This week we had our monthly training seminar day. The day not only includes worship, and a devotional, but also time to learn and grow as a staff!
This month, our staff was able to learn about the platform that the Ministry of Education is requiring here. It will help the teachers stay up to date with what is required of them as well as teach their students efficiently. We are very grateful to be able to have seminars like these with our staff, and we are even more grateful at their willingness to always continue learning.
As we patiently wait for the pandemic to continue winding down and classes to be able to be held in person, we are always looking for ways to improve Love Guatemala.
One of the ways was a cleaning day! Last week some of our staff spent the day cleaning up the area around the newest addition to Love Guatemala. They moved dirt to make parking in the spot around the multipurpose area easier, as well as cleaned up any weeds to make it look nicer.
Cleaning up will make it look better not only now, when church is held there each Sunday, but also when classes are allowed to resume in person. We are very grateful for the provisions that came in to build that space, and we want it continue looking as beautiful as it is useful!
Meet Yovana. Yovana is a part of our English school. In Guatemala, knowing a second language, especially English, can set you apart from the rest. In a time where jobs are scarce and families desperately need income, a good job is a precious thing to come by. Magdalena is very close to Antigua, a hot spot for tourists from all over the world to come and visit. There are many opportunities for work there, and that is especially true if you know English. Studying a second language takes courage because it is such a challenging experience, but with perseverance, it can open up a whole new world.
Yovana decided to take advantage of the opportunity to learn English in Love Guatemala. She has many dreams for her future and one of them is to be able to use English not just to help in her own life, but also by assisting others through translating. She also wants English to be just the first step. From there, she hopes to continue on to learn more languages. It is a blessing for us to have students who have a hunger for knowledge and who are willing to work hard to better their lives and the lives of others.
Every Monday Morning our staff gathers at 7am to pray, study and worship together. We prepare the teachers to be able to take the topic of the week to their students. We also record the devotional and song we are using for the week so the students can learn and grow as their interact with their teachers and classmates about the devotional. Here is an example of the devotional for the week.
Here are a few pictures from our devotional time this week.
Our staff does a great job of leading these devotional times. We rotate those who lead each week.We always have some worship time as well.
Please pray for our staff as they serve our students each week both in their respective classes, spiritually and emotionally!“Without Prayer we can do nothing.” E. M. Bounds
All of us enjoy stories that inspire us. This is one such story…
Meet Irma. She is a student in our middle school program. Here in Guatemala middle school is called “Basicos.” This lady had a desire to go back to school to finish her education since she, like many ladies her age on finished elementary school. Many young ladies and girls are expected to take care of other siblings and not given the change to continue their education much past elementary. Some can’t not even finish elementary school and do not even know how to read and write. She was able to finish her elementary education in her 30s and now she is continuing her middle school with a desire to finish high school and even college and become an English Teacher!
Irma is a single mom with a lot of responsibilities but she was excited about bringing her first homework assignments and what she had already accomplished in her first weeks of study. Please pray for Irma and many other students like here in our programs, in Guatemala and all over the world that desire to study but can not. And be grateful for the opportunities you have had to study.
Help us continue to support students like this by giving a gift here.
From time to time we like to share stories of our students or in this case one of the kids in our feeding center. Meet Angela and hear a little about her story:
My name is Angela Aracely Martinez Lobos. I’m a 10 year old girl and I’m in third grade in the local elementary school. I live in Vista Hermosa near Love Guatemala. In my family, I have two siblings, my mom, and my dad. I like to color books and play.
I have 6 dogs and one cat.
I have been part of the feeding center for several years and I like to be part of the group of children. When we are there, we eat and learn songs and Bible verses.
I thank God for the opportunity to have found Love Guatemala. It has been a great blessing for me. The bag of food that they give me twice a month helps us to have some food during the week.
Previously my father was a street vendor in the town, but the pandemic came to change our lives. My dad has no job and my Mom is dedicated to washing other people’s clothes to get by. I am very grateful to all the people who, even without knowing us, help us. God multiplies everything they send us.
I want to be very successful in what I do in life and I know that with the help of God and all the people who support me, I will achieve it. We are trusting that everything has a purpose in life and we have faith that God is going to take control of the virus.
One thing that the last year has taught us all is that we need to learn to adjust and shift to be able to continue and improve in a different time. Covid has brought challenges and changes for all of us. Last year we shifted all our schools to virtual and the majority of our students finished well.
This year we are not yet allowed to have in person classes with most schools. So we did not have the response in our enrollment in our vocational schools to be able to continue this year with the vocational schools. It is challenging to learn cooking virtually if you do not have an oven or carpentry if you do not have any equipment. So we have made the difficult decision to suspend the art, cooking and carpentry schools for the 2021 school year. (The school year here runs from January to November.) But our plans are to continue these schools next year.
Though our school is changing this year, we are thrilled to announce we have nearly 160 students enrolled in our primary, middle and English Schools! God is really blessing these programs as we provide gap education for youth and adults in Magdalena and the surrounding communities. Please pray for our teachers and staff as they teach and serve virtually over the coming months. Also please consider sponsoring one of these growing school programs by clicking here. We need many more sponsors to help these schools be fully supported.
Here are a few pictures of what schools will look like this year:
Please pray for our amazing team this year. This year has already proved to be challenging but this team is amazing and doing a great job of pivoting and overcoming. They are working hard to provide the best online learning experience possible. Please pray for them, their families and all the students they serve. Pray for the ladies serving the feeding center and the kids there. We want to stay as connected as possible with them also.
Staff hard at work
Thanks for your prayers and support. Please consider a special gift to help us continue to give hope and change lives through the gospel and education!