Hi Run:Hope friends,
We are excited to share with you some important Run:Hope happenings!
Recently, youth races were held in three mountain communities where we have Run:Hope sponsored schools. Watch the short video here to see your love, support, and prayers in action!
We know the summer season is well upon us.......ahhhhh! As the weather allows for more outdoor activity, why not consider training and participating in a Run:Hope event this fall?!
Learn about our bike challenge on Saturday, September 9th in MD against the time of our local steam train here.
Join us by running or walking at our annual Fun Run in New York City on Saturday, October 21st, by registering here.
You can also register here to run or walk on your own in support of our Run:Hope students and teachers, like our good friend Mario. Mario has served on our H.O.P.E. Board and his company made the beautiful medals for our recent youth races!
For the very first time, our wonderful H.O.P.E./A.G.A.P.E. team in Guatemala will be having their own Fun Run to celebrate Guatemala’s Independence Day on Saturday, September 16. Learn more about the walking and running goals of our team here and feel free to support any of them as they get moving for Run:Hope!
Thank you all for the love and support you have shown our students and teachers over the years! We are praying this will be our best year ever as we work together to raise $80,000. Funds raised go 100% to support the Run:Hope program in three communities, strengthening access to education, providing teacher training and school resources.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Have a great summer!
Rick & Deb
Our team in Guatemala and our Run:Hope students and teachers know a lot about pressing on! In this update we share the excitement of youth races in each of our three Run:Hope communities, the anniversary celebration of 19 years of Light and Life School, and a special graduation for the Bible Leadership program. We also share the sadness we feel at the unexpected passing away of Miguel Chel, the director of the middle school program in La Perla/Xemac. Please read on to see how our national team, students, and teachers are pressing on in times of joy and in times of sadness.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Run:Hope Middle School Race Days
The month of May brought middle school youth race days to our Run:Hope schools in three different mountain communities. Although it was a rainy start in La Perla/Xemac, the race days in Ilom and Salquil Grande were beautiful, sunny days! There were races for girls and boys for each level of middle school. Race days are held to encourage the students to press on! Our team gave a challenge from the book of Philippians on preparation, perseverance, and perspective. Our Run:Hope education initiative is all about persevering and doing one’s best, but it’s much more that we want for these students, teachers and communities! We want each student to press on and take hold of the eternal perspective they can have because of who they are in God's eyes!
A Special Anniversary and Graduation
Director Carlos and teacher Xhun pictured above with student runners, were the founding director and first teacher of Light and Life school in Salquil Grande. They began with just one class and added a class each year. They have pressed on during tough, lean years and just celebrated the 19th anniversary of the school this May, thanking God for his great faithfulness as they now have students from pre-k to high school. The celebration included a drama with the students in typical handwoven dress distinct in Salquil. Parents and friends enjoyed the celebration in the recreation area that now has a new roof, thanks to generous supporters.
In April the Bible Leadership and Training program had a graduation for 17 students, pastors, and leaders from the community of Estanzuela, Quiché. This program is a small “traveling seminary” as it provides a three-year curriculum of Bible and leadership training in rural communities of difficult access for men and women.
In loving memory
We remember two beloved H.O.P.E. partners. One, Miguel Chel, was director of our Run:Hope middle school program in La Perla/Xemac. He is pictured below in the middle of our other Run:Hope school directors. Miguel road his motorcycle faithfully on the rough dirt roads from Chajul to La Perla for over ten years to get to school. In April he was driving a truck from Sacapulas up the mountain when a truck coming down lost control, killing Miguel. He leaves his wife Lourdes and three children, Tomas, Rosa and baby Ana. Team member Walter Machado visited the family shortly after the accident to encourage and pray with them. Gifts received for the "family of Miguel Chel" will be designated for his children's education. Please pray for his family and for his students and co-teachers who feel his loss deeply.
