Being a good neighbor to non-English-speaking community

Eastridge Baptist Church's mission center gives neighborhood kids a safe place to play.

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AMARILLO—Eastridge Baptist Church serves a community of about 10,000 people on Amarillo’s east side, and only 8 percent of them speak English. So, the church determined to reach out to its community by helping neighbors in practical, everyday ways.

eastridge garman400Eastridge Pastor Mike GarmonOn Thursday evenings, the church helps families fill out forms for government services and also assists them in sorting through some of the mail they receive.

“We’re very good in America at making things look official that aren’t,” Pastor Mike Garmon said. “We help them know what they can just throw away and what needs to be dealt with.”

The church also helps many people make medical appointments, he said, recalling a pregnant Buddhist woman who needed to find a doctor. A church member helped her make an appointment and, on several occasions, gave her a ride to the doctor’s office.

During the months leading up to the child’s birth, the mother made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

(Video: KVII-TV Amarillo)When it came time for the baby to be born, her husband was at work, so Eastridge members helped her to the hospital.

When a nurse asked the woman in labor her religious affiliation, Garmon was happy to hear her say, “Christian.”

When the nurse asked the baby’s name, he was surprised to hear the mother reply, “My pastor will name the baby.”

He chose a name from the Old Testament book of Ruth—Naomi.

A week after Naomi’s birth, her father arrived at church, saying he wanted to know about Jesus. Earlier that day, Garmon had received a DVD of the Jesus film in Karen, the man’s native language. After watching the movie, the Buddhist told Garmon he had to think about what he had seen and heard.

The next week, he made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

“That was three years ago, and that family is faithful, faithful, faithful,” Garmon said. “They are a classic example of what I pray will happen all over this community.”

See the November issue of CommonCall magazine to read about Eastridge Baptist Church’s ministry to children from around the world. To subscribe, click here  or contact Julie Sorrels, sales and marketing associate, at or (214) 630-4571 ext. 1022.

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