In the short time we have been living in Cuenca, Ecuador, we are daily reminded that if we are willing to give of our time and talents, we can touch the less fortunate or that one person who wants more than they currently have, and in turn we are the ones who are blessed.
I am not an English teacher, nor do I have any credentials that would qualify me worthy of teaching. My husband, however, is a graduate of a NY College with a teaching degree in English. He does have a God-given gift of teaching and also valid qualifying credentials to teach! Today, we attended a twice-weekly Spanish Chat Group which we usually hit and miss because of our daily busy schedule. A few weeks ago, I received and responded to an e-mail sent out by the two organizers of this chat group. Because of the organizers' e-mail and my quick pro-active response, Bo and I now have another precious Ecuadorian family in our lives and two more hungry Ecuadorian people who attend our weekly "English Classes" held at our home.
I remember when we were living in Honduras and several Hondurans we met were hungry to learn English. Bo and I were able to give them English teaching books and had on-going daily conversation to help them along. When we left that country, one of the friends we were blessed to know cried when I gave him my personal bi-lingual Bible and told him that I hoped he would one day speak English fluently. I will never forget that moment because I know that his life was forever changed.
Since leaving the USA 14 weeks ago and letting go of all our stuff and the daily rut we were in, all I desire to do here is to somehow make a difference. What is that for me, personally? I can give away what I have to someone who wants it. Do I need a degree or a piece of paper that says I am a teacher? NO! What I do need is the God-ordained gift and ability to do so and to carve out precious time to make it happen.
Someone in "Chat" said to me today, "I met an Ecuadorian who really wants to learn Spanish, but I don't have the time....... Can you talk to him?" Another person told me that she has an English teaching certificate but doesn't know how to get things going here to teach English and would I let her know if anyone needed help. There are some Ecuadorians here who truly want to learn English, just as there some ex-pats who truly want to learn Spanish. It takes a desire and a real commitment on both parts to make this happen - a student who has the desire and is committed to learn and a teacher who is gifted and committed to teach.
The woman who's e-mail I quickly responded to is an English Teacher in Cuenca, but she doesn't speak fluently and needed help passing two required time-sensitive 4-hour exams in order to keep her current position. She also has another exam in the fall that will be even more critical for her livelihood. Bo and I accompanied her to her home that weekend to support and guide her (not take the test for her), and she passed with a high score and expressed so much gratitude. The following week we helped her with another written and oral exam, which she also proudly passed. Today her family has more than embraced us and thanked us for our help.
Mother and one daughter are now attending our weekly English classes at our home, and they have embraced us and we are now a part of their family. This is always the best end-result blessing. On Saturday, this loving family fixed a special meal to thank us and to honor Bo's birthday. We were so touched. It was an afternoon of love, laughter, and delicious Ecuadorian food. We shared so much (Oh, how thankful I am that I can speak Spanish), and we ate too much. It is another special time here that we will remember fondly, and we know we will be sharing more wonderful times together apart from English lessons and exams.
We're thankful to Sandra and Wayne for sharing this need and giving us the opportunity to be the ones to help this family. Because of it we now have new Ecuadorian friends who consider us family and we can look forward to more good times ahead.
|Our Ecuadorian family (Pancho, Erika, Jimena, Mari, and the dog kids) adorn and honor Bo for his birthday! (They spoiled Bo beyond words!)|
|Jimena, Erika, Mari, and Pancho. We love them so much - and they love us!!!|
|Erika doesn't want to learn English. Mari does! So, Mari comes weekly to our home with her mom to learn and improve their English. (Aren't they beautiful?)|