Bible and Reading Program
Each Monday and Wednesday afternoon, we hold an after-school program from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. Between 40 and 60 preschool and elementary aged kids come to hear the Word of God in our Bible class. Our program is open to all kids of the community, meaning some are Christian, but others have Catholic or Mayan beliefs. Our Bible class gives them a safe space to come twice a week to hear about Jesus in fun ways they won't receive in their local churches.
The other half of our program time is split into reading groups. The education system in Guatemala is very broken and with school only being half-day, there are lots of areas in which their studies are lacking. We believe by strengthening their reading skills, they will be able to apply themselves and understand better in all other subjects. Our reading program focuses in expanding the student's minds through books, brainstorming, critical thinking, grammar and going deeper in the text.
This year, we offer English classes on Monday and Wednesday mornings and also on Tuesday afternoons. Maureen leads these classes with much experience of ESL. Due to high tourism in Antigua, most jobs with good pay in the area require at least some level of English. We want to help the people of Santiago Zamora be one step closer to acquiring a job of this level by having this skill, so that they can better support their families in the future.
These classes are open to the entire community, which gets more families involved in our program who may not have children who regularly attend our after-school program. Each day offers two levels of English classes with students ranging from middle school to adults. We do have one special class for elementary aged kids who want to study English that meets on Tuesday afternoon as well.
Básico Breakfast and Devotional
Middle school and high school students attend school classes in the afternoons, so on Friday mornings we hold a breakfast and devotional time with them. This program has really grown this year, sometimes reaching 25 kids! Jonathan shares the the Gospel with them through devotionals and expands the text to apply the teaching to their lives. It opens up a time to talk about some topics that are somewhat taboo to talk in public about in the Mayan culture; depression, teen pregnancy, importance of education, woman equality, current events, politics, etc. It's fun to watch as they grow and mature throughout the year in their thinking and behavior.
These middle school and high school students are part of our Scholarship Program which you can read more about under the "Scholarships" tab above!
Family Visits through Relational Ministry
We focus ourselves in relational ministry. We value the relationships with the kids and families in our programs and enjoy watching them grow. Each family faces good times and also bad times, and we want them to always know we are there for them to pray for them and assist in any way that we can. Every other Friday, we go visit families to catch-up, pray and bring them a bag of food. This little blessing goes a long way and shows the love of Jesus through the simple act of showing up and truly caring.