Growth Brings New Challenges
Other changes also had to be made that spring. More students meant more books were needed. We had never required our students to pay for their books, but the rise in the cost was substantial. The church agreed to put the cost of our books and materials in the budget. We adopted the policy of requiring students to come to class three times before they could take their books home in an attempt to curb the loss of books by drop-outs. In addition, one year John wrote a grant which funded our books and supplies for that year.
Another expense our church accepted was paying for additional help with childcare for the large number of babies and toddlers who were coming. Without that commitment to care for their children, many parents would be unable to attend ESL.
Up to this point John had bought all the refreshments, but the cost became too much to ask of him The church helped with that as well, plus we had some classes who helped furnish refreshments. One of our ESL volunteers who could no longer teach, and who would not forgive me if I told her name, chose to serve us and the Lord each week by bringing homemade soup, salad, bread, or desserts, often trying out new recipes on us. What a blessing she was! We quickly realized that we needed a volunteer to get the refreshments ready for break time. Faye Graham has faithfully arrived early to do that for all these years, except for a period of time when her health would not allow her to. She is a true servant and seeks no credit, but without her, and others who have helped the last few years, we would have had no refreshments. The last couple of years, one of our volunteers has gone each Tuesday to get items donated by a local food bank. Break time is a special time for our students to meet and socialize with those who speak their own native language as well as mingle with people from other nations.
Break Time: Refreshments Ready