Winning with a word

OM International | Africa

For the past 14 years, OMer Peter* has taught English classes as a means of reaching a prominently Muslim culture in central North Africa with the gospel. As he prepares to begin another new term, his goal is the same: to establish relationships with locals and open channels for spiritual discussion—all while offering practical help through language training.

Local people in Peter’s region have an enthusiastic approach to learning English; most are eager to learn. Now in his fifteenth year of ministry in this area, Peter has seen the numbers grow in his classes, which he offers at a discounted price, or free for children. This term, more than 35 people have signed up for four separate levels of classes, and Peter is expecting each class level to hold more than 20 students by the time teaching begins.

Peter offers free classes to children because they offer him a better opportunity to invest in people long term, while their minds are more open to hearing about Christianity, he says.

“We study the situation and see if a person is ready to hear the gospel,” he says. “You know the tell-tale signs.”

Since teaching English is a solo job for Peter within OM’s ministry, the number of students he can reach is limited, but those who do secure a spot in his classes will be exposed to Scripture and religious conversations, as Peter uses both as “teaching tools”. When he arrived on location and began teaching English years ago, he found that he was the first and only teacher in the region who would use the Bible in his lessons. He sees it as the perfect opportunity, however; it helps the students expand their English vocabulary while exposing them to Christian teaching.

He is also limited in material, planning his lessons out of two workbooks that he goes through with his students. He has few copies for the students to share, and no worksheets to send home with them other than what they are able to copy in class.

The challenges in Peter’s ministry come not from knowing when and how to present the gospel—it’s the classes themselves. More teachers, books and visual aids such as videos will go a long way in being able to reach more people effectively with the truth of God.

“If we don’t have teachers and resources, we aren’t going to be productive,” he says.

As God continues to provide, Peter is trusting and continuing to invest in the people around him, one word at a time.

Published: Friday, 07 July 2017
Credit: OM International
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