Imagine yourself as part of a new immigrant family from China trying to adapt yourself to a new culture in America. You are facing myriad challenges and difficulties making a home in Newton, Mass., and experiencing the same concerns as did generations of immigrants before you.
Then you discover sympathetic Christian friends at Lincoln Park Baptist Church in Newton. Thanks to a $2,000 Matthew 25 Grant from American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), Lincoln Park Church offers a new English Program for immigrants from China.
“Thanks to the grant we were able to purchase toner, paper for printing teaching materials, textbooks and snacks to provide instruction for 30 adults and 15 children,” explains Jie Jiao, who works with the new immigrants.
“Most of our congregation are first-generation immigrants from mainland China,” Jie explains. “Some of them do not speak English or speak very little English. They have never heard anything about the Bible and God when they were in China, and so we are doing what we can to support and encourage them. We are very grateful for the grant!” Jie says the church has many neighbors who are new Chinese immigrants. In Newton about 7,000 residents speak Chinese.
“We provide English as a second language (ESL) training,” Jie says. “We also help with instruction on banking, job searching, school selection and referral to other available community services. We work to provide bilingual bibles and other Christian literature.”
“We are helping adults, youth and children not only to improve their English, but also helping them to grow in spirituality,” Jie continues. “Even though our church is small, we want to follow Jesus to bring hope and love to new immigrants in need. We appreciate all the love and support we have received from ABCUSA. May God bless the Matthew 25 Grant ministry!”
The Matthew 25 Grant initiative, sponsored by ABCUSA and the Board of General Ministries, is funded by a generous, anonymous donor whose goal is to meet the needs of “housing, feeding, education and health with regard to the less fortunate.” The application process for a Matthew 25 Grant is structured to help small ministries with limited staff time. For more information on the grant and application process visit www.abc-usa.org/matthew25/