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Teaching English in South East Asia

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    David is an English language tutor in South East Asia. He was fifty when he heard God’s calling to participate in what He was already doing overseas. Although a cartographer by profession, David felt his experience in developing and delivering map-making and IT training courses had equipped him for teaching and training others in English as a Foreign Language. 

    “I became involved in an English-speaking club (Christian-developed) for adults. Here we helped people from all walks of life to practise their limited English, broaden their minds, discuss challenging issues and build meaningful relationships.” The club was a success and led to several more clubs in the north of the region. David subsequently became an adult English tutor for a variety of private centres. This teaching includes private home lessons (especially amongst the Korean community) and group classes in the workplace, such as in banks, hospitals and learning centres.

    Teaching has been hit hard by Covid. Initially, the country resisted the virus and life and work continued unaffected throughout 2020. However, since February teaching has been curtailed due to various lockdowns, but David is hopeful that life and teaching will resume.

    He reflects that: “The relationships built through the medium of English language learning are precious and many will be lifelong.” One particular relationship is with Hai, a graduate civil engineering student, whom David successfully tutored for his IELTS Academic English test preparation, (a qualification necessary for Hai to pursue postgraduate studies in Canada). When Hai went to Canada, David tried to help him find a similar English club but to no avail. David was, however, able to point him in the direction of some believers who could help. “Imagine my amazement when – a year later – Hai wrote with the news that he had become a believer and enclosed some baptism photos as proof!” Hai returned to his country to marry his fiancée and they now are seeking citizenship and a new life in Canada.

    David believes that education is a tool in the Father’s hand to share life, love and the gospel in amazing and unimaginable ways. Thinking about his own journey he continues, “I feel I am by no means missionary or leadership material but God loves a heart that says YES.” Life has been very challenging, but David is blessed and encouraged to see the positive impact it’s possible to make “by bringing the fragrance of Christ into places He would call us and where He is continuing to be at work.”

    David has more news from Hai.  “They are now expecting their first child and Hai asked permission of me to call their baby boy after me, in thanks and appreciation of my small part in encouraging and supporting him. A humbling but thrilling compliment!”

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