When the Nations Come to You

I’m feeling that tug of the world.

It’s the crumbling stones of Machu Piccu. The towering Angel Falls in Venezuela with water crashing down. The cobbled streets of Eastern Europe each with a story from centuries ago. The wrinkled Italian women bargaining with street vendors for their produce.

Wanderlust.

They just announced a missions trip to Granada, Spain to teach English this summer. And I entertain the thought of using all my PTO to go. I entertain it for a moment – I know I don’t have the resources or time to do it anymore than the missions trip to Haiti they’re talking about this Sunday.

What was it I wrote in my journal last week?

When we can’t go to the nations… God brings them to us.

I read it somewhere. Or someone said it. I don’t remember.

But every Tuesday night, in an old classroom in a large white church in Lancaster county… God is bringing the nations to me.

Carmen, who I met only a month after she moved here from Mexico, asking me to please tutor her so she can learn English faster.

From Honduras, Noemi, here for a short time visiting her daughter and grandson, with the sweetest smile and kindest heart.

Ihab, who immigrated from Egypt because his 7 year old had Cerebral Palsy, but flips through hundreds of pictures on his phone to show me how cute his son is.

The Mexican boy, just barely younger than me, at first embarrassed to have a girl his age teaching him English, but swallowing his pride has applied himself and learned so much in a few months.

Those here on refugee visas, whose stories of living in the jungle would horrify.

The Chinese family who learn faster than we can teach, but laugh embarrassed when I correct the one mistake on their homework.

Every week, a full class, often not enough helpers, but so much excitement and enthusiasm.

Every week, listening to Erin give a brief devotional about who God is… and looking at their faces, unsure whether they really understand her words.

God brings the nations, using ESL as a platform to spread the gospel. Maybe they don’t understand how God changes hearts. Maybe they don’t understand the good news of salvation.

I know they understand the love we offer in teaching English.

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