In March, long-time friend and supporter of H.O.P.E. Bible Mission, Russell Stark, went home to be with the Lord. Russ and his wife Linda, formerly lived in New Jersey close to H.O.P.E. headquarters. Russ and Linda opened their hearts and home often for our founder Ivy Hone, and staff members Blanche Harkinson, and Tom Hawkins. Russell served as H.O.P.E.'s bookkeeper during some transition years and served as sound technician for a music team that went with H.O.P.E. to Spain. They continued as supporters of the mission after they moved to Seattle.The family has requested that gifts in memory of Russ be given to H.O.P.E. https://www.hopebiblemission.org/russell-stark.html
Although we will miss Miguel and Russell, we know that they invested their lives in service to others and their legacies will live on. We also know that they were welcomed by their heavenly father as they crossed the finish line of this life. That fills us with comfort and hope.
We are challenged to keep pressing on with good preparation, with perseverance, and with an eternal perspective always on our minds!
Our next update will come soon and highlight the upcoming Run:Hope events for fall. Thank you for your continued prayers and support that sustain the work of H.O.P.E.
Happy New Year! We started our new year in Guatemala by gathering our team and their families to celebrate King’s Day on January 6th, the day set aside to remember the wisemen who searched for the Christ child and brought gifts to honor him as the long-awaited King.
It was a great time of gathering in the garden of our offices to give thanks to God for the gift of Jesus, to enjoy a time of good food, crazy games, and to exchange gifts.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
We welcomed our newest team member, baby Santiago, born to Jacky and Neri Ajiataz, and also welcomed two new MAF pilots in training with A.G.A.P.E. for this year. (yes, of course we made them dress up as kings for the game!)
A new year of ministry is off and running! Thank you for your support and prayers that keep everything moving ahead. Keep reading to see what we are up to as the new year unfolds, gracias!
Our Run:Hope Teacher Conference January 9 – 12
Exploring Geography was the theme of our conference as we brought 25 our Run:Hope teachers to Guatemala City. We had various workshops and visited the amazing Relief Map in Guatemala City, hiked the active volcano Pacaya, and learned about the past Mayan Civilization in Museo Mira Flores, built right in the heart of a large shopping area in Guatemala City. We used Psalm 104 as our reflection devotion passage, as we talked about geographic landforms, natural resources, and the ecoregional diversity in Guatemala.
Here are just a few of the special memories of our geography conference:
Highlights in the making for 2023
We are looking forward to sharing with you quarterly throughout the New Year!
You can also check our website at
Your support, prayers, and love keep us going!
Rick and Deb
(for our entire H.O.P.E. & A.G.A.P.E. teams)
Our hearts are overwhelmed with Thanksgiving and it’s not just because this is the traditional time of giving thanks in the US! We have been truly blown away with God faithfulness, and with his amazing provision for even small details that came together for H.O.P.E. ministry paths since our update in August.
Please take a few minutes to read and give thanks with us for all the ways that God is working through our ministry paths and through faithful supporters such as you!
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Our first Run:Hope Teacher Scholar Graduates
We were excited to receive the news early September that Xhun, a Run:Hope teacher scholar from Salquil Grande, finally had his thesis approved and would graduate September 24th. Xhun faithfully persevered for 12 years, six of those sponsored by Run:Hope, to finally achieve a double master’s degree in Theology and Music from Seteca Seminary in Guatemala City. A landslide three days before his graduation almost prevented a van going up the mountain to pick him up with his family, his pastor, and two deacons from his church. They were prepared to hike over the landslide area! God provided and just in time, a large piece of equipment cleared the way for the van.
His graduation was such a poignant reminder of God’s steadfast love and provision not only for Xhun, but for his entire Ixil community. Xhun was the first teacher of Light and Life School which has grown from one class to a full school of kinder through high school with 130 students. Xhun plans to continue teaching at Light and Life School and will also begin to teach in our Firm Foundations, Creation to Christ Bible program in his community in 2023.
Run:Hope Events & Sponsors meet our Goal for 2023 School Year
Our Run:Hope events get people moving and represent the challenge and perseverance necessary to achieve an education in Quiché Guatemala.
The Bike Race, MD
Rick and our son Eric participated in an entire uphill 15.6 bike race September 10th on the GAP trail (Great Allegany Passage trail) in Maryland to raise support for our Run:Hope teachers and students. They met the challenge of their first ever bike race together and are continuing to bike together early in the morning a couple times a week to be even more prepared for next year’s race!
