Inspiration | Founder Beth Cordes Thompson | WELS Model ESL Program
Serving Other ESL Programs | Debts of Gratitude | Outreach at Gethsemane
Stories Behind the Inspiration for ELPW by Beth Cordes Thompson, Founder
I would LOVE to get to know people of other cultures, to share with them and to help them if I can. But I don’t know how to meet people from other cultures. I don’t know how to get started.
This is what Susan said to me in 1995, after my husband had preached a sermon about reaching across cultures to show Christian love. I realized that my life had been blessed with opportunities to learn how to connect with people from all over the world. Even before I married and accompanied my husband to Zambia, I had lived in another country.
My hero is a strong survivor.
No other person is as strong of heart.
She is my understanding of the World.
Other heroes can be hard-hearted.
My hero is as kind as they come.
Her embrace is like a warm, summer
breeze grasping the trees.
She gives me the respect I need every day.
The sight of her is the sight of a rainbow,
all bright and colorful.
This person is the door to my future.
This one person is the guide to my right path.
My hero is the best
Because I know she will always be there
for me—through good times
and bad times,
My hero, my beautiful mother.
- Karen M. (used with permission)
In 2000, when working towards my masters degree in TESOL, I set up a six-week class that was the prototype of ELPW’s program model. One of my students was Elena. One evening, her fellow students showed me this poem written by her daughter. As I read it aloud, Elena beamed with pride. More...