Something that we always feel so blessed by is working with the kids from the feeding center. It is such a privilege for us to be able to see them and be a part of their lives. Here is a story from one of our kids, sweet Rosa, that has been coming to the feeding center for a while now:
“My name is Rosa Floridalma. I was born April 15, 2010. My mom tells me that I only weighed 4 pounds when I was born. I had a lot of problems because I didn’t grow and had a very difficult time gaining weight. The whole thing was very hard on my parents. There was talk of taking me away from my parents because they said I was very malnourished. Thankfully though, they instead decided to help my family to find ways to help me grow.
I have two siblings. I am the oldest and I am very happy to be part of the feeding center. I have been coming to the feeding center for 5 years. I love to play with the other kids there and I think I am a happy child.
The pandemic has affected the economy a lot. My dad was left without a job and everything costs more now. But God has been helping. We are grateful for the people that have been sending us bags of food. It is a big blessing”.
We know it has been very difficult for a lot of people in Guatemala and we are grateful to be able to help the families of the children from the feeding center.
We recently started a wonderful leadership training classes with material from John Maxwell. We are overjoyed to see how it affects the teachers in their personal growth. With each new class and program, we know that the teachers are becoming better equipped to not only teach their students, but also be great leaders in their daily lives.
There are also two teachers who are receiving training from the ministry of education. They are receiving classes on entrepreneurship. These spaces were given to institutions that show leadership within their educational centers. It has been incredible to watch Love Guatemala transform from a small school with only a few students, to a school that is recognized for its teaching and leadership. God has been so good to help us continue to grow and improve.
In addition to preparing the teachers in leadership, most importantly we also continue encouraging spiritual growth of teachers by praying personally with each of them. We want to be able to support them in their walk with the Lord and help them to be ever growing that relationship.
Please pray with us for each of our teachers that they would continue to grow as leaders and in their relationship with God.
Something that we have loved about our Basicos program(or middle school) is that we now have a place for our students from our primary school to continue on to afterwards. Before having Basicos available to our students, we had to have the students look at other schools to continue on with their education. Now, offering both classes not only gives us the opportunity to help the students with more education, but it also gives us even more time to speak into their lives and share the Gospel with them.
It is an exciting time to be able to see students who are anxious to continue with education, and be able to help them with that opportunity. Such is true for one of our Primary students, Carlos. This is part of his story:
Carlos has always loved to learn and has always had dreams to be able to visit and work internationally. He was not able to continue studying when he was younger, though, because his mother passed away. He had to begin working at a young age to be able to save up money. Now, with the help of Love Guatemala, he is able to study his Primary classes. Afterwards he hopes to continue on with his education to Basicos (Middle School) and someday college. His dream is to be able to be an architect. He has been working hard and is confident that he will be able to achieve his goals.
You can help students like Carlos by sponsoring one of our schools! Education is a key part of these students futures and you can help them to achieve their goal! Just click here and you can sponsor a school like the Primary School or Middle School!
September is Basicos month! The Basicos program has been such a wonderful addition to our classes in Love Guatemala. It began just months before the pandemic started so the first year went quite different than we had planned, but we are grateful for how well it has been going. We currently have 68 students, all eager to learn and grow as students.
Basicos classes is equivalent to junior high and the first couple of years of high school in the United states and are normally attended from ages 13-16. Some students though, are not able to finish those classes in that age window. That makes it difficult later on when they are looking for jobs. Offering Basicos classes to adults who were not able to complete them before, gives them new opportunities to have better jobs or even go on to college if they wish to do so.
This month we have a goal of an additional 5 sponsors who are willing to sponsor $40 a month. Sponsoring the Basicos class will help the students have new opportunities for their future and most importantly will help them hear the Gospel! If you would like to help us reach that goal, you can click here! You can make the difference in our students lives!
*One of our teachers, Leyli, teaching an online class.
* The student from Basicos chosen as “distinguished student”.
The feeding center has always been such a special program to us. It allows us to not only provide a meal for kids from the community, but also to get to know them and their families.
