This post comes to us from Ryan, who just finished his first semester as a volunteer in a GoTEN english class.

“I wanted to volunteer with GoTEN because I love serving people, especially people from different cultures. My first time volunteering in an English class was really exciting! Being able to meet new people, serve them, and encourage them was so rewarding. It was easy to connect, and I felt like I fit right in.

Interacting with the refugees in the classroom can be challenging because there are obvious language and cultural barriers. But I think that challenge can be a good thing, since it shows that we’re willing to put effort into connecting and building the relationship.

Connecting with them outside of class has been awesome. Hikes, other activities, and events like the Cultural Festival back in April have made a space to spend time with refugees in a different setting. Getting out of the classroom and changing the environment allows for longer conversations and the ability to be more personable.

When I think of my hopes for the refugees that I know from class, I would really want to learn more of their story. In the process, I’d love to be able to share my own story, with the ultimate hope of sharing Jesus’s story with them. I want to build genuine friendships with them, and allow the God who transcends language and culture to be put on display through that friendship.”

Do you want to begin a friendship with a refugee? Sign up here to volunteer in an English class once the new semester starts in August!