Around the World in Antioch, Tennessee
Want to meet people from Egypt? How about from Kosovo or Eritrea? Would you like to know folks from Colombia, Nicaragua, Cuba, or Haiti? How about meeting people from 47 countries? No travel documents needed–just come to Antioch church of Christ on a Monday or Wednesday night and meet some of our English Class students.
In the past six years we have had students attend from these countries:
Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Egypt, Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Iraq, Iran, Kurdistan, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Laos, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Kosovo, Bulgaria, and French Canada.
Last night we began our winter session. We welcomed 136 students and children to our classes. One class has 20 students with 14 different countries represented. At the heart of these classes are our caring and serving teachers. They are all volunteers who give their time and energy to teach the immigrants in our community. Why do they do it? Not for the monetary gain (as there is none!) and certainly not for the prestige. They do it because they simply love God and love others. They don’t just “go” to church, they ARE the church! Thank you ESL teachers and staff for being the hands and feet of Jesus to our community.
It is easy to say you believe. It is more difficult to put action to your words. When you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and strength, then you want to love your neighbor as yourself. You take to heart God’s words in Leviticus 19:34: “Any immigrant who lives with you must be treated as if they were one of your citizens. You must love them as yourself, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.”
So we welcome our community into our church building and into our hearts. We teach, we learn, we connect. We love.
God has brought the world to Antioch.
What an exciting, amazing time to live here and to serve our God!