p24_longbeach_0416

Language of love spoken through FriendSpeak (reporting from Long Beach, Calif.): Hundreds of U.S. churches help internationally born neighbors improve their English skills by reading the Bible.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

LONG BEACH, Calif. — In this diverse Pacific Coast community, eavesdropping on your neighbor’s conversation can be a challenge.

Hispanics and Asians comprise a majority of the 475,000 residents of the busy shipping port, about 20 miles south of Los Angeles.

People here speak a multitude of languages.

“Anywhere you go, you have no idea what the language of the people next to you is going to be ” said Kyle Parker, connections minister for the Long Beach Church of Christ. “It might be French, Spanish, German.

“I heard a guy speaking Gaelic at the beach one day,” Parker added. “Irish Gaelic.”

The Long Beach church has embraced the city’s international flavor as an outreach opportunity, developing relationships with immigrants from all over the world.

The tool used to connect with those immigrants: FriendSpeak, which helps foreign-born neighbors improve their English skills by reading the Bible.

This article appears in the April 2016 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

Advertisements