East River Park Run/Walk NYC
October 22nd was a picture perfect fall day in NYC for our Run/Walk in East River Park. We had a wonderful group of individuals from a kick boxer and a couple who are running marathons in each of the 50 US states, to kids, and even a two-month old baby carried in a snuggly, all running and walking in support of our teachers and students in Quiché Guatemala!
We are so thankful that through these Run:Hope events, and through the sponsorship and support from three partner churches, our goal of $70,000 for the entire budget of Run:Hope for 2023 was reached!
A BIG thank you to all the participants who met the challenge of biking, running, and walking!
A BIG thank you to all the sponsors who gave generously!
Check out more pictures of this event here.
The month of November is a time of thanksgiving and celebration in our Bible programs as students complete a year of study. There have been three celebrations this month in the areas where our “traveling seminary” team brings the Bible program to pastors and lay leaders in harder to access communities in Guatemala. Pictured are some of the classes during the year and the 24 graduates in the community of Samococh. We are so thankful for the commitment of these students and for the safety that God has given to our team in all their travels throughout the year.
Update | Graduation Under a New Roof at Light & Life School
In our August update, we showed a before and after picture of the outdoor activities and event area at Light and Life School in Salquil Grande. Through generous supporters, a roof was constructed over this outdoor space, now making it usable for gym time and events without the worry of the sun beating down or downpours during rainy season. The school year has just ended and we are happy to share this photo of the graduation under the new roof.
As you can see, we have so many reasons to give thanks this season! Your loyal support and prayers have kept our ministry paths open and moving forward in ways beyond what we expected. Like the banner reads in the graduation photo,
“Dios Sea La Gloria” -- “To God be the Glory!”
We appreciate your partnership so much!
Rick & Deb Carey
(for our entire H.O.P.E. and A.G.A.P.E. team)
As you are experiencing the final weeks of summer in the U.S., perhaps getting in some travel and time with family and friends, we encourage you to take a few moments and rejoice with us in God’s provision and faithfulness since we last updated you in May.
Great are the works of the Lord;
They are studied by all who delight in them.
Splendid and majestic is His work,
And His righteousness endures forever.
Update on our Run:Hope Teacher Conference
After pausing for two years, our Run:Hope Conference for our teachers finally took place at an open air retreat center June 29 – July 1st. Twenty-five of our teachers were able to travel from three different mountain communities to focus on our theme, Creation Speaks: Exploring Science. Chloe, Dorothy and Avah from Oversea Chinese Mission's short-term team were a great help! We had a wonderful time of learning, growing, and sharing God’s amazing design for His creation. You can see a glimpse of the conference here.
This is rainy season in Guatemala, and we enjoyed the entire conference together without any rain! It made our time together that much more productive as strong rains in the open air setting would have made it difficult to hear. The rains began right after the conference ended as everyone was safely on the bus to return to their homes. Thank you for your prayers and support that were definitely felt throughout our time together!
Before and After: A Learning Space Multiplied
Do you enjoy looking at before and after pictures as much as we do? In our last update, we shared pictures of a Mother’s day event at our partner Run:Hope school, Light and Life School in Salquil, Quiché. We mentioned the need for a roof to increase the usable space of the school for special events, gym classes, and a play area for the students. Take a before and after look below!
Through the generous gift of one supporter and additional funds raised by a small short-term team that served with us in Guatemala in July, the necessary funds have been received to build a roof over this space providing a shield from sun and rain to multiply the usable space for gym classes and special programs.
God is so good and worked in ways above what we could even imagine! It just happened that a crew and supplies were available and able to make it to the school at the end of June through early July to complete this project. Anyone working on construction projects in the past few years knows that this is amazing!
Through prayer and generous giving, the ministry of Light & Life school is multiplied with the blessing of a roof! Please give thanks to God together with us!
Firm Foundations Kicks off this September
Firm Foundations, a program for teaching the Bible chronologically from Creation to Christ, with special emphasis on teaching methods and creative visuals, kicks off this September. Deb and Rick will be in Salquil, Quiché for the initial teaching session of this program. As well, we will be hosting special programs for all the students of Light and Life school and participate in planning sessions with our team in Guatemala for the upcoming new year.
Run:Hope Fall Events: Join Us!
