"When it comes to charity; many people stop at nothing..."
CROSSROADS ESL CHARITY FUNDRAISER
Email Address: CrossroadESLFundraiser@infinityrodcreations.com
The mission of Crossroads ESL program is to see God transform the lives of Muslim refugee women through a demonstration of God's love. By teaching them English, American culture, and providing for their needs, we positively impact their transition. The program is supported and sponsored by Crossroads Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Crossroads is a rapidly growing church that directs a majority of their resources to serving the community outside of the church walls. Crossroads has a ministry to refugees called the Refugee Initiative Movement which sponsors and supports refugee families that are newly arrived to the USA. Most of our students were put into contact with Crossroads through the initial welcoming ministry of the Refugee Initiative Movement.
The program began in September of 2016. Currently, we have 6 Muslim women students from Iraq ranging in age from 19 to 55 and possessing varying levels of English language skills. Classes are held on Friday mornings every week from 10:00 to 11:30 am. I am one of the co-teachers along with another ESL professor from the local community college. We have worked together to design a curriculum and lesson plan for the weekly classes. The Crossroads ESL ministry is unique because we not only offer weekly classes, but also a mentoring program for the women. Women from the Crossroads congregation volunteer to serve as mentors/tutors for the Muslim students as well. Our volunteers visit the refugee women's homes each week (in addition to class time) and help them practice English. There is a focus on building relationships. The tutors also provide transportation and childcare for the Muslim students in an effort to reduce obstacles for attendance to the English classes.
Because of Muslim cultural rules, women have limited interaction with men. We've created an environment where the teachers/tutors/directors of the program are female. Our Muslim students can feel comfortable to learn and build friendships. Some of the tutors discovered, upon visiting our students' homes, that the Muslim women and their children had areas of need that we could meet. The Crossroads women took the Muslim women shopping and were able to buy them winter coats and boots and gloves this past winter. One of our students, Zahra, just had a baby and we are hoping to celebrate this milestone with her by throwing her an American baby shower experience once we begin classes. A donation to support the Crossroads ESL program could enable us to buy Zahra the things she still needs to care items for her new baby and clothes for the family. There are plenty of physical needs that refugees are confronted with when moving to America. We want to continue building relationships and demonstrating the love of Christ. One way we'd be able to do that even better is by having sufficient funds to meet their physical needs as they are needed.
Even after just a few months of classes and building friendships with these women, they have improved tremendously in confidence and English conversational skills. They were timid and unsure of this Crossroads program at first, but they've opened up and are now freely sharing details about their lives and inviting us into their homes. I'd love to continue working with these refugee women and showing them the love of Jesus in a tangible way. Your tax deductible charitable contribution will go far in furthering my goals with these women. Thank you! Rachel G.
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