This week, I (Linda) was back in the ESL classroom, finding myself once again in a discussion about bagels and bread. (See previous blog post; “Burgers and Berry Bagels” http://reedsontheway.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/burgers-and-berry-bagels/)
English as a Second Language (ESL) is offered for free at the local public library. When I entered the room, all the ESL teachers were already paired with students. At a back table were two gentlemen, both nearly silent, with not enough English to give a greeting. One wore a turban, the other had arrived from his home country — a closed country — two days prior. I was given the opportunity to teach where no words would be understood.
We began with photos in a picture dictionary. Dress clothes as nouns. Money by “quarter”, “nickel” and “dime” to assist with the immediate need of shopping or taking a bus. Then we noted pictures of foods that we enjoy here in Canada.
As we pointed and pronounced these common foods, pictures of “bagels” and “bread” were given English names. As we lingered over the bread, the man burst forth with the words: “Holy Bible.”
As he pointed again to the bread, he said again, “Holy Bible.” Then he blurted: “Sentence in Holy Bible.” Like a game of charades, I wrote on a paper, due in part to the public nature of the library, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The man nodded excitedly, “Yes, Yes.” There was a communion of the saints without words. I knew that he knew. He knew that I knew. And we had fellowship.
I wrote on the paper, “My husband is a pastor. He teaches the Holy Bible.” He wrote on the paper: 15 million. Then he said, “My city –15 million.” Then he wrote: “20 pastors.”
It’s missions’ conference this week at Heritage College and Seminary. It’s also missions right here in the public library.
And it started with bagels and bread.
“And he (Jesus) was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.”