Justin and I can officially add teacher to our resume. We held our first classes for the boys and girls in the after school program. I should probably call them young men and women since they are 12 going on 13. They have grown so much in the last two years. Justin and I first met the group in November 2015. We came to visit Nathan and Laura to find out what it was like to live in Guatemala with children and could we do it too?
To learn more about Nathan, Laura and the after school program, check out our video. Nathan and Laura went back to the States to visit friends and family last summer. They planned to return to Guatemala when we finished support raising, but God had different plans and kept them in Arkansas. Again, they planned to return in January along with us after Christmas, but again, God is still working on those plans. Justin and I know and understand this is part of His plan, whatever it may be. We would have never moved here if we knew ahead of time that Nathan and Laura couldn’t return. God may have tricked us into coming, but he was ready and waiting for us when we arrived. He led us to the best network of Christians who immediately prayed for us, He provided us the best Spanish teacher and He exceeded our expectations when it came to our children’s transition.
When Nathan and Laura told us they couldn’t come back in January we had a choice to make. And, not once did moving back to Charleston make the list. Do we start the after school program by ourselves or do we try to partner with other organizations in the area? I can’t say that we mulled over it for very long or very hard. Sure, we talked about the challenges we would face, but it still felt like we were suppose to be in Santa Cruz teaching these children. So, we decided let’s do it.
We messaged a young woman we know and asked her to spread the word. We want to meet up with everyone (8 boys and 8 girls) and find out who still wants to participate. The local Mayan children who are in K-6th grade go to school the first half of the day, 8:30 (possibly earlier) – 12:30. The middle and high school aged children go to school the second half of the day. 1-5pm, I believe. We told the children to meet us at the Institute building after class. All but four showed up. The room was packed with these almost teenagers, smiling and seemingly very excited to see us. I’ve never been hugged so hard. We updated them on the situation and asked if they wanted to start classes again and every one of them said yes.
We are meeting with the boys on Tuesdays and the girls on Thursdays for now. At some point, we would like to teach four days a week. We held our first class Tuesday and five boys came; Adolfo, Moises, Edwin, Cristian, and Ricardo. We are using videos from a local production company as part of our bible lessons. It’s called Deditos. They are in Spanish and come with lessons plans. The boys laughed and giggled when the video introduced Adam and Eve, but overall they seemed to enjoy it. Afterwards, they answered some questions and put together a craft related to the 7 days of creation. I did not anticipate the amount of time it would take for them to color and cut. They did not color fast. They did not cut fast and they did not glue fast. They literally had 10 minutes of class left to play with their tablets.
Thursday, we met with the girls. All eight of them came to class; Nicolasa, Andrea, Teresa, Keyra, Francisca, Clara, Nicol and Maria. I decided not to pack the English lessons since we didn’t have time with the boys. Instead, we would focus on the bible story and getting to know these young women. The girls giggled a little less at the video and also talked less among themselves. However, they are fast. The majority of them colored fast. Cut fast and glued fast. Nicolasa finished with an hour left in class.
So, we have a few kinks to work out for next week. Perhaps a craft with fewer steps. We are using our membership from education.com to build our English lessons. The boys seemed to know quite a bit more than the girls which means we may need to put together slightly different lessons for each group. Overall, the week went well. We finished our personal Spanish lessons and the kids filled in the blank when we didn’t know the right words as well as corrected us when we used the wrong verb tense.
My Bible study this week began week 5 of Beth Moore’s Daniel study and she shared the following information –
The lexical form of the word translated saints (Ephesians 1:1) and holy (Ephesians 1:4) is haigos meaning “holy, sacred, separated from ordinary or common usage and devoted to God. Something holy is that which has been brought into relationship with God… and designated by Him as having a sacred purpose or specials significance…marked as holy, classified as belonging to God… sacred, hallowed, consecrated.
We are chosen and we have a purpose.
We are seeking 3-4 new monthly financial sponsors to support us with teaching the class. $30-$50/month would cover the cost of lunch ($40), craft supplies ($40) and internet access ($60). If this is something you would be willing to support please let me know (email@example.com).