Laura Bussell

Laura Bussell

Seeing God's Face in English Language Learning

by Laura B. 

At ELL, we do more than teach English. Yes, we want to help people improve their English. After all, that’s the only way to thrive in the U.S. But we want to embrace people, to build community, to show people that God’s people care, that they belong. I tell my students all the time that we are simply giving them tools to better their lives, that I would hope that if I were a newcomer in their countries of origin that they would do the same for me, that they would help me not feel so lost, so confused, to help me feel that I belong.

Believe me, I’ve learned more from my students than I have taught them. I’ve seen the anguish of a mother who was forced to leave her four young children behind. What joy she felt when she was reunited with them six years later! But the feeling was bittersweet as she cannot get back the childhood that she missed. 

Some people have never had the fortune of formal education, something that we all take for granted. They’ve found some solace in the simple English classes that we provide. 

One student shares his amazing outlook on life with everyone he sees. He praises God for the friends that he has made, the lessons that he’s learned, that he was in the United States when he became so ill that he lost his limbs to disease. He sings to us in his native tongue songs of poetry and love for mankind. How humbling is that?

I am thankful for this opportunity that God has given me to see His face in other citizens of the world.