Imagine that you’re a six-year-old child. You’ve just left behind all that you know -- your home, friends, and relatives -- to start a new life in another country. You don’t know the culture or the language, and at school, the words coming out of your teachers’ and classmates’ mouths sound like gibberish. That sounds rather challenging, doesn’t it? Well, that’s the story of one our students named *Melissa, who entered BridgeWay at the beginning of this school year, not knowing any Spanish or English.
When we first met Melissa, my fellow teachers and I were at a loss as to how to communicate with her. Thankfully, in an era of smartphones and other advanced technology, we were able to rely on Google Translate for much of our conversations. Additionally, a few students who speak her native language were a tremendous help when Google Translate failed. Over time, however, Melissa began picking up both Spanish and English. She seemed to understand what her teachers and peers were saying to her, even if she couldn’t respond back.
One day during the after-school program, she and a couple of other girls built colorful, cardboard houses and started playing house together. My colleagues and I overheard their conversation, and when we looked over in their direction, we were shocked to find that Melissa was speaking -- in Spanish! Our eyes widened in amazement as we asked each other, “Was that really Melissa speaking Spanish?” In the days that followed, we heard her speaking more and more in English and Spanish, and we couldn’t believe how much progress she had made. It was also a delight to discover the various aspects of her personality as she started expressing herself more freely.
Melissa’s story is such a powerful example of how God is at work at BridgeWay -- that the school is so filled with God’s love and His Spirit that students like Melissa can feel at home, build friendships, and learn. Thank you for your ongoing partnership, allowing for transformation in the lives of students and many others! It is an absolute joy to witness God’s work in Mexico alongside you.
*Her name has been changed to protect her identity.