Gathering Hope is a grass roots, faith-based community organization that serves area neighbors from other countries by providing English classes. Under the leadership of parishioner Meridith Ridington, Gathering Hope began in 2012 with 24 students and is now entering their sixth year of classes with students from more than 12 countries, ranging in age from 19 to 70s. All teachers are certificated and offer four different levels of instruction. Evening classes are held at Great Valley High School, and morning classes are held at Good Samaritan.
Gathering Hope’s seventh year of discovering hope together with immigrant neighbors launched last month with eighty-two students on the roster and a half dozen more on a wait list. They are thankful to begin another year at capacity.
God has been gracious to Gathering Hope as always. He has provided excellent teachers, a corps of committed volunteers and many friends like those at Good Samaritan who faithfully entrust the ministry with gifts and prayers. God also filled their classrooms this fall with immigrant neighbors representing seventeen countries and five continents. For the first time, students from Mauritania, Ukraine and Belarus joined other students from Cuba, Mexico, Japan, Mali, Venezuela and others.
For new students as well as those who are returning, Gathering Hopes aims to provide an environment where immigrants will experience the love of God through neighbors from area churches who express their Christian devotion through hospitable, loving care to the strangers in the land. With supporters like the missions committee of Good Samaritan and the prayers of the whole parish, Good Sam is a vital part of this counter-cultural ministry work. Meridith, her teacher and volunteer staff, and the immigrant students appreciate our prayers that they continue to love our neighbors as Christ loves us. Gathering Hope appreciates our investment in this ministry and looks forward to continue to walk the journey of faith together.
To learn more about Gathering Hope or to express interest in volunteering, see their Facebook page or contact Meridith Ridington (firstname.lastname@example.org).