Last year, walkers, bikers, runners and supporters came together in a big way to raise all the funds needed to support 264 children to return to in-person classes for 2022, and all the funds needed for transportation, the retreat center, meals and resources for our Run:Hope teacher conference this past July. As well, thirteen teachers were able to continue their own degree studies, four of whom are working on their master's thesis, and the salaries for Light and Life school staff were finally able to be paid in full for the current school year.
Would you join us again this fall to raise the necessary funds for the 2023 School year that begins in January? Please see how you can participate in person by joining an event, or participate wherever you are! We are considering ways of expanding and strengthening our Run:Hope schools in the new school year and your support is vital!
Thank you for your partnership!
We give God all thanks for a summer that was challenging, but with results that were beyond our prayers and expectations.
Rick and Deb
for our entire H.O.P.E. and A.G.A.P.E. team
We are writing to you from Guatemala to update you on all H.O.P.E. happenings firsthand!
What a joy to be able to bring our entire team and their families together at our office headquarters this May. We celebrated “Dia de Gracia”, a day to give thanks in May! We’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what time of year it may be or whatever challenges we are still facing, we can always take time to give praise and thanks to God.
Colossians 2:6-7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding with thanksgiving.
We are so very thankful for our incredible young team of Bible teachers, pilots, and administrative staff. God has given our team protection, unity, and wonderful hearts to serve together. Our H.O.P.E. and A.G.A.P.E. teams are established in the faith, are continuing to grow, and abounding with thanksgiving. Please keep reading to learn how your support and prayers are keeping all our ministry paths open.
Update | Pastoral Leadership Program
Neri reports that the pastoral leadership program has grown to 65 students from 37 at the beginning of 2022. There are three current areas where pastors and leaders gather for the training: Samococh, in Chisec, Grande Sacoj in Mixco, and Joyabaj el Quiché.
Currently, the students are working through courses in biblical leadership, communication, and ecclesiastical studies as they work toward a leadership diploma.
Neri shared the following prayer requests (1) For consistency and perseverance for all the students. It is difficult for them to balance the demands of their churches, families, and often other full-time work to provide for their families. (2) Pray for the health and physical protection of the team as they travel. (3) Pray for wisdom and discernment in opening up other areas for training.
Update | A.G.A.P.E. Aviation
Newest pilot German Ortiz was happy to chat with Rick and show him the donated plane from MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) which has all digital controls. The hanger has some great improvements with a comfortable waiting area. Director of A.G.A.P.E. and lead pilot, Eri Alas, reports that a project is in place to raise funds for new hangar doors. They have been making the old doors work for many years and are looking forward to fewer wrestling matches with new doors as they navigate the planes in and out daily.
Eri would like everyone to keep the following things in prayer: (1) Completion of standardization of MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) training for Germán Ortiz. (2) Training for Francisco Herrera, to achieve his commercial license and be a candidate for standardization in MAF. (3) Pray for the necessary funds to conclude the hangar door project and repaint the TG-BAY airplane. (4) Praise God for good team health and pray to conduct the ministry safely during rainy season.
What a joy to be able to get back out to Quiché personally and visit two of our Run:Hope partner schools. The roads are still rough, but it was so good to talk with teachers personally and understand better the challenges they have been facing. In La Perla, the middle school shares space with the primary school and this has caused some stressful situations with the administration that we are working to resolve. Please pray that a good resolution will be worked out between the middle school staff and primary school administrator.
Our visit to Colegio Luz y Vida (Light and Life School) in Salquil Grande was a delight as classrooms were full of students actively learning. The middle school computer class was great to see as one of our supporting churches provided the computers. The students worked with some of the teachers to build the desks. We love to see the great results of partnerships and the hard work of students. It’s also really great to see the amount of girls continuing on with their education. That’s something that may not seem like a huge thing in the US, but it certainly is a wonderful opportunity realized at Colegio Luz y Vida through the sacrifice of parents and our Run:Hope sponsorships.
