Multicultural Bible Study Brings ESL Students Together

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Reading Scripture in English and conversing about it with others is difficult for non-English speaking immigrants who attend Bible studies. Corinne Bosch, a member of Oak Hills Christian Reformed Church in Beaverton, Ore., understands that. She hosts Bible studies for men and women who are enrolled in ESL classes at the local community college. 

Using the Discover Your Bible series from Faith Alive Christian Resources, Bosch has taught many books of the Bible to people from Korea, China, Mexico, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia. “Last year we started the book of John. We are going very slowly because at least a couple of our students find it very difficult,” said Bosch.

As part of their weekly Bible studies, attendees also sing songs and hymns together, pray for one another, and share about their lives. “We teach the class in a way that we are more [like] facilitators. We are here learning together. Some of the insights we gain from each other are beautiful,” said Bosch. 

As the attendees have continued to meet together, they have celebrated birthdays together and walked with one another through trying times. Some part ways when they must return to their home country. “We have been able to create and develop [friendships] with people from other cultures. There are some things that are very different but really we have much in common,” said Bosch. 

Bosch has also been able to help some of the women develop practical skills as they seek employment. Along with basic tutoring, she helps them write resumes and practice interviewing for a job.

Boschs’ group changes each season based on what the men and women’s needs are.  “I feel like God is saying, ‘Here is something you can do.’  God put it right in front of me,” she said.

About the Author

Amy Toornstra is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Salem, Oregon.

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