ESL at Southcliff has come a long way since it began 20 years ago as one of the first HOPE Literacy sites.
“At that time we had three teachers, seven or eight students from Bosnia, one from Guatemala and one from China,” remembers John Spear, director of the ESL program at Southcliff.
Today over 200 students and 50 volunteers converge each week to provide games and crafts for the little ones, activities for youth, formal classes for adults, and even a light meal that fosters connection and community for people who might otherwise be left alienated and isolated in their new homeland. Most importantly, the ministry provides an introduction to the love of Christ in action.
“Southcliff’s HOPE Literacy site demonstrates the power of ESL ministry to connect people to Jesus and one another,” Dr. Harry Wilson, executive director of HOPE Literacy explains. HOPE Literacy empowers churches to fight illiteracy, poverty, and isolation by establishing classes that teach language and literacy with the love of Christ, resulting in transformed lives and a healthier society.