By Stephen Carrier, missionary to Chile
Before I even left the US to come to Chile as a missionary, my friend and pastor at Cross Baptist Church, John Moncada, asked if I’d be willing to help teach an English class at his church for eight weeks as an outreach opportunity. I was excited about the prospect of using something God gave me simply by virtue of where I was born, the English language, for His glory.
A month or so after my wife, Leslie, and I arrived, I began the classes alongside another missionary, Nate Beil. The first week, we actually just stood outside and helped get people walking by to come in and register for the classes. We had everyone from young people, to older men and ladies, to Haitians who have immigrated to Chile. It was truly a mixed group! I remember seeing many faces I didn’t know, but feeling excited about the fact that they could someday be saved and turn into a Christian who walked with God and got involved in the church.
We had a book we went through week by week. We had some drop out the first few weeks, but we soon settled into the group that was consistent and faithful. I really loved teaching them. Some of them were more reserved, and I had to drag them out of their shells. Others knew all the answers, and I had to hold them back from answering every question. There’s a store in Chile that sells a few American products at a marked up price. I went there and bought some treats (Airheads and Tootsie Pops), and they really enjoyed those. Leslie made some rice crispy treats for them one time, and they thought those were great.
One of the biggest thrills for me was when Pastor John told me he was really able to go into the gospel with a heavily Catholic family while I was teaching the second hour. Also, after the eight weeks, we had a graduation service on a Sunday morning in which we gave certificates to those who were in the classes. Several people attended, and it was an exciting time. But the greatest part is that some of them were coming to other events at the church, and one so far has trusted Christ as His Savior!
If you think about it, please say a prayer for these people who were in the classes, that they will be saved. It was great outreach, and one that’s actually going on in other Latin American countries via other missionary friends of ours. I know it’s something I’ll do again in the future, and perhaps depending on the area you work, one you could do as well!