Latvia (MNN) — Several students in Bauska, Latvia have gained interest in the church and joined Bible studies after attending English classes with the Greater Europe Mission.
GEM hosts Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) classes in several countries throughout the world. Many short-term missionaries join these teams in order to bring people to the church with the incentive of learning English from real English speakers. The recent effect in Latvia has been noticeable.
One Latvian boy who attended TEFL classes was at first hesitant to attend a course at a church. When he finally decided to join, he discovered his English skills were improving so greatly that he had become the class interpreter. This confidence in his abilities and trust in his American teachers opened the door for the Gospel to be discussed.
Latvian students were stunned to hear the testimony of an American English teacher at a TEFL class at Bauska Baptist Church as she explained the troubling trials that led her to a relationship with Christ. A GEM report explains that many Eastern Europeans assume Americans to be problem-free, so hearing about hardship from an American came as somewhat of a shock. The woman's testimony touched the hearts of her students, and 13 of them joined Bible studies.
What started for these kids as just a chance to work on their English turned into a chance to find eternal life. While the first-hand practice certainly improved the English skills of the students, it also provided a platform to speak the Gospel to many students that the Latvian church likely would never have reached otherwise.
GEM is dedicated to partnering with churches around the world to use this unique form of evangelism in as many areas as will receive it. If you or your church are interested in a short-term TEFL program in 2009, click here.