Home » East District News, Feature Stories, Headline, Mission News

Teaching English in Nicaragua

April 4, 2012 One Comment

Adam Mellecke teaches an English class in Nicaragua.

by Liz Mellecke

Last May I found a page on Lutheran Church–Canada’s website about a short term ESL mission opportunity in Nicaragua. As I was interested, I contacted the office with a little overview of who I am.

I had been to Nicaragua twice before. First, on the 2008 Lutheran Womens Missionary League-Canada (LWML-C) “Women to Women” trip to inform and connect Nicaraguan women with the Canadian women who have been supporting and praying for their faith community. We traveled around the country to many congregations and shared a presentation about LWML-C and women’s issues. Next, my son and I went on a group mission in 2010 with members from across Southern Ontario, led by Rev. John Trembulak III of Dashwood. We painted the mission building and education centre at Rancheria and shared crafts in the Santa Patricia mission. These mission trips brought the people of Nicaragua closer to our hearts. So, when I read about the ESL opportunity, I felt called to return.

But who was I? I have been a stay-at-home mother all my adult life. I took an online course from Concordia University College in Alberta but never completed university. I home-schooled my son for three years. But could I teach English as a foreign language?

After a number of discussions, I and my 19 year old son Adam were accepted to teach in Nicaragua. Now we are three weeks in and we feel so blessed. The people at the mission centre have become our family. We have daily devotions during the week with the staff and go to one class in the morning and one class in the afternoon, teaching English to as many as 34 students at a time.

We are teaching six days a week, Monday to Saturday. Why such long weeks? As our schedule was being prepared, pastors come forward to ask if we would teach at their churches. We offered to add Saturday to our schedule so we could fit in all the classes we could in the Chinandega area.

Adam teaches the advanced English class, while I teach the beginner’s. Adam uses Bible stories to teach vocabulary, and I will soon be doing the same with my class, though in a simplified format.

It doesn’t feel like a chore or job when we are working here. We just share ourselves and the Scripture stories as we teach. The purchase of 20 dictionaries has been a great blessing in our work, given the meager preparation time and resources available. We pray that our lessons will bring us where we need to be in that moment and for future moments. We started with many, many students and then as interest waned or ability caused them to not be able to continue, we dwindled down to a core group that have a real desire to learn.

There is nothing like having a student tap you on the arm to make sure you say “goodbye” specifically to them at the end of the lesson. We are building relationships with each other and with the Lord and we feel blessed. We may have not known how this mission would affect us but after three weeks, we feel blessed by the people we met. Imagine our blessings when we return home after three months!


Liz Mellecke is a member of Grace Lutheran Church (Kincardine, Ontario).

For more information on LCC’s missions and how to get involved, visit www.lutheranchurch.ca/mission.php.

One Comment »

  • Deborha Gruben said:

    Hi Liz:  Am so excited about hearing more about this work.  Keep me in touch.  I too often think how God can lead me back to Nicaragua.  Now that my friend Fran lives in Ontario maybe we could do something agian.  Blessings on you both. Fellow sister in Chirst. Deborah   Gruben

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.