Ten-year-old Taylor* was referred to our English program because he was not “excelling” in school. During his first class, he blurted out, “People say I am dumb!” Taylor is not dumb.
In fact, he is just as smart as any other ten-year old boy, and loves to play Lego and yo-yo. In this country, if your child is not doing well in school, your whole family is labeled “dumb”. Taylor’s mom took the advice of Martha*, one of our co-workers, and had Taylor tested. When he was found to have a mild learning disability, Taylor’s mom enrolled him in our program to get extra help. Through our weekly one-on-one time, we hope to help Taylor and his parents, slowly building back their self-esteem in order to move past the “dumb” label. But it’s not just about helping Taylor do well in school. It’s also about showing him and his parents that Taylor is beautifully made perfect in the image of our Lord, and that he is a dearly loved child of God.
In April 2012, we started a community center called the Livingwell Education Center as a way to help people and show them the love of Jesus. It is situated in an urban city of two million people, home to the man who orchestrated the democratic revolution in this country more than 100 years ago. The name “Livingwell” has a double meaning: living well, and Jesus is the Living Well for our souls.
We offer a wide range of services including parent-child English class, adult English class, parenting class, Christian counseling services, translation services, and web designing services. When we moved to this city in 2009, we never imagined God would entrust us with a community center; after all, there were only three of us, and we are not “business” people. But to our great amazement, God provided three more workers and changed us into Christian business people who have one goal and one goal only: to provide services as a means for people to come to know Jesus the Living Water.
We can’t say that running this kind of business is easy, as there are many competitors in town. But we believe that we are unique in that no one else is offering the same “Jesus the Livingwell water.” Since the opening of our center, it has given us the platform to make more than 50 new friends. Our friends and students are literally from all walks of life: factory workers, housewives, single moms, taxi drivers, managers, insurance sales, CEOs, doctors, etc. We pray they will see the love of Jesus in us as we continue to minister and meet the needs of those around us.
-Written by a worker in Asia
*not their real names