One of our desire for this year was to begin to sell more of our products that the schools are producing. So this year we are beginning small and we had our first exposition this past weekend where our students and teachers took their product to a local exposition here in Magdalena. We did not sell a ton but some and it was a great experience for our students and staff.
We have another event next month and will continue to sell and teach our students how to sell and promote their products. These experiences help the students learn more about selling and marketing their products and as well it helps our ministry to be able to have some income and support for our schools. See a few pictures below of some of the work they produced. They did a great job and we are proud of everyone!
Our students were also greeting at the entrance of the expo.
One of the pieces from the Carpentry School
Some of the art work displayed.The cooking school students and their cakes that they sold. Another beautiful piece by the carpentry school.
Last Friday, we were able to have a really cool activity with the students! All the students had the theme of “Magdalena”, which each of the different schools in Love Guatemala had to find a way to represent. They had three and a half hours to prepare everything and then present it to the parents, board members, and staff. They had the activity in the morning with the morning classes and afternoon with afternoon classes. Both sets of classes had to make two groups to compete against each other.
The cooking class had to prepare a plate, then the parents, board, and staff were able to taste the food and decide at which place they wanted to eat at. Then all of the people that ate were able to judge the food.
The art students made art pieces that to them represented Magdalena. They also were the ones that decorated the area that their group presented in.
The literary students were the ones that presented everything to the judges and then the English students translated everything for our English speaking judges.
All of the students did a great job and it was fun to have the judges be there for the experience as well! It was also a great time to be able to see how the students were able to represent their town!
Many of you have now seen the horrible devastation that happened not to far from us. We are maybe 15 miles from where Fuego did some horrible destruction. It wiped out a few towns and affected several other. Hundreds were killed and thousands misplaced. We have visited dozens of families in one of the towns (San Juan, Alotenango) closest to the towns that were destroyed. We have cried and prayed with people who have lost as many as 25 family members. The loss is horrific. The pain is incredible.
Although we are not a disaster relief organization, we felt called to be involved in some way. The Friday after the eruption we visited the area along with a few others and discerned how we can help. There were several ways we felt we could help. There were some basic needs were able to meet. But honestly, many of the basic needs were being met such as food, water etc. But one of the biggest needs that was not being met was beds or places for people to sleep. So we thought since we have a carpentry school with equipment and lots of students and staff eager to help let’s see what we can do to make bunk beds. Our friend did a video about this here you can check out.
So far we have made and delivered 10 bunk beds, we also delivered mattresses, blankets, shoes, socks and underwear for about 10 families. We are currently working on another 15 bunk beds and will be doing more. Tomorrow our team will visit and deliver another 10 beds.
We also have been contacted by the ministry of education here in Guatemala. There are several schools that have been affected and destroyed. They have nothing. So yesterday we were able to purchase a bunch of school supplies. On Monday we will deliver them and give them all a Bible and pray with them. Many of them have lost family members, friends and all their material belongings. We are excited about this opportunity!
One of the biggest needs long term is housing for many families. We hope to be able to help with this need as well over the coming months depending on funds and help.
A huge thanks to many of you who have given and been a part of all this. Special thanks to New Life Network and World Compassion Network whom we are partnering with. We will continue to update and send pics. Below are some pics from one of our visits.
This past Tuesday, we had the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with the mothers of our students. Mother’s Day in Guatemala was actually on Thursday, but we got to celebrate a little bit early. We were able to decorate our patio outside, set up a stage, and have a lot of different activities.
One of the activities was that some of our students put on a play that showed the beauty of a mother’s prayers. There were no words, only music, but the actions of the students explained everything. The students did a great job and the moms loved the play!
We also had a clown come and play some different games with the moms and students present. Some of those activities included three moms racing to put a diaper on their child (their teenage-aged child) and giving them a bottle and having to blow baby powder out of a bowl until they could see a coin on the bottom. Everyone had a good time and laughed a lot!
In addition to that, we had one of our students, who is a pastor, preach a small sermon. She talked about the importance of our name and our identity in Christ. It was great to be able to share about Jesus with all of the moms, as well as have fun with the other activities.
We are so blessed to be able to have a fun afternoon with our students and their loved mothers!
Every Tuesday and Thursday we have our children’s feeding center. On those days, the children can receive a meal and play games or color. It is such a great time to not only provide the children with a meal and play games, but also to hear the word of God! Right now we have about 25 children and some of the moms come along too. We are so excited for our program to continue growing!!
Some of our kids working on their coloring books.
Teaching our Bible lesson
Sandy, our first student to finish her coloring book!
The reason Love Guatemala exists to help our students succeed. To succeed in their relationships with God and also in their education and dreams. We try to tell these stories when we see our students succeed so you can rejoice with us and know that Love Guatemala works. Students are learning, growing and accomplishing their dreams. Here is one such story. This is the story of Lillian Theresa, who had a dream to have her own bakery and cafe one day. She has worked hard for this and now this dream has become a reality. She graduated from the cooking school a few years ago and began working, selling cakes and saving towards her dream.
Just a few weeks ago we were able to attend the pre-opening dedication and celebration. Below are the pictures of the restaurant that looks beautiful. Please join us in praying for Lillian and her business.
The cakes and pastries she had ready were amazing!
Praying over Lillian and her husband Carlos.
This year we have started a new initiative to help our students to continue to grow spiritually. We have started a weekly chapel with them. Last year we only did it about once per month but this year we have decided to meet weekly and have a time of worship and word. We are learning about and studying the book of 1 John together.
Please pray with us for our students and staff as we study 1 Juan that we will be changed and learn about complete joy that comes through being connected to the Father through Jesus.
We are excited to see how the Lord uses these chapels in 2018 to draw each of us closer to him.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
Cindy and Tom Denome have visited several times and are faithful supporters of Love Guatemala. Check out Cindy’s blog post below of a young man named Julio who’s life has been changed. Thanks Cindy for sharing!
I have made four trips to Love Guatemala. The first was in February of 2015. Upon returning home from that first trip, there was a young man’s face I could not get out of my mind. He looked so sad that it just broke my heart. I did not know his name but began to pray for him. Eventually I found a photo of him posing with a painting he had done while we were there and discovered that his name was Julio. When I returned to Love Guatemala in July of that same year, I found a different young man than I met just months before. He seemed much happier and more confident.
During my third visit to Love Guatemala in 2016, our team was able to visit in Julio’s home. His mother explained to us that when Julio was very young he fell into a tub of water and nearly drowned. Because of oxygen deprivation, Julio developed more slowly than his peers. In the public school the other children made fun of him because he could not keep up with them. He was a sad and lonely boy.
Because of the opportunity afforded by Love Guatemala, Julio is a changed person. He feels the love of his teachers and peers. One of our team members sponsors Julio and she has forged a strong relationship with him. He knows that people who live very far away are praying for him and love him. Most of all, Julio has begun to understand that he is special to God and that Jesus loves him enough to have died for him. On my last visit this past October I was able to greet Julio as a valued friend. Praise be to God for the gift Love Guatemala continues to be to their community and surrounding area as well as the privilege He gives us to come alongside the dedicated team of teachers, staff and missionaries in an effort to give hope, the only true hope, the good news of Jesus.