English conversation club connects with non-believers
By César Israel Rodriguez | Ecuador in South America
The last year has been different for SIM Ecuador’s El Sendero youth ministry, and many of the ministry leaders’ plans or ideas changed. Participants of El Sendero’s English conversation club REFF (Reflection, English, Friends and Fun), have found that, although it has been a different year, it has still been a beautiful one, as they use language to connect with non-believers.
One participant, Jose Luis, said, “I serve in a small Christian congregation. I found out about REFF through a friend. I wrote to the phone number they shared, and the group added me immediately, without asking me where I was or what religion I had. Soon, I was in the Zoom room with everyone. That impacted me. I felt welcome from the start.
“The English language attracted me a lot, and also the opportunity to meet new people. It's nice to meet friends you don't know yet. The group gets to know each other a little bit every Wednesday. Being in REFF and seeing other people who give their time to help others, who they do not know, has been a lesson for me, a lesson in service, in love for others. To do more and to speak less. More action, less speech. And that is my challenge every day: to reflect God's love and mercy through concrete actions.”
The conversation club is meant to be a door to develop relationships in a more natural way with non-believers, but many believers have also enjoyed fellowship, especially during such an isolated time.
Another participant, Alejandra, said, “Through all of these months in the pandemic, that I have been staying here at home, it has been a beautiful opportunity to be able to meet people and get to know new ones. Through these meetings, I was able to grow closer to God because in every meeting we focus on a verse from the Bible or something important that relates to the topic. We also discuss what God wants for us and for our well being.
“What has impacted me most is to know that, despite our mistakes, even when we forget about God, He is always there for us and our family. And if we pray and ask, He is going to listen and respond in His divine time. Also, I have gotten to know many sweet, helpful people, including the facilitators that have given us their time and our friends. These friends have united to not just practice English, but also learn about new topics and relevant applications for life.
“I feel very encouraged to be in this group, to participate and to have been given the opportunity. I did apply what I have learned, and it has helped me so much! It has changed my life in many aspects. And actually, I would like to continue serving and sharing with these marvelous people.”
In May, El Sendero started an English Bible study for non-believers who attend REFF and have shown interest in knowing more about God. The team is eager and praying for church participation as their ministry expands.
• Pray with us that many young people would have a personal encounter with Jesus and know living hope in Christ through this ministry!
• Please pray for future plans and activities for REFF.
• Please pray for more workers to come and join our team. We are looking for people who want to reach and disciple youth using the tool of English.