YEAR TWO in Guatemala
YEAR TWO in Guatemala
It is hard to believe that I'm well into my second year working as a teacher and assistant to admin in another country and culture. 2017 was an incredible year filled with crash courses of knowledge.
Going into 2018 and a new year of ministry in Guatemala, I asked myself many questions -- "What does God have in store for these kids? Can I really teach the Bible effectively in a language I'm not 100% comfortable in yet? What does God have planned for me?"
Two months have gone by and He is already making clear the answers to my questions and doubts.
"I call out to the LORD and He answers me from His holy mountain" -Psalm 3:4
God definitely has big plans in store for the students at Morning Glory Christian Academy. And that's an understatement. For starters, this year, school Director Lori Nij, has implemented a new strategy...
Beginning each morning at 7:30AM all the students go straight from their busses to Formation, a short time of organized devotion and prayer. As the students arrive at school they go to their designated areas (pictured above) and line up in order of their classes.
Each day one teacher reads a scripture and another prays over the students and staff. The kids are divided by Pre-k, elementary and secondary.
It has been amazing to watch the teachers step up to lead and get excited about sharing the word and praying for their students! We even had our third year basic students (this is the last year of school required for Guatemalans), or 9th graders, asking if they can have a chance to lead formation!
Starting the day off with Jesus has changed the atmosphere of the classes and the attitudes of the students. I love seeing them excited about giving God glory first thing in the morning!
A NEW Hunger For Learning
A new hunger for the Bible is showing up in the students this year. Last year when I was in Bible class the kids seemed bored and slightly closed off to listening and participating. But this year the kids are always excited for Bible class.
Students run up and ask me daily "Miss Natalie, do we have Bible today?!?" And when I tell them yes they run off with huge smiles shouting the news to their classmates! I love to see their joy and sincerity during worship. And I love to blow their minds with Bible facts.
I've had my fair share of memorable moments in Bible class already this year. So many I wish I could share them all with you. But for time's sake, I'll pick my favorites. One of these moments came from the absolute shock that ensued after I shared some basic Biblical facts.
The first was while I was teaching first grade Bible. I asked the students, "Who is a sinner?" They promptly shouted, "The devil!" I laughed and said, "well, you're not wrong, but who else is a sinner? Am I a sinner?" With very serious faces the class responded with, "Noooo Miss Natalie!".
I quickly responded with a simple "Yes I am." I wish in that moment I had a camera to capture the utter shock and horror on these 6 and 7 year old's faces when they learned their Bible teacher is a sinner. And even more shocking to them was learning that their Director, Miss Lori is a sinner too! They gave me a good laugh that day.
A second moment I have to share with you also took place in first grade Bible. One student I've had the privilege of beginning to build a relationship with, was sitting on the front row of class one day. While we were singing the song Señor Te Necesito (Lord I Need You), I noticed the little girl closing her eyes and just lifting her hands in worship. Part of what she was doing was mimicking my movements, but I also had the honor of leading and seeing this child experience a moment of genuinely being in the presence of the Lord.
In That Moment I Knew God Placed Me Here
With A Purpose
Not just to share His love with these students, but to be a part in teaching them how to experience life with Him every single day. That realization removes so much doubt from my mind.
I know that even when my language abilities fall short, God moves and fills in the gaps. He can use any means to reveal Himself in our lives. Knowing that I get to be a part of that brings joy to my heart and purpose to my teaching.
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have invested in this ministry. I know every ministry says this... but you LITERALLY make it possible for me to be here sharing the love of our Savior.