One of our kids, whose name is Antonio, is 10 years old and has struggled with malnutrition. His family is very poor and many time they do not have the resources they need. He has said that it makes him very happy to be able to receive the bags of food that Love Guatemala provides for his family. When the feeding center was up and running he enjoyed coming here every Tuesday and Thursday to receive lunch and the Bible story.
Even though he has many struggles, he is also just like other kids that he loves to play soccer and play with cars. It is such a joy to be able to see him and to see the joy and hope that he has!
*Antonio is the boy in the gray sweatshirt. He is here receiving food with his siblings and mom.
You can help continue the work done in the feeding center by donating here! Donations help to buy the food given to the families and children. Thank you!
Marielos is one of our star graduating students. She is an example of a student who had a dream and worked her hardest to accomplish it. Marielos started studying English on her own at the age of 10. She became fascinated with the language and decided to pursue it. It began with listening to songs in English and memorizing words and sentences. Her aspiration to learn grew and then she heard about Love Guatemala.
Marielos is set to graduate this year in December. It has been amazing to see how she has grown in her knowledge of the language. She has improved so much and her vocabulary is more than impressive. Her comprehension and drive will take her far. We can’t wait to see where she will go after graduation and we will be praying for her to do great things!
Among other things, one thing that we have tried to keep consistent has been our weekly staff devotionals. This has been something that we as a staff have been doing long before the pandemic had started. So as the stress and panic that occurred when everything was first locked down, we wanted to make sure that we continued to pray and read God’s word together.
For a long while, we had to have those meetings over Zoom. It wasn’t always our favorite way of seeing each other, but it was the safest. Then after a long awaited ease in the number of cases, we were able to come together as a staff in Love Guatemala again. We wore masks, of course, but it was wonderful to see each other in person again.
Each week we start out with a time of worship. We sing together and then a devotional is given to us by one of our staff members. After our devotions, we take time to pray together. Prayer requests are taken and written down so we can be praying throughout the week and volunteers pray over the staff, students, and requests that were made.
We are blessed to be able to gather together.
This year, we do not have as many English graduates as usual, but none the less we are very proud of them. We have two ladies who will be graduating this year and they have been working very hard to improve each day.
When the students start out, they have a very limited knowledge of English. It is a joyous process to be able to witness as the students go from only being able to speak a few words to being able to hold entire conversations.
In addition to having the normal online classes that are usually held, the students have been able to have English practice sessions with a group of international students. Each of them are learning English, but from all over the world. What a gift it is to be able to share with people from all different places!
Their knowledge that has been growing over these past years will not only help them hold normal conversations, but it can help them find new and exciting job opportunities. We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these amazing students. They are sure to go far!
One of our favorite activities at Love Guatemala is seeing the graduating students work on their final presentations. Saturday, they presented the first draft of their projects. It is so wonderful to see how they have been working and their plans to continue to improve.
Each presentation was based on a business proposition. Some businesses have already been started in reality and some are dreams for the future. No two businesses were alike and it was amazing to see the uniqueness of each one. We saw everything from a bakery, to flower arranging, to a restaurant.
The judges asked great questions that made each student think. The beauty of these presentations was that the students will now be able to take the feedback and use it to improve. Each piece of constructive criticism will allow them to efficiently prepare for their futures. In doing the work to improve their projects, they will make their dreams of businesses a reality.
More than anything, these projects make us proud of our students because we can see who has worked so hard. The students that put in the hard work will be rewarded with success in their futures and we couldn’t be more grateful to have a front row seat to see it happen.
Putting together bags of food for our kids from the feeding center is always and exciting time. The presence of the kids and their families has been, and always will be, such a gift to us here at Love Guatemala. Of course, things have been different since the pandemic started, but we are blessed that we have the opportunity to give out bags of food to each of the families.
Our prayer has always been that the children and their families would feel as blessed coming here as we do being able to see them each time. Will you pray with us for all the kids and their families? We are praying that they continue to grow in their faith and that they would all stay healthy.
If you would like to support the work done in the feeding center, you can click here! Thank you!