In February, my ESL Level 2 class studied the story of God’s people being taken into captivity by the Babylonians. The story resonated deeply with the students. All of them are refugees or immigrants. They have experienced many challenges in making the United States their new home. They too have lost family members due to conflict in their home countries or have left behind loved ones who are still in perilous situations. The advice God gave to the Israelite people to build houses, settle down, plant gardens, be good citizens, pray for the people of the city where you have been sent is just as applicable to them.
As I told the story that night, I was reminded of the power and the relevancy of God’s Word. Each week at the Woodbine site, we tell Bible stories to our students. Students from around the world with different religious backgrounds are united as we come together for Bible study. Some have never heard the stories we are telling. This particular story ended with words of encouragement for them and for us.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 New Living Translation (NLT)
Charlotte Hanson, Woodbine Program Director