Update | Run:Hope Conference
We have a new date and even a wonderful new venue for our Run:Hope teacher conference to be held June 29 – July 2nd. You may recall in January we had to postpone. The pandemic has taken a toll on the few venues that seemed appropriate to host the event. As we traveled to Quiché, we saw a brand new restaurant & retreat area so we pulled right in to see if it might be appropriate. It’s a beautiful green area with an open air covered meeting space, sufficient sleeping rooms, and a very nice restaurant. We are so thankful for this and look forward to sharing photos and stories from our Run:Hope conference that will gather 28 teachers from three mountain communities for fellowship and training around the theme Creation Speaks: Exploring Science.
During our time in Quiché we were also able to visit with old friends, long-time pastor and coffee grower Manolo and his wife Marlene. When we first met Pastor Manolo and Marlene, he was pastoring a church in La Perla. He is now settled in Chel and pastoring a church there. Marlene works as a seamstress and is a great cook --- she makes the best tortillas! Pastor Manolo has always been a man of vision. He taught himself to read the New Testament as a young boy and is always learning. He would love to start a Christian school in Chel as the community is growing.
Thank you for your partnership!
We continue to trust God to help our team build strong roots and strengthen all paths of H.O.P.E. and A.G.A.P.E. ministries in Guatemala. We thank you for your partnership with us in a time when there are so many needs around the world. We know that it is God who holds all things together and for this, we are truly thankful!
We encourage you to follow us for the latest happenings on Instagram, Facebook, and our website.
Rick and Deb
for our entire H.O.P.E. and A.G.A.P.E. team
Hi Friends of Light and Life School,
You are receiving this newsletter as someone who is supporting a Light and Life School student or teacher, have shown interest in this unique Ixil Christian School, or even blessed Light & Life School as a team member serving in Salquil Grande, Guatemala!
Classes are full and active since the new school year began in January. From computer classes to sports, the students are busy! In addition to academics, students are encouraged to show respect for their parents and elders. Read below how a recent opportunity to honor mothers for Dia de Madre, brought a large group of mothers together for the first time since the pandemic. The outdoor space used for all gym classes and celebrations was simply decorated and draped with plastic to shield from the sun and rain. A roof over this area would greatly increase the usable space of the school, especially during rainy season!
In this update we are highlighting one of our 5th graders. Read on to see how your support is helping Sabina Alicia excel in her studies and pursue her dream to study to become a lawyer. Learn more how you can support this amazing ministry!
Note from the Director Carlos:
May is a very special month at Light and Life School. One of the parts of our curriculum is to teach honor and respect for parents and elders. During May, Dia de Madre, our mother’s day that is celebrated on May 10th in Guatemala, is the perfect opportunity to welcome mothers to Light and Life school to enjoy a special program and celebration just for them. Our mothers are the pillars in their families and our community. This was the first time to gather such a large group of mothers since the pandemic. It was a time filled with a motivational talk especially for our mothers and a special meal that they enjoyed together. We were so thankful for this opportunity to celebrate the mothers and show the students the importance of setting aside time to honor mothers.
May is also the time in Guatemala when the rains come. Rainy season lasts approximately from May to the beginning of November. Although our community is thankful for rains to help crops to flourish, the downpours do make our area for active gym time, assemblies, and celebrations limited to when the weather is dry. Although you can see from the pictures that we do drape plastic over the area to shield from the sun and light rain, a permanent roof cover would be ideal and create much needed usable space throughout the school year.
Our classrooms are full and we have a total of 120 students this year, primary through basico (middle school). We are so thankful for the hard work of our students, the sacrifice of their parents, and the wonderful support of so many sponsors that make an education at Light and Life School possible for these students. We give thanks to God and to you for the opportunity to be Light and Life in the lives of these students and families. Please read about one of our students, Sabina Alicia, to see what a difference a quality education can make in the life of a young girl in Salquil Grande.
How Your Support Makes a Difference | Sabina Alicia, 5th grade
Sabina Alicia was born in Salquil Grande and is the first daughter of her parents. She loves nature and animals. One day, her mother bought her a chick and she happily cared for it. Unfortunately, a cat ate it. She cried for her chick and her grandmother saw that she was so sad. She knew Alicia had taken good care of the chick so she bought her another chick. Alicia cared so well for this chick that it grew and laid eggs. Now Alicia cares for her hen and four chicks every day. She hopes that she can sell them to save money to buy a sheep.
