Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our faithful Lord Jesus Christ, who gives us the strength and hope that always helps us to rise up again no matter what our circumstances are.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” (Proverbs 24:16)
Due to the relentless impact of the coronavirus, life in Guatemala is now a series of boring tensions rather than the lively life we once had. There are many things that are slowly being forgotten in the limited and restricted life here. However, dear prayer partners, we always remember you in our prayers. Let us not give up walking with the Lord, keeping the Word of God in Isaiah 49 in our hearts, “…they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” (Isaiah 49:15)
Patzicia is an area with a low middle school enrollment rate. Farming is the main source of income for most of the residents, and there is always a shortage of workers, so even young children help with farming. Nevertheless, parents who plan for a better future for their children choose education, sending their children to middle school rather than taking them out into the fields. However, there are many students who come to school because of their parents’ desire, not their own. The children do not always respond to their parents’ wishes. There are students who give up studying because of lack of enthusiasm. The reality is that there are many youths whose time in school is meaningless. About 30 students are currently enrolled in Debra’s online class, but only half of the students do their work, such as submitting assignments and attending classes, and the rest are indifferent to the class itself. Even before Corona, we conducted supplementary classes after school, but after-school children had to do farm work or other chores, so there was no cooperation from parents and students at all. Rather, they complained about the extra time spent in school. The English class, which was conducted for graduates from the month of April, was also stopped due to the students’ insincere participation in that class. It’s a very sad reality.
Although it has changed a lot, the custom of early marriage still remains. Due to premarital pregnancy and family financial circumstances, many young people often have to finish their education at the elementary school level and have to start working. Through counseling and encouragement on the necessity of education, we prayed that Zion Middle School students would go on to high school and even further into university education. Caleb has conducted various educational programs to help with this. However, it seems that the economy that has suffered due to the coronavirus, will continue even if and when the coronavirus is over. As a result of prayerful consideration how to help, we have decided to change the technical school project for middle school graduates into a project for elementary school graduates. Teaching basic skills to young people who are interested in technology seems to be a realistic demand. In addition to basic subjects, this program will have courses of simple technical skills that students can use to financially help their families. Please pray for all these needs and for wisdom concerning this project, ministering with us to make it happen.
We received our first coronavirus vaccine here and now we are waiting for the second dose. The reason for the delays was due to lack of vaccines. The crowds of people during the vaccinations were unsettling, but we are trusting that it will all go well. Joshua, who is still in Belgium, is doing his best to complete his thesis and exam. Thank God that he had the second vaccine dose last week. He still has one semester with one subject (French) to complete. Please pray for him to finish well and to find a job with a work permit.
Dear praying co-workers, as difficult and troubling times continue, we must have our eyes focused on Jesus. When we indulge in thoughts that focus on the world around us, we are always left exhausted by self-pity. We pray that you will not be weary or exhausted as you look to the Lord Jesus who is with you and will remember you always.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith… lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:2-3).
In His endless love,
Caleb, Debra Kang