Meindert Prins moved to Canada from the Netherlands when he was 29. He understands just how challenging it is to not only learn English as a second language, but to learn new things in a language you’re still trying to understand.
That’s why he partners with Resonate Global Mission to help students succeed.
The Challenge of Language Learning
“I’ve always had a soft spot for children,” said Meindert. “I thought after I retired, perhaps I could do some work with children wherever it’s needed.”
God has led Meindert to work with schools in several different countries where students and teachers need extra support in the classroom. This past winter, Meindert exchanged the gently rolling hills of his home in Ontario for a mountainous city in Central Asia. There, he worked with a Resonate partner school where many students are children of missionaries and other international workers.
Some students recently moved and are still learning English—and that makes learning any subject in the classroom challenging. “These children have a hard time keeping up with the class level,” said Meindert.
The teachers work hard to make sure every student has the support they need to succeed, but they don’t have the time to work one-one-one with every student every day. Meindert was able to provide that support.
Providing Patience and Support
Meindert worked with students one-on-one and in small groups. He helped students with their homework and tutored them in subjects they were struggling with.
The language barrier made tutoring challenging, said Meindert, but he was patient through students’ frustrations. “I told them that English is also my second language,” he said.
One student Meindert worked with had recently moved from South Korea to two different countries in the past year. He was fluent in two languages, but knew very little English before starting school. He studied hard and was able to read, write, and speak English fluently—but he still faced some challenges.
“He was very smart,” said Meindert. “He and I got along very well. He would listen to me and I could teach him a few things.”
As Meindert met with the student daily, the student felt much more confident in his schoolwork and ability to understand English. His relationship with Meindert also grew.
“He gave me a very touching note on my last day there,” said Meindert, who said he was sad to leave the students at the school. He hopes to return someday.
Give thanks for Meindert’s willingness to partner with Resonate and support students wherever God leads him. “It was interesting to experience the [school’s] community of teachers and students and to see how God is working,” said Meindert. “[God] has many people of different backgrounds working in his kingdom all over the earth.”