Sabina Alicia is a 5th grader at Light and Life School. Before attending Light and Life School, she attended the public school, but the public school had insufficient teachers and the learning opportunities were limited. Sabina is very happy at Light and Life School and loves to read and help other students read and learn. Her mother is very supportive and comes to school once a week to observe Sabina’s progress. One project that she was very proud to create was a nature diorama, showing how to care for the environment. She also loves active sports and is the best scorer on her futbal (soccer) team.
After school classes, Sabina helps her mother around the house with chores like sweeping, washing dishes and helping prepare meals. Of course, she also cares for her chickens!
Because she loves to read so much and learn, she hopes one day to study to become a lawyer and notary to help her community. She knows that to be a lawyer you need a lot of reading to have knowledge of the laws to be able to apply it in each case that she solves.
Light and Life School Prayer Notes
Hola friends! Whether you are a long-time supporter of H.O.P.E. Bible Mission or just recently joined one of our Run:Hope events this past summer and fall, we want to update you as we begin a new year.
Our hearts are filled with gratitude for the ways that God sustained our team and work in the past challenging year. Although our new year begins with some plans having to be altered yet again, we can’t help but realize that God is for us and working in amazing ways! As we keep our focus, stand firm, and continue to give our best, our labor is not in vain.
Highlights of 2021
Although the year on the ground in Guatemala looked very different again this past year, we are thankful for a sense of unity and incredible camaraderie in our joint HOPE/Agape team who worked together tirelessly to do what was needed to get the job done.
Some of our regular teachers in the pastoral Bible program worked together to deliver a large donation of desks for one of our Run:Hope partner schools to be able to start a new school year this January, as back to back hurricanes in November 2020 damaged homes, crops and school resources. Thank you to our partners at Ridgeway Alliance Church in White Plains, NY for a vital donation of desks and computers.
Our team worked together to prepare and deliver resources to each of our three Run:Hope partner schools, offering them encouragement and an opportunity to discuss the challenges they have been facing. They also presented an introduction to Fundamentos Firmes, a creation to Christ training program for teachers of children in the local churches in Salquil Grande, where Run:Hope partner school, Light and Life is located. There will be 15 students joining this program in 2022.
Although the pastoral Bible training program had fewer students last year, there were 37 pastors and leaders who continued. We are grateful that our team was creative using phones and social media to teach and stay in touch.
AGAPE, led by director and pilot Eri Alas, was able to complete 80% of their planned work, making adjustments with the restrictions given by the central government due to the pandemic. Emergency medical flights, transport of vaccines, and bringing people safely to remote parts of Guatemala were all part of their work this past year.
MAF (Missionary Aviation Fellowship) donated a plane to the work in Guatemala, so now there are two small airplanes available to access remote regions. God also provided a new pilot, German Ortiz, who has been a great asset to the aviation team of Eri, Juan Carlos, and Juan Antonio, airplane dispatcher. We are so blessed to have these incredible resources in equipment and personnel!
A Great Big Thanks for a Run:Hope Goal Accomplished!
This past summer and fall, we had three Run:Hope events stateside to raise awareness and support for approximately 250 students and 28 teachers for the 2022 school year. We were thrilled with the outpouring of support and met our goal of $50,000. which covers the entire budget for the program for 2022. One partner church, Maryland Community Church in Indiana, went above and beyond in sponsoring 67 students! We are incredibly grateful for their outpouring of love and for all the amazing support for everyone who participated.
2022 Plans and Prayers
Our annual conference for our Run:Hope teachers will have the theme: Creation Speaks | Exploring Science. Although the plan was to host this conference in January, it will be postponed until our team and teachers decide it is safe to do so. All the sessions and materials have been prepared. The conference provides an avenue for shared resources, training and dialogue for our Run:Hope teachers. We have 28 signed up for this new year. Please pray for these teachers as they begin the new school year January 15th.
The Bible training program for pastors and leaders will begin at the end of January. Our team travels to specific areas in Quiché and the classes will be safely conducted with distancing and masks. Most communities do not have the medical support or infrastructure to care for health emergencies. Please pray for the health and safety of all, and for the training to equip and encourage these leaders.
