“What drew me in initially is a love of the English language,” shared long-time Fletcher volunteer and English as a Second Language (ESL) facilitator, Sharon Mattox, earlier this week. Her heartfelt commitment to the field began in 1976. “I really enjoy sharing that passion with others, and given the fact that I can combine my love of English with my love of Christ — well, it’s a perfect fit,” she explained. Sharon has been helping to facilitate the ESL ministry at Fletcher Center since 2002 when she first visited the Mission Centers of Houston during a missions experience hosted by River Oaks Baptist Church.
Although Sharon was a Delta flight attendant by profession, her greatest passion has always been for English. She has participated in multiple ESL workshops, conferences and training sessions for over 30 years, frequently hosted at the Baylor campus as well as by different churches and locations across the entire state of Texas. In addition to benefiting from years of experience and training, Sharon also noted that one of the key resources she utilizes during her classes is that of teaching through songs and chants. “I just love music!” she declared enthusiastically. “Really, I think it’s a bit more painless to learn language when you’re learning through song, and the ladies like to sing, so that’s become a great resource.”
Sharon currently teaches the most advanced ESL class hosted twice a week at Fletcher. There are over 30 students, mostly women, who regularly participate in this thriving, ever-expanding program with about 8 who are enrolled in Sharon’s advanced class. In addition to being able to incorporate music into both her teaching and ministry with the ESL students, Sharon is grateful for the greater appreciation and understanding of different cultures she’s received from interacting with women from all over the world for many years. “No matter where they are from, we all share similarities and we can share together, share our stories together, and encourage each other,” Sharon concluded, “and that’s a real blessing.”
During our volunteer appreciation week, we are so grateful to recognize the countless hours of faithful service, instruction, mentoring and discipleship that volunteers like Sharon have so generously shared throughout the years. Thank you for enriching the lives of our women, and therefore their families and friends’ lives as well, on such a consistent basis!
Do you have a unique set of skills or experiences you would like to share with the community we serve at Mission Centers of Houston? Learn more about how to get connected with our ESL ministry or another similarly beneficial volunteer opportunity by contacting associate director Craig Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.