God is bringing the nations to our neighborhoods! We need to continue to go to other lands and seize this opportunity to impact the world at our doorsteps. Here are a few ways you might get involved.

English As A Second Language (ESL)

ESL is a powerful ministry any local church can use to share the love of Jesus with internationals through English instruction and exposure to cultural opportunities in a loving atmosphere that promotes deep relationships. This has proven to be an effective means of drawing students to a saving and growing faith in Christ.


500 - 3,000

the number of internationals living
within TEN MILES of most
rural Central District Alliance churches

Getting Started

Maps are available at no cost from the District office showing where populations of immigrants and refugees live in our district. Most urban Alliance churches in the Central District have between 8,000 and 23,000 internationals (i.e. non-White, non-African American) living within three miles of the church building. Even most of our rural churches have between 500 and 3,000 internationals living within ten miles of the church building.

A weekend ESL Teacher Training Workshop is available twice each year in Akron (or on-site at your church) and a curriculum recommendation is available to help you get started.

The following websites offer additional helpful information about ESL:

Bruce Lyman

Envision Cleveland

As one of more than 20 global Envision sites, Envision Cleveland seeks to collaborate with individuals, communities, ministries and government to transform neighborhoods across Cleveland. Envision staff have identified four main internal struggles in the city including a lack of hope, family (belonging), identity, and resources. From these internal issues, it seems there are a number of external symptoms that are produced. These include poverty, crime, gangs, drugs, trafficking, mental illness, segregation, and broken homes… to name a few. In response to these, God has called Envision Cleveland to: Restore, Reconcile, and Resource.

Central District churches and individuals are welcome to join Envision Cleveland on mission as they serve neighborhoods across the city. You can volunteer, serve at a one-day event, come on a weekend or week-long trip, intern for a summer (or longer), or come long-term as a resident.

Paul Huneycutt
Director, Envision Cleveland

Refugee Impact Collaborative (RIC)

When IW candidates work to fulfill Alliance requirements before being sent overseas, they often serve in larger, suburban, white, middle-class churches. However, after arriving in a new country, the candidates find a much different environment than the one they just served in: usually urban, poor, cross-cultural, pioneer work or work in house churches. RIC exists to give IW candidates a more applicable experience for international work. RIC’s purpose is to make Christ known to and through refugees.



the number of internationals living
within THREE MILES of most
urban Central District Alliance churches

Right here in the Central District, RIC engages many of the approximately 6,000 refugees who call Cleveland home including people from Bhutan, Burma, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Our goal is to glorify and proclaim Christ as we meet the many needs of new families (about 400 a year) and build relationships that prepare hearts to accept our Lord and Savior. Many different methods of connecting with refugees are involved, including a community center, sports/outdoors ministry, English classes, hospitality, mentoring, discipleship, and partnership with local services and churches. Our desire is to see IW candidates become more fully equipped to go overseas and to advance the Kingdom among the various ethnic groups in Cleveland.

Todd Sovine
Director of Church Planting