Teaching English is a great way for your church to build bridges with the Chinese community, says Keri Lim.
I am in my fifth year of secondment with the Chinese Church In London (CCIL). I serve alongside the church family across London in outreach, helping to develop outreach ministries that enable us to build relationships with Chinese people from a variety of backgrounds and needs, as well as reaching out to all in our local communities.
Teaching English and teaching about British customs is a great way for your church to build bridges with the Chinese community and teach the gospel.
In Soho, CCIL runs several English classes, which attract some of those who work in Chinatown, as well as many elderly people keen to learn how to communicate with their British-born grandchildren. I remember Mr J being invited to both the elderly fellowship (in Chinese) and to the English and Bible class: he was adamant he would go to the English class and not the elderly fellowship group, because he needed to learn English, not Chinese!
Each English class always has a gospel component, whether it is teaching through using simple worship songs/hymns, using Bible stories or through simple Bible studies. It’s always such a joy teaching about grace, and hearing the students not only become more confident in speaking English, but especially seeing the glimmers of when they grasp more of what grace is, and who God is.
Mr C surprises me. One day he pointed to my t-shirt, which had the Chinese character for ‘invincible’, smiled broadly and said, ‘God is invincible!’ Another time, after we read about how Jesus walked on water, one student expressed her disbelief that Jesus could do that, which prompted Mr C to say, ‘But of course Jesus can walk on water, he’s God!’
Please pray that Mr C, and the other English class students, would clearly understand who Jesus is, and accept him as their Lord and Saviour.
A version of this article first appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of our magazine, Changing London.