Thursday, January 9, 2014

Teaching and Equipping . . .

I have a friend named Nancy. She and her husband have a passion for education in Guatemala. Mario teaches car mechanics at the local university. Nancy is the director of a small private school here in Pana, called Centro Educativo Josue. They believe they can change the future of Guatemala by providing quality, affordable education to children in their community. They also see their school as a ministry for sowing seeds of the gospel. 

Nancy showing off her lap book project. 

We get excited when we meet Guatemalans who are working and giving their lives to serving others in their own community. We look for ways to partner and advance the vision they have for making a difference. For the last two years, we have had the privilege of enriching and advancing the academic and spiritual goals of the Josue school through, After School Programs, Science enrichement camps, Art camps and teacher training.

This week we hosted the 2nd annual Teacher Training workshop. My partner-in-crime was Maureen, a 20+ year veteran of the classroom, and Katey, a 20-yr old Spanish major at Wheaton. We had so much fun encouraging, teaching, joking and learning together.

Katey translating while I teach science and lap books.

Katey translating as Maureen teaches about reading aloud to your class.

I feel completely unqualified and ill-equipped to teach these teachers anything. I have never taught in a traditional school. I have only had two students - and they are pretty easy to teach!! I know these teachers feel ill-equipped as well. In many cases, they are under-educated, under-trained and under-resourced. Yet, I have learned something about the Lord in my time in Guatemala. When he calls you to something, he equips you through his Holy Spirit. 

"May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ." Hebrews 13:20-21

Teaching how to use a microscope.

Teachers learning to make lap books.

Education can be a  key that unlocks many doors. It's not a cure-all for poverty, but it can provide a variety of options that are otherwise not available. I love watching others learn. I love it when you see the connections coming together and the fire ignites. I am humbled by the fruit I see budding in the teachers and students. I am so grateful for the opportunity to encourage these educators who are shaping the next generation. Thank you to those of you who make it possible for us to live, serve and advance the kingdom work in Guatemala. May he work in me what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ.

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