Hosting a Japanese exchange student has been the highlight of our summer for the past seven years. It is such a wonderful experience for both our children and us. We are told it is an experience of a lifetime for these girls, but really the true blessing is ours because the memories we create with these girls will last a lifetime. I would recommend this to anyone, young, old, kids, no kids. Host a student. It will touch a young girl’s life forever!!!
Teaching with Cultural Gateways is a rich and phenomenal experience as I witness students engage in English on a daily basis. As an ESL teacher, it is fun to see the transformation in students from being timid in their English to confident in their speaking abilities. Students arrive eager to learn about American traditions and holidays in my American culture class. Through hands-on activities, students experience the American culture themselves, gaining a new cultural understanding while strengthening their English skills.
For the past 19 years I have had the privilege of working with CGI, teaching English to international students. Students initially enter the classroom with a bit of fear and apprehension, but they are mostly are curious and eager to learn. In just a very short time, each student’s confidence grows as proficiency in the English language increases. It is a joy to teach each group as the students enthusiastically take in the American culture and language.
We have enjoyed and appreciated working with Sandy and Cultural Gateways over the years. Our church, Lafayette Community Church, has benefited greatly by having these girls come and stay with our families and do their schooling at the church each Spring. We tell our church family it’s an opportunity for them to reach out to visitors coming to our country. However, many of them have testified to us what the girls have meant to them. Several have built lasting relationships, even hosting them in later years as the girls have returned on their own to visit the families. Also, it has always been an enriching experience for our families' children as well. As a couple, we have enjoyed sharing in the events they sponsor at the church and the sites they visit while in Oregon. Our youth Pastors and intern helpers have grown in their ministries by helping with the program as well. We live in a great country, and we serve an even greater God. It is our privilege to share both with visitors from another country.