(March 18, 2001)
When home missionaries Keith and Celeste Boudreaux moved to Houston
in 1989, the city had a Chinese population of about 100,000. Today,
that number is closer to 200,000. The Boudreauxs have been witnessing
to their Asian neighbors with the gospel for 12 years by promoting
a valuable service English lessons.
participate in an English class at Braeswood A/G.
"We have an incredible opportunity here in America to reach
these people," Keith Boudreaux says. "Ive had heart
surgeons, cancer researchers, engineers and business people all attend
our classes. These are influential men and women who may one day share
their faith in their homeland."
With Celeste working full-time to support their ministry, Keith is
currently developing a series of books to teach advanced English.
He says numerous organizations offer beginning English courses. But
by focusing on advanced English he is better able to highlight Christian
concepts and it is easier to find volunteers to teach the classes.
Students know up front that the courses are based on the Bible. The
Boudreauxs advertise in a local Chinese newspaper, and several Assemblies
of God churches hold the classes.
Braeswood Assembly of God is a long-standing partner with the Boudreauxs.
Pastor Steve Banning says Braeswoods "Teaching English
by the Word" classes are an important part of the churchs
"Braeswood is an international church," Banning says. "We
have approximately 50 nations represented in this church. The Chinese
area near us has all its street signs in Chinese and English. We have
had a great response to our classes."
Braeswood holds its English classes during one of the scheduled Christian
education hours on Sunday morning, giving students the opportunity
to also attend morning service and learn more about the gospel. While
parents study English, their children receive day care in age-level
Sunday school classes.
"Were able to reach the entire family with the gospel,"
Students are also invited to church activities. The 2000 Christmas
choir concert was well attended by class visitors.
Jordan Diep accepted Christ through the classes and is now sharing
his faith with other Chinese.
"I met Jordan in 1996 when he responded to one of our ads,"
Keith says. "Through a series of miracles, God brought this Chinese
orphan from Vietnam to the United States to study at a Houston university.
Braeswood was having revival services at the time, and Jordan had
a powerful encounter with God."
"Before I became a Christian," Diep says, "I wanted
to study computer science. Now I want to be an evangelist. I thank
the Lord for people like Keith and Pastor Banning."
The Boudreauxs are working with churches in other cities to establish
English classes as an outreach. A six-week outreach in New York City
with Bethel Chinese Assembly is scheduled for the summer. More information
on the Boudreauxs ministry is available online at www.gettingtotheroot.com.