"We have learned to love them, as well as they have learned to trust and to love us."
That's what Eileen Kidd, member of Piney Grove Baptist Church in Mount Airy, N.C., says about her church's new relationship with the nearby Hispanic community.
Kidd, a co-team leader of the church's Kid's Café, talks about tutoring immigrant children – and teaching their parents English – in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com
Skype Interview: Eileen Kidd from EthicsDaily on Vimeo.
"It had been on my heart for a long time as well as the hearts of others here in our church," says Kidd about an idea to minister to the Hispanic community. "How do we reach these people?"
Kidd says the church formulated a tutoring ministry idea, and then eight volunteers emerged. The church then approached the local school where the children attended, and the school was receptive.
The first registration had two families with a total of three children. It then grew, up to 34 children. Now, roughly 16 children receive tutoring.
"It's just been such a blessing for us to be able to make inroads into our community with these immigrant children," says Kidd. "They feel like Piney Grove is their church now."
But that ministry opportunity led to another as church members noticed that mothers, who could speak little English, would drop off their children for tutoring and then wait in the hallway.
"We have started an ESL (English as a Second Language) class," says Kidd in the five-minute interview.
With church initiative and volunteer help from retired ESL teachers (who are actually members of a different church), Piney Grove now sees both mothers and fathers attending language classes.
"It has helped them, and it has helped their children," says Kidd. "And I think that it has helped to build a level of trust with the church and with the community. They realize that they can come here. They feel safe. They feel like they can talk to us and bring their children here without any fear of anything happening to them."
"We know that we live in a culturally diverse neighborhood that has changed dramatically over the last 10 years," adds Kidd, who says that the children have been the means for connecting to the community.
"God has provided the way to do that," she says.
Watch the interview with Kidd at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-eileenkidd
Learn more about Piney Grove Baptist in Mount Airy, N.C., at pgbcmtairy.org
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily