Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong 8am, 9:30am, 11am, 5pm & 7pm each Sunday

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English for Life Now (and More!)

View from the pew

Free English classes for adults at St Michael's in Wollongong
Recently Liam spoke on 1 Peter 2:4-10. He challenged us with “We have a role to bring God to people, and people to God”.

Each week at EFL (‘English for Life’), we try to do this with the 50 students who come to learn English.

On Tuesday mornings, students arrive at 10am and go to one of the six English classes for a one-hour lesson. This is followed by 30 minutes of morning tea at 11am.

We are very thankful to the additional volunteers who turn up at this important time, as we have opportunities to chat and befriend students who can be quite lonely. Many conversations occur about life in Australia and in the student’s country of birth, but also about life with Jesus.

Many of us have had opportunities to answer questions like “Why do you believe in God?” “Who is Jesus?” and  “Can anyone be saved?” After morning tea we go back to our classes for a Bible comprehension lesson.

At the end of classes each week, Sue Radkovic leads an easy English Bible study for students who wish to stay on.

Conversations continue throughout the week. We meet our student friends over a ‘cuppa’, during a cooking lesson (I am very skilled at making dumplings now and my chocolate cake recipe has gone out into the world), at the 11am Easy English service, and the easy English Bible study at Women on Wednesdays (WOW).

Some men at EFL have asked why can’t they have a group to study the Bible, so a new easy English Bible study on Thursdays for men (with some keen women) has started up, with Joe Radkovic leading.

I have had conversations with ‘St’ who told me that there was no God in China. There was such joy in her face when I told her that God is everywhere! Another conversation was with ‘M’ who told me that Buddhists and Christians are all good people. She was fascinated to hear that Christians are not good people, only God is. M has asked me to tell her more about Him. ‘S’, a Christian, told me that she is so thankful to God for the family he has given her here at EFL, and 11am church.

One of our teachers had all their students read out John 3:16 in their own language. They were so happy to see their own language written on the sheet, and were quite shocked and surprised to hear that the Bible is translated into many languages.

Another teacher had a new student in her class. When it came time for the Bible story, the student’s eyes lit up and he said “Oh, the Bible!” He told her that his grandmother read the Bible every night in China and never went to sleep until she had done so. Although he is not a Christian he is open to hearing more.

Some of our students have become Christians and are great evangelists, inviting friends, to hear about how they can be saved. ‘Ch’ brings someone new each week to WOW.

Please, continue to pray for EFL at St Michael’s and the students who attend. Pray that they will come to know Jesus as Lord. Pray too that we will love and teach them well.

If you love Jesus and have a heart for serving people, we would love you to join us. We need helpers in our classes, people to organise morning tea, and people to join us at 11am for a cuppa and conversation. Doesn’t everyone need to hear about Jesus?

Lydia Russell
(11am member & English for Life Co-ordinator)

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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong

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