Posted by Tricia Cameron, Harold Luhn, and Sara Winnick, March 2019
“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." Psalm 127:1 (NIV)
Over the past three years many people have contributed their time, talents and prayers to grow the ESL program at SPC. Our purpose has been simply to love and serve our neighbors. As a result, the “students” have found a place to build community with one another, with our church and with the Sammamish community—and improve their English language skills.
One part of the program has been the field trips. They began the second year with walks to nearby businesses: Safeway, Bartell’s, The Bank of America and the Postal Store. The managers and employees of these businesses were all very gracious and there were always many questions by the students. This year we have carpooled to Evergreen Hospital, to Walgreens, and to several of our homes for a Christmas event. We also have toured our church sanctuary each year. Our February event was a visit by Deputy Robinson, from the Sammamish Police, who spoke to the classes (Levels 1, 2, 3 and Talk Time) about “home safety.” This was very well received. Next month we will go to Home Depot for home maintenance.
One of our team members, Carolyn Wen, coordinates the field trips. Her incredible gift of communicating with the business community, planning helpful guides for the students and teachers, organizing the logistics and translating for our Level 1 Chinese neighbors has made these trips overwhelmingly successful. Level-specific trips have also occurred: a Korean brunch hosted by a Sammamish neighbor and breakfast at the Sammamish Café are two examples from Talk Time level.
Here are a couple of stories from the feedback we have received:
Hal Luhn says:
“While volunteering at Evergreen Medical Center in Kirkland, a student in our ESL classes at SPC approached me and wanted me to know that the tour that Carolyn put together with cooperation from the Evergreen Medical Center was absolutely good news and timely for her. She hadn’t known anything about securing a doctor for her or her family until that tour. She told me that she had just had a procedure there and that she loves her doctors and the hospital and they made it easy for her to get the proper care."
It’s always good to hear feedback from our efforts, and this is one case where all the staff at SPC ESL classes can be happy to know that we are on the right path. God certainly steps in where we can’t see. We definitely are serving the Lord in small, but important ways to others.”
Recently, on a Talk Time field trip to Sammamish Café, one of our longtime students shared that this was her first time ordering and paying for a meal on her own. While she has lived in the area for many years, she has relied on her adult son to take charge when they dine out. What a joy to witness her proud moment!
Underpinning all of these activities has been the weekly prayer and devotion time by the teams before each class time. We meet on Mondays and Thursdays, 9:00-11:00 a.m. on the church campus.