Mentoring Across the Ocean

A retired baker from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Peter Haagen was looking for a way to volunteer. Then he read an article on the CRC website about hosting Spotlight English Clubs for overseas English learners right from his own home—using Skype. He knew God was calling him to this ministry.

After a short online training course, Haagen chose to host a Spotlight English Skype club in Southeast Asia. He said, “We have a heart for this culture.”

Haagen started out with nine students in October 2013—but as they told their friends about the class, the group quickly multiplied to two clubs. The most recent group began in April 2014 after some of Haagen’s students posted information about the class on Facebook. He now leads nearly 50 participants in three Skype groups each week.

During the hour-long lesson Haagen leads a discussion about the Spotlight audio programs produced by Reframe Media, the English outreach of Back to God Ministries International.

But Haagen also goes above and beyond the lesson. He writes each student a personal email weekly has become Facebook friends with them. Haagen says he hears from at least one student every day.

“I feel like a counselor, mentor, and trusted friend,” he said. “I enjoy it.”

Most of the students in the class are Buddhist or agnostic. But he doesn’t shy away from faith issues. Whenever appropriate, he brings up examples from Jesus’ life.

“I hope that I am sowing a seed,” Haagen said. Recently one student asked for spiritual resources, so Haagen emails him the Today devotional.

This dedication to students is a tangible expression of Christ’s love. Back to God Ministries is thankful for Haagen and all the volunteers who make Spotlight English Clubs a reality.

Hundreds of students from around the world are waiting to be part of a Spotlight English Club. If you feel God calling you to this ministry—in your church or community or by Skype—please visit