Becky started volunteering with Afghan Women’s English Language Learners (AWELL) because of her passion for building cross-cultural relationships. She was introduced to a sweet Afghan family in Bloomington through Arrive Ministries, and has been teaching the mom English since 2019.
“I liked them a lot right away, in spite of our language barriers we just clicked,” said Becky.
Becky’s husband, Jim was initially uncertain about getting involved with this Afghan family. But one afternoon, when their family was bike riding in the park, the Afghan family saw them and joyfully ran up to them.
“After seeing the excitement on their faces because of Becky’s involvement with AWELL, my perspective changed. I began to see them as our friends.”
“After seeing the excitement on their faces because of Becky’s involvement with AWELL, my perspective changed. I began to see them as our friends,” said Jim.
In the beginning, Becky thinks the family may have thought she was paid to come and teach English, but she volunteers only because she wants to, and she has found it incredibly worthwhile.
“They are so appreciative and it’s so rewarding. Plus I get so much out of these relationships. The kids are so open, I love connecting with them,” said Becky.
The family shows their love for Becky through acts of service to her and her family.
One time, Becky got a phone call from the mom telling her to come over a pick-up a layered chicken dish she had cooked for Becky.
“It was a complete surprise. She knew that I had company coming in town, and called me out of the blue to come and get it,” shared Becky.
Becky’s college-aged daughter was helped by the Afghan family with a school project this spring. After her focus group for intercultural communications disbanded due to quarantine, she switched project topics from Guatemala to Afghanistan.
“The family came in at the last minute and helped my daughter do her project on their home country. She ended up getting a better grade than she thought she would have on the original project!” exclaimed Becky.
“We have seen resistance and walls fall down from going the extra mile to be wholeheartedly in this relationship.”
Becky’s role with this family stretches beyond their weekly English lessons; she has grocery shopped with the two older boys, and she has spent evenings enjoying the whole family’s company.
Even with the limitations of COVID-19, Becky is finding new ways to keep the relationship progressing; she’s picked up items at the store, like laundry soap and art materials, to drop off at their doorstep, and she regularly Facebook Messages one of their daughters.
“Our presence speaks volumes to them, showing that we are here and we care with no preconditions,” said Becky.
“I highly recommend welcoming the stranger. We are operating as a vessel of grace with open hands, respecting the family and trusting the work of the Holy Spirit. We have seen resistance and walls fall down from going the extra mile to be wholeheartedly in this relationship,” said Becky.