Dear brothers, sisters and friends of the Proyecto Fe family,
We greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ from San Pedro La Laguna, Sololá, in Guatemala, Central America.
We want to share with you some of what has happened and has been accomplished with Bethel middle school students (through the Covid19 crisis), many of whom you accompany and support in their growth and development. The Lord gave us the privilege of counting with 65 students this year to whom we serve in their academic and spiritual formation. We had some very good times on the first two months of school (January and February) such as bonfires with each grade, a field trip to the biggest amusement park in Guatemala, and the closure of the first of four school units with the students’ great expectations of what would come ahead.
When the Covid-19 Pandemic crisis started, with the many changes and limitations that came with it, we immediately implemented the use of a virtual platform for the students to receive and submit their assignments. Some days later, we started online classes. At first, we encountered many challenges and limitations, among others, the fact that not all students had access to a computer, a phone, or internet service. We started using many different platforms like Edmodo, Zoom, Meet, WhatsApp, and for most students, this platform was completely unknown, and their parents also struggled with the change. Plus, there is no other school in town using any of these platforms because of the limitations to establish them. But our God has been good and set a willingness among the school´s community to find solutions and overcome the struggle. It has been interesting to see how the students have borrowed computers from family members, use their parents’ phones, or, even, some families have decided to purchase their own laptops in order to stay connected to the online classes. The teachers have also given more of their time, resources, and ideas so that this teaching process continues and reaches as many goals as possible, considering the circumstances.
At first, we had around 10 students that definitely did not have the possibility of using any of the resources needed and with whom we tried a different outreach via WhatsApp, but slowly every one of them has gotten ways to overcome the limitations and have joined the online system. Sadly, 3 students have dropped out despite the many efforts done for them to continue. Every day before class, we start with prayer, and we have devotionals on Fridays with all three grades together (7th, 8th, and 9th). To celebrate our National Independence Day, we had an online activity in which, parents, students, and us, professed honor to our country.
We keep in touch with the parents because they are essential for this process to work. The online platform still faces us with many challenges and limitations, but we believe we are moving forward. The students have not missed classes. We are hoping and trusting that all 21 students in 9th grade move on to High School and we trust that, in one way or another, God is glorifying in our community through us and through the other teaching institutions.
We are praying for this situation to end soon so that we can see our students face to face, speak to them, listen to them, pray for them and accompany them in their integral growth process. We know that all of these are possible thanks to God´s favor and the instruments He uses to bless us, to support us, and to walk with us, as you have done, beloved brothers, sisters, and friends from Alaska and other places in the world.
Praise the Lord! Thank you and be blessed!
Jorge and Veronica Ramírez
Middle School level