woman praying with sunset in background

In the past twenty-five years or so in my city in southern Michigan there has been an influx of Spanish-speaking citizens, mostly from, in, or near the state of Michoacán, Mexico. The local people have experienced a learning curve in becoming accustomed to having these immigrants among our population. The Mexican natives have frequently felt a sense of non-acceptance.

I volunteer through my county Literacy Council and have been entrusted with a student named Maria. I work with her to develop English reading and writing skills, but I have also learned much from Maria. Over the past thirty-three months, Maria and I have established a warm relationship which we both cherish. We have enjoyed reading, writing and conversing in English together, and have frequently found opportunities to share with each other our Christian faith and convictions. I have introduced Christian books to Maria, which we read together, and she has gifted me with a flip calendar featuring daily inspirational Bible Scripture selections. While Maria and I share together, she gains confidence in her English communication skills and I have learned greater empathy for the challenges an immigrant faces in a new culture. I have felt that the Heavenly Father has placed me as a literacy coach with the perfect Christian friend, and Maria has shown the same sentiments to me. Praise God!


Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:5-6).

All opportunities are a gift from God. Let us recognize these opportunities and share the love, grace and mercy of Christ with others. Our actions and our words will be praise and worship to our Heavenly Father for his many gifts to us, especially the gift of redemption.


Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us opportunities to share your love with other Christians and thank you for giving us opportunities to share with those who may not yet know you. We give you glory, praise, and honor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Mary Craaybeek
Michigan District

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