Eastwood Baptist Church
Thursday, April 27, 2017
It's All About Him!
Hajimemashite. Dozo yoroshiku. This is Japanese and means, "How do you do? Nice to meet you."
The ESL ministry at Eastwood was the idea of Michiyo K. Debbie Dale had been teaching Michiyo and a few other Japanese women. Michiyo attended Vacation Bible School with Debbie in June 1993. Soon after VBS, Michiyo accepted Christ. In November, Michiyo told Debbie, “You don’t see God’s big picture. God wants you to start an ESL ministry at Eastwood.” The next week, Michiyo said, “I’ve called all the Japanese women in Bowling Green. If you start a program, I have 12 other people who will attend.”
After recruiting teachers and gathering materials, the ESL ministry started in January 1994. The ministry started with four classes-one Bible study class and three English classes. The Bible study class only had one student.
Today, the program has grown. We have 13 women in Bible study class, four children in a Bible study class for kids, and 11 women in an email Bible study for those who have moved away. In addition, there are five English classes. Eighteen women and ten preschoolers attend the English classes. They are introduced to Jesus through holiday studies, songs, and other activities.
Flo Iglehart also teaches a crochet class. This class has donated crocheted baby items to Threads of Love, a Christian organization, which provides items for premature babies. The women also give back by filling shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.
Our Bible study classes use bilingual materials, including New Testaments and The Book of Hope. The children’s Bible study uses bilingual The Beginner’s Bible. In addition, we use DVDs they can watch in English and Japanese. These include the Jesus Film, The Story of Jesus for Children, God’s Story, and The Hope.
Our English classes use Oxford Picture Dictionaries, English Vocabulary for Beginning ESL Learners, and Essential Idioms in English.
Our dedicated teachers include Flo Iglehart, Amy Brown, Kim Wakabayashi, Helen Richardson, and Debbie Dale.
Eight people have accepted Christ, including one woman who accepted Christ many years after returning to Japan. Yuko S. wrote, “I have great news. You will be happy I am sure. I finally found Him. You planted a seed long ago, and it has been growing. I was baptized on Sunday.”
Ways to Participate in this Ministry