Thursday, July 5, 2018
Ms. Liz is doing wonderful work teaching English in her classes. She is well organized and creates fun activities to engage her students whom are intelligent, respectful and attentive. More than this, she has a deep love for God and for the children of this nation which is evident to everyone. Years ago she sponsored a child, brother Edgar, who is now a key board member of the local and international ministry. He was the first to graduate from University in his family and now spearheads the establishment of the organization’s first orphanage. He also plays a key role overseeing the agricultural operations that are moving the ministry towards self-sustainability. Our team and the Guatemalan students enjoyed taking part in the teaching games Ms. Liz had prepared. Afterwards she thanked us, and through tears, told us how much we had really made their day.
The last day of the Vacation Bible School was an emotional one. Our students had thought about how to make things better and it showed. The children draped themselves over our team and affectionately called out to them by name. Holding and hanging and hugging were everywhere! We gave the children red RCS t-shirts and the courtyard became a sea of red. After the planned activities a leader asked the children to lay hands on team members to pray for them. This man’s heart was broken when tiny Jasmine made a b-line towards him and put her arms around his neck. We hugged each other tightly as prayer washed over us. Then, we piled into the van and started to pull away. The children ran alongside and after us. Inside the van, many of our team had tears streaming down our cheeks.
BBQ dinner, by the talented Claudia (Hugo’s wife), was shared with the teachers and other Impact Ministry staff. We learned that we were the fourth team they have received this year so far. Juan Carlos, one of the principals, explained to me that he woke up early in the morning and returned home late at night because of the work that was involved in hosting a team. He said the stress and effort was worth the impact it makes on the lives of the children. Other Guatemalan teachers shared about the trials and joys that come with the job. They told us how some of them were saved through the ministry as former students themselves. They talked about the pure faith of the children that was stronger than their own and how they were inspired by them. The real heroes are the teachers and staff on the ground – the ones who are there every day, day after day. They are role models to follow and be shaped by. Their faithfulness and disciplined walk enabled us to seamlessly come alongside their students.
Brianne had it on her heart to share her testimony with everyone. I could see that her talk was an encouragement to the Guatemalan staff. I’m so proud that she was able to express herself so eloquently and clearly about trusting God in the midst of trials.
Many things have happened that time just flew by. I think I can speak for the team that we all don’t want to leave yet. The testimonies were very powerful from both the Guatemalans and our team, and it’s amazing to see God’s work in all of our lives. He uses our pain and suffering for something far greater that it gives us hope. For me, when brother Edgar shared his testimony, it touched my heart. It impacted me a great deal, and it carried on into the prayer meeting the next evening where the Holy Spirit was overwhelmingly present. Many tears were shed, and we were all praying. The love of God is so present here, sometimes I feel like it’s absent in Canada. The people here give their all for God and furthering His Kingdom. The teachers give so much for the kids, and they have done such a good job in raising children of God. You need to be here to be able to experience the magnanimous love of God.