Dear friends from Alaska and other parts of the world,
Greetings from San Pedro La Laguna! We want to share with you the things that God has been doing and the challenges that we are facing this 2021.
This year the Lord blessed us with 70 students in Middle School from towns such as San Pedro, San Juan, San Pablo, San Marcos, Sololá and the capital city. Due to the Covid-19 hygiene conditions and protocols we found ourselves in the need to leave our usual classrooms, since they were not big enough to hold all the students with the required social distancing but, thank God, we were able to locate ourselves in the classrooms of the High School level and thus we were able to establish the new schedule: 3 days a week the students come to school, twice a week they do classes online.
Our hearts rejoice when we see the joy and encouragement the students show every day they come to school as they make an effort to follow all the protocol required: keeping their masks and face covers on their faces all day long, distancing themselves and using gel and disinfectant.
Students and their parents and families are doing their best to acquire a computer, a telephone and internet service so that they can also take their classes online. With the help of God and the good work being done by the management team and professors, the students are making progress in their academic and Christian development.
These are the challenges we face this year:
1) Classes may change to full virtual mode at any moment depending on the number of cases in town.
2) Some students are still having difficulties with their virtual classes due to the problem of not having a suitable electronic device or having poor internet.
3) Many students are facing serious personal and family problems (broken homes, neglect from their parents, loss of a loved one and such).
4) Social distancing makes it harder to provide the proper spiritual and academic follow up with the students, for which we have had to change the way some group activities are held, such as devotionals, recreation time, Friendship Day celebration, retreats or camp (We still do not know if we will be able to hold the last two).
5) Many families are suffering financial problems which affects the students´ academic development
6) The pressures and attacks of today’s world that seeks to steal the mind, heart and will of children and teenagers. We encourage teenagers to seek God and be the agents of change in their homes, to break the cycle and move forward to have a better future.
7) The imminent danger of Covid-19 is a challenge that we must face in our educational community (students, parents, teachers, and principals). Please pray that God will grant us health so that we can continue facing these challenges. We would appreciate if you can include these requests in your prayers.
Despite the challenges, we know and feel that we have the support and strength from our God. We are convinced that God has placed us — Bethel school and each one of us — as instruments of his guidance and hope to reach and walk with all the young men and women that He has placed under our care this year. And we also know and feel the support and encouragement from people like you — beloved brother, sister, and friend — reading these lines.
May God bless you in all the areas of your life!
With gratitude and love,
Jorge and Verónica Ramírez