ELCO head for the hills
“Today was very, very, very, very excellent!” was the way one of 12 ELCO students summed up the day, after they had been climbing in the Malvern Hills.
ELCO (English Language and Cultural Opportunities) teaches English in a mission orientated environment. Based at the OM UK Birmingham Training Centre, students come from many countries across the world including South Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Brazil, and Mexico, to improve their English.
Many (although not all) have a desire to serve God in missions. Many mission fields across the world use English as their primary communication language and the ELCO programme provides the opportunity to learn English to the required standard before embarking on their next step.
Alongside classroom based learning, the students have many occasions to practice their new vocabulary and the outing to Malvern Hills was one such opportunity. In addition to experiencing the British countryside, the students grew closer as a team and also were able to practice their English skills though learning about the area. “We were able to spend the whole day together, talking and learning whilst being outside enjoying nature,” said Ali (Taiwan). “We had lots of fun and became closer as a team.”
On the climb up the hill, they saw the old quarry workings and learnt about how Malvern stone was extracted from the hills. They stopped at a local well, where they observed the healing water that Monks once drank. “I learned many things about Malvern which I wouldn’t know if I had come on my own,” said JiSeon (South Korea).
On the summit of the Worcestershire Beacon the students discovered, not only stunning views across the countryside, but also, engraved on the Toposcope, Psalm 24:1 which says, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (NIV). What a great reminder that everything seen around is God’s creation. “I loved seeing the beautiful creation and feeling the presence of God,” said Luc (Switzerland).
After admiring the view, the group headed back down the hill to spend some time exploring the town of Great Malvern and soaking up the British culture. The day finished with an experience of traditional British cuisine at a local carvery. “I really liked the opportunity for new experiences,” reflects HaeIn (South Korea). “Now I’m very tired after all the exercise!”
Pray for many more people to come and join the ELCO programme.
Pray for the students to be equipped for whatever God wants them to do to serve Him.
Pray for more staff to join the teaching team.
ELCO head for the hills