Dr. Monte Garrett, professor of music at Howard Payne University, spent two weeks in Southeast Asia this summer, teaching English to men and women who will, in turn, teach the language to local children.
Garrett and his wife, Tricia, traveled with the support of Brownwood’s Coggin Avenue Baptist Church and joined other Central Texas missionaries from churches in Glen Rose and Dublin. Once they arrived in Southeast Asia, they met with HPU graduates Tim (’08) and Molly (’09) Heinze, who are Coggin Avenue missionaries permanently stationed in a remote village there.
The group partnered with a local school to work with English teachers to improve their skills with the language.
“We did activities and asked them questions in English to help them feel more comfortable with the language,” Garrett said. “Many of the teachers were fluent but had not had the opportunity to practice with a native English speaker for more than 10 years.”
The Garretts had been told they might experience some resistance among the teachers, but found them to be very receptive to instruction.
“Though I couldn’t communicate in their native language, I didn’t find it hard to teach English,” Garrett said. “All of the teachers were willing to try the activities we had prepared.”
Garrett and his wife also spent four days in Beijing, China, visiting tourist sites such as the Great Wall of China, the Olympic Village and the Forbidden City at the Imperial Palace.
“It was my first time in China,” Garrett said. “It was a great experience – a lot of fun and very rewarding.”