Last week I blogged about Capitol Hill’s primary goal of planting a church in Lo de Lac, along with some ways that you can pray and some needs that you can meet.
So that you can continue to be praying for our trip on July 5-12, I want to let you know about our second mission trip goal: education.
Goal #2: Improve education around Lo de Lac
In the small mountain town of Lo de Lac where we are focusing our work, education opportunities are minimal. Education is offered up to sixth grade, but many of the children never make it that far.
Because the primary industry is farming, education is not highly valued by parents. Children are often encouraged not to attend school so they can help out on the family farm. And the idea of pursuing continued education past sixth grade would mean paying for tuition and walking long distances to secondary schools in neighboring towns, which is often not even feasible.
The result is that education, and particularly reading, is undervalued. Opportunities for other industry and income is limited. Poverty is commonplace. It is a tragic cycle.
Should We Even Care?
Is education and societal advancement in this Guatemalan town really in the purview of the Great Commission? Shouldn’t we really care only about their spiritual welfare? Just preach the gospel, right?
Well, not exactly.
If reading is undervalued (at best) and impossible (at worst) for these Guatemalan people made in the image of God, then how will they ever sit down and read the Word of God for themselves? How will they ever be able to read some of the great Christian discipleship books that have been tirelessly translated into Spanish?
Education is important for discipleship and the Great Commission.
If we can transform the education system in the area around Lo de Lac so that hundreds of Guatemalan children not only love reading, but have access to Bibles and Christian literature, imagine how things might change in one generation!
Our VBS team sharing Bible stories with the elementary students.
What we've done thus far
- Our team put on a VBS at the elementary school in Lo de Lac.
- Susan DeMoss has hosted multiple teachers training conferences in the area, having the opportunity to share the gospel with around 750 teachers and students.
- We received a grant which provided many materials and math manipulatives which Susan distributed to multiple schools in the area.
- We provided teachers with basic classroom supplies, such as pencils, erasers, paper, dry erase markers, and more.
- Some generous gifts from our Hispanic ministry made it possible to install a computer lab in the elementary school in Lo de Lac.
- We provided lunch and snacks for the teachers.
The computer lab that was installed in the elementary school.
What we plan to do this year
- Our plan this year is to hold another large teacher's conference where teaching techniques are shared and, most importantly, the gospel is proclaimed.
- Susan, Abi, and Pastor Isaias will visit each school in the area and continue to build relationships.
- Basic school supplies will be given out to each teacher.
How You Can Pray
- Please pray for Mary Lou, the headmaster at the elementary school in Lo de Lac. As Pastor Isaias says, “She is not a Christian…yet.” But she is a key part of our ability to minister there. Imagine what education could be if she was converted!
- Pray for the teachers in the area. They are underfunded, underappreciated, and always in need of encouragement. Pray they respond to the gospel.
- Pray for those children! Pray for their futures, their families, and that they would respond to the gospel.
- Pray for Susan, Abi, and Pastor Isaias as they travel around from school to school, for safety, for health, and for boldness!
If you missed the first blog in this series, make sure to go read about our church planting efforts and how you can help!