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“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”

Summertime, and the livin’ is easy
Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high
Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good-lookin’
So hush little baby, don’t you cry
One of these mornings you’re gonna rise up singing
And you’ll spread your wings and you’ll take to the sky

(Recorded for the first time by Abbie Mitchell on July 19, 1935, with George Gershwin playing the piano and conducting the orchestra. There are great recordings on YouTube.) 

There isn’t any cotton growing in the fields of Suffolk – but the corn, wheat and barley are coming on well and the whole area is filled with every shade of green and all the colours of the rainbow in the flowers of fields and gardens.

On Saturday, 22 of us celebrated summer in our garden. We were a mixture of European families: Polish, Romanian, Ukrainian and English. We chatted about all the good things they have come to love about living in Ipswich. And we talked about the unknown implications that Brexit will hold for each of them and their quality of life here in the UK. 

Is livin’ easy?

A truer lyric could read, “Summertime, and the livin’ ain’t easy.”

One is a qualified Doctor who cannot work here because she does not have a 7.5 score on her IELTS, another is working in a duck processing factory because his English is too poor to allow him to find less menial work. Others are cleaners and lorry drivers. Most are earning minimum wages. Very few have ever been inside a British home. Most of them have shed tears for their children as they have seen them struggle to make English friends… or now shed tears of frustration because over this year they have seen their children’s ability to learn English race so far ahead of their own.

But still they choose to be here and every day others are making this choice too. At Oasis English Language School we want to see each student learn to communicate in order to integrate into the society they are choosing to be a part of. Through Friends International we are working on a series of social activities over the summer to help them integrate, in order that we might better communicate the love of Christ to them.

Our prayer is that they will gain the language skills they need to spread their wings and take to the sky, and that they will understand the message of a Saviour who is able to give them real and eternal hope when life seems hopeless.

 

 

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