The program, Fundamentos Firmes, is set to begin this year in Salquil Grande. One of our Run:Hope sponsored teachers, Xhun, who is finishing his seminary degree this year, will be one of the main teachers/facilitators. We are thrilled that his hard work and sponsorship, has led to this opportunity to use his training in the area churches of his community. Pray for Xhun as he finishes his thesis and prepares for the Firm Foundations program.
Please pray for safety and wisdom for the AGAPE aviation team. They are well trained and take the utmost care for airplane maintenance and abide by the highest standards of flight safety, however, there are many challenges of flying in Guatemala, especially during this pandemic time. They are brothers in Christ who use their flying skills to help edify and care for those in difficult areas of access.
On the home office front, as many of you know, our stateside office is now in Frostburg, Maryland. Deb has returned full-time to work with our Run:Hope program and will oversee the upcoming Fundamentos Firmes program for teachers of children. Rick and Deb were able to be in Guatemala last June – July. Plans to be in Guatemala this January had to be postponed, however, bags are packed and ready to go whenever we have a new date for our Run:Hope teacher conference. Pray for wisdom in all decision making and wise stewardship and care for our team and all the resources God has entrusted to us.
Our 2022 prayer for our team is to remain strong in the faith, to keep standing firm, and giving our best, knowing that our work and the outcomes are in God’s hands. Praying that for all of you as well!
We encourage you to follow us for the latest happenings on Instagram, Facebook, and our website.
Rick and Deb
Hi Run:Hope Friends,
The summer has been full of joys and challenges! We’re so grateful to all who have joined us so far in our summer Run:Hope kick-off. Whether through walking, hosting events, or donating, you are a part of making paths to education larger and more accessible in Quiché. And, it’s not over yet! Read on for updates and more ways to be involved. We also invite you to get to know one of the remarkable teachers at Light and Life School and in the Run:Hope cohort, Juan Pérez Marroquín (Xhun).
Run:Hope Teacher Focus: Xhun
Xhun (pictured on the right), was one of the first teachers at Light and Life School when they began with just one grade in 2004. Xhun knows what it’s like to persevere through challenges. To get his seminary degree, he has spent the past five years traveling by bus to Guatemala City every Friday evening. Saturday he is in class all day and Sunday morning he returns by bus in time to help lead afternoon services at his home church. He is a father of five, a creative teacher, a gifted musician, and worship leader. A highlight of his teaching career was forming a choir of his fellow teachers and community members who traveled to Guatemala City to perform at Seteca Seminary for their anniversary celebration. We are so grateful to have him partner with us in the upcoming training program, Firm Foundations for Teachers of Children, in the churches in his community.
Happenings this Summer:
Run:Hope Program Development
This past June/July Deb spent five weeks in Guatemala working with the Run:Hope team. We organized a special visit to our three partner schools to offer encouragement and much needed school supplies. Unfortunately due to rising COVID case numbers in the country and slow vaccination roll-out, the in-person meeting component of the trip has been postponed. However, we are working out logistics to deliver school supplies in a safe manner that prioritizes the health of both teachers and our staff.
The team also developed a framework for our next Run:Hope conference, to take place in November. This conference offers 21 participating teachers spiritual encouragement and practical workshops focused on the sciences. As we continue to monitor the situation of COVID in Guatemala we know that we may need to do this conference virtually. Please pray for the wisdom and preparation for this conference that it will be enriching for our Run:Hope teaching cohort.
Firm Foundations for Teachers of Children Program
Deb also had the opportunity to work with the team to develop an introduction to our program, Firm Foundations for Teachers of Children that we hope to restart in January in Salquil Grande, Quiché, where our Run:Hope partner school, Light and Life, is located. This thorough training in God’s word from creation to Christ, including teaching methods and preparation of lesson visuals, has been a vital resource in the past for rural churches in the area.
So thankful for your support
It's been a summer mixed with joys and challenges, but we know who keeps our steps firm and gives us the strength to persevere in all things! We are so very thankful for each and every one of you who have offered your support, prayers and love to move our Run:Hope education initiative forward. We encourage you to follow us for the latest happenings on Instagram, Facebook, and our website.
That's all for now. Keep moving and praying!
Rick and Deb