On Monday Mike treated the 23 graduates of our ESL class to a dinner out with the teacher. Each of these students attended eight of the 10 weekly English classes and passed the weekly oral exams. The group voted on where they wanted to eat and they picked pizza. Many of the students had never been inside a restaurant before and were very nervous.
They ate pizza, chicken, bread and soft drinks. After they were full the waiter brought out massive bowls of ice cream with chocolate, whip cream and nuts. It looked like a race as the students crammed six people around each bowl and gobbled down ice cream like it was a life sustaining substance.
They all worked hard to earn this reward. After 10-weeks of English class they had struggled and learned a lot. These English classes are a way for them to gain a skill that will give them a leg up in a very competitive job market that currently has a 30% unemployment rate. Each student receives a certificate of completion. They know if they present these certificates to a potential employer it improves their chances of getting a job.
In addition we are able to share the gospel in English class. Reading the bible and asking comprehension questions is a big part of our class. We are also able to build great relationships with the students that enables us to dive deeper into their lives.