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
Light and Life Update
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