Launching EFL in Argentina

By Diane Kraines
Informal Education

It never ceases to amaze me when I hear the words from our project leaders, “We had just the right people on this trip.” The Lord knew exactly who was needed on her recent trip to Argentina, according to Regional Camp Coordinator Sue Schmidt. She was joined by Camp Supervisor Bonnie Tew, and assistants Miranda Nutt and Britta Hart.

Their first job was to lead a teacher-education workshop in rural Argentina, providing encouragement and professional development for English language teachers who work in the national schools in one of the most depressed regions of the country. They expected about 20 teachers, but 62 attended the workshop!

Argentina-Statue-of-Jesus-July-2017Bonnie provided training on teacher/student interpersonal communication skills as well as classroom management techniques. Sue demonstrated conversational English activities that they could add to their classroom teaching. Miranda and Britta provided leadership with the discussion groups that followed each segment.

Marisol Gomez of Cordoba Immersions, a Christian company that specializes in English immersion camps for English institutes and bilingual schools, led a workshop on leadership development.

The most exciting part of the teacher-education process was that each presenter shared how the Lord helps equip them for their work. This opened up many opportunities for these women to respond to explain what they believe, be an encouragement, and pray with the national teachers. This was just their first week!

Following the workshop, the group went to Evangelical Hogar Bethel (hogar is Spanish for home). This is a home for 10 children in the care of two “aunties” or “Tias.” Bonnie explained, “The reason for teaching English at Hogar Bethel was that it offered an opportunity for people in the community to learn about the home so that they might consider supporting this Christian organization.”

The teArgentina-Boy-July-2017am also was able speak in a local private high school. “The teachers wanted to impress upon the students the value of serving others,” Bonnie said. “We explained the importance of volunteering in their own community, especially at Hogar Bethel. The teacher plans to follow up by determining how students can help there.

This is an answer to prayer for the Tias! So, God used our visit to motivate others to stand in the gap for the children and Tias.

Before we left Argentina, we were able to generate a list of about 50 ways individuals and a church could help the children, grounds, buildings, and Tias at Hogar Bethel. The reason this is so exciting to me is because of what John 15:16a conveys:

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit- fruit that will last …”

By the time we left Argentina, we had the opportunity to cultivate the hearts of many, we were able to plant seeds of the gospel, and we were given the opportunity leave fruit behind that will last far beyond the date of our departure. This is our heart’s desire and what better gift from God than to see that the work started will continue. What a wonderful partnership!

Bonnie Tew, Britta Hart, Miranda Nutt

Bonnie Tew, Britta Hart, Miranda Nutt