Let’s Start Talking!
When someone says, “Let’s start talking,” you might imagine people talking. That phrase means a lot more to Katy Brooks and me after we spent six weeks in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine, in 2021. Let me tell you why.
Since 1980, the Let’s Start Talking non-profit organization has been powerfully connecting people around the world through one-on-one English conversations. LST’s unique approach is an organic way to offer people something they genuinely desire – a friend who will help them practice their conversational English, and something they need – God’s truth, the Word. LST equips volunteers and churches with the training and materials to connect with their international neighbors through English, friendship, and the Word of God.
In the work Katy and I did in Ukraine, our team got the opportunity to converse with 23 different people. This included individual connection, reading a passage of the Bible, and asking questions like, “Do you believe Luke thought this was true?” or “How do you think Mary felt?” In each session, the questions and conversations were different depending on the skill level, interests and openness of the reader. Our main goal in that time was to let the Holy Spirit be the teacher and plant seeds for God.
We were able to invite readers to the weekly youth group that included games, fun, and devotionals. It was excellent to see some of the readers interact with the teens in the church and help them connect.
We were also able to serve instructors and students of the Bear Valley School of Preaching that we interacted with daily through conversations, meals, and teasing. Over the six weeks, we received the gift of helping the church of Christ reach out to the community, even if people were just curious.
Going on the mission trip was a great opportunity to examine personal beliefs and expand comfort zones. It allowed God to grow my faith and change my life perspective. Multiple good things resulted. For instance, readers desired to come to youth group events, the youth group grew, and we saw increases in individuals’ English skills. Multiple blessings were received from this mission work, including seeing God move daily, building relationships, and making cherished memories.
If you are interested in participating in conversations online, in our community, or on a mission trip, please reach out to either of us. If you’d like to hear more details about our mission work, please join us for our presentation on Wednesday, September 14, at 6 pm in the Fireside Room at Northside. See you there!