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Few Mizo speak English. Often, Ralte serves as translator for simple conversations.

But through a grant from Metro Ministries, the outreach arm of the United Methodist Church Central District, the Mizo are being enrolled in English classes. In addition, more children are being sent to preschool.

“We felt if we were able to give funds for about 10 persons to learn English, they could share that with others in the congregation,” said Lisa Morris, executive director for Metro Ministries. “The impact we were expecting was they’d share what they’d learned, and learning the language is important for the children to go to school.”

Two weeks before Christmas, Greenwood United Methodist Church had a one-year anniversary celebration for the Mizo. Congregation members gathered for singing, dinner and presentations by the Mizo.

Both Ralte and Peebles are proud of the growth of the new Mizo parishioners, as well as the enhancement to the greater Greenwood United Methodist Church community.

They are anticipating increased growth and look forward to seeing the relationship between the groups grow stronger.

“It’s been quite exciting. We share the baptisms together, the holy rituals of our faith. It’s been wonderful,” Peebles said.

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Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net