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An Open Letter to Our Encouragers

GoTEN Staff

When a student joins an English class with GoTEN, it is with goals and desires in his heart. He wants to be able to read the mail that's delivered to his home. She wants to be able to communicate with her child's doctor or teacher. He wants to understand the rules of driving. She wants to be able to speak on the phone. He wants to get a better job. She wants to become a citizen of the United States of America.

When a student joins an English class with GoTEN, there is so much ground to be covered. Often, she's never had the opportunity to go to school even in her own country, so the principles of reading and writing are completely foreign. The study of phonics, vocabulary, sentence formation, and conversation is painstaking and slow. Baby steps are taken with every class session. There are interruptions, like doctor's appointments and transportation glitches. There are obstacles, like frustration and distraction. There are mountains, valleys, and plateaus on the path to learning English. But there is also a goal. It's only a dream in the beginning. Something deeply hoped for, but seemingly impossible - achieving US citizenship. The rewards of US citizenship include a passport, which enables travel, the privilege of voting, and the feeling of belonging. It makes a new country feel like a home. It gives a sense of belonging. When a student joins an English class with GoTEN, he starts a path. The great reward is a certificate of US citizenship, but the path is daunting. It is long and littered with obstacles. When a student joins an English class with GoTEN, she is welcomed with a smile and a seat next to a new friend. He is challenged with every lesson. She is encouraged to bravely speak, to participate in the English language, and to laugh while learning. If you currently volunteer with GoTEN as an Encourager, you are that friend! You've accepted the challenge to walk that path with your new friend. Through him, you experience the challenges and painstaking details of learning a language that's surrounding him, yet so foreign. Through her, you experience the persistence and perseverance that's required to learn that language well enough to pass a rigorous test and interview. Through them, you experience the value of receiving US citizenship by merit, not by birth. Through you, they see the love and commitment of a friend, someone who loves and follows Jesus, someone who is invested in their success. As an organization, we are so grateful for you! We can't offer you a tangible reward, but we trust that you're experiencing intangible rewards as you deepen your friendship with your amazing student! If you have yet to step into being an encourager and want to see what it's about, please consider experiencing one of our upcoming Discovery Days. You don't want to miss the opportunity to meet your new neighbor!