. What do you like about the story?
  2. What do you not like or what was challenging or surprising about the story?
  3. What do you learn about God from this story?
  4. What do you learn about people from this story?
  5. If this story is true how will that affect your life this week?

Finally, we asked each student to tell the story to someone during the coming week.

Having worked with the ESL program from its inception at WEPC, I was particularly challenged and encouraged by this past year and look forward to continuing to challenge myself and share the gospel with non-native English speakers in the future.  I encourage you to consider stretching yourself and serving God at the same time by joining this exciting ministry at WEPC.