April 19, 2022

Make an Impact with ESL - Word of Life Bible Schools




Bangladesh admittedly is not a country that you hear about every day. It’s a small country on the east side of India that, if it were not for typhoons coming off the Indian Ocean, would hardly ever make it into the news. Yet it is the 8th most populated country on the planet. 165 million people live in an area the size of Iowa. That makes it the 10th most densely populated country in the world. Anyone concerned about personal space? Come with us to Bangladesh, and we will help you get over it!




In this country dominated by Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus, God’s church is growing! Gateway has a small part in that growth by partnering with two small Bible schools that train young men and women of college age. Word of Life Bible Schools (not associated with Word of Life in Schroon Lake, NY) offers a one year intense discipleship program for students wishing to be grounded in God’s Word and equipped to be a shining light in their communities. Many graduates of these schools have gone on to be church planters all over Bangladesh.




Several years ago, Gateway created two computer labs for these schools to assist in the students’ training. Last year, we started an English as a Second Language program to help the students also improve their English, using those labs. English is one of the official languages of Bangladesh and so they have already had some classwork in English. Each Saturday, from 8-10am, several Gateway members hold one-hour video sessions with the two Bible schools to help the students with their conversational English. We have a lot of fun getting to know the students and working with them to speak English well.




The school year extends from April to October and so we have already started on our second year. We are looking for a few more people to help us teach the students. Would you like to form friendships with fun-loving, passionate Christ-followers from a different culture? It is always fascinating for us to compare notes with them about culture, favorite things, good music and spar with them about sports teams and movie stars. You do not need to have any training in ESL. You just need to have an adventurous spirit, a willingness to laugh with others and willingness to love a few of God’s people in a distant land. You will make a difference in their lives and at the same time support the effectiveness and appeal of the discipleship program at these schools. If you are interested in learning more, please sign up here and someone will be in touch with you.

Side note: Last week, 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims had a focus on the use of Zoom to build community and specifically, community in Bangladesh. That timing seems to assign a bit of an emphasis on the usefulness of the digital world for the sake of the gospel. Read about it here.

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