A New Year
Dear brothers and friends. We greet you from our place, in the work of God’s kingdom.
We apologize for our lack of communication during this year, but want to give you a summary of what has happened so far this year.
We started out the year with a group of eleven students: eight of them were students from previous years, and three were new students.
We had three teachers, and started classes with: Mayra Berríos (four students), Eliazar Rodríguez (four students) and Olivia Rodríguez, sister of Eliazar, (three students). This is Olivia’s first year of teaching.
The new students were:
Kenia: a very intelligent girl, with a great desire to learn. She is 6 years old, the perfect age to learn easily.
Deris: a shy child, but very intelligent. He is also 6 years old.
Ana Silvia: is 22 years old, and is Deris’ sister. Having never attended school or left her small community, she is shy and fearful.
For Deris and Ana Silvia the changes were very difficult. It was a total change of life: a new way of doing things, studying, living in a different household, learning to know new people, etc. It took a lot of effort from all the staff to help them adapt.
Deris, being younger, began to learn very well, but for Ana Silvia learning was more difficult, and since she felt very responsible for her little brother, she almost did not allow him to develop on his own. That affected the adapting process and their parents decided not to send them anymore.
Kenia progressed very well, but after she got sick her mother also decided not to send her anymore.
We were very sad that they stopped attending, so help us pray for them that next year their parents will send them to school.
Teresa was the student that had studied with us the longest. She started attending our school when she was 6 years old and this year she turned 18. Shortly after her birthday she began to miss school, and one day she told us that she felt tired of school, of the church and she did not like anything from here; that now she had found other friends. She gave those as reasons to drop out of school; it was very sad for us. We communicated with her mother and she told us that she did not understand why Teresa had changed so much and that Teresa did not want to obey her either.
Because of these changes, we had to rearrange classes, leaving Mayra with two students, Eliazar three students and Olivia two students.
We have had the blessing this year that most of our staff are from our local El Salvador churches. The three teachers are from the church in Texistepeque. The dorm mother, who is Kendra Sandoval, is from the church of El Resbaladero, the dorm father is Juan Granadino from the church of Candelaria, and Kim Beachy is the cook and hails from the state of Virginia, USA.
In addition to school activities, we try to teach the students some life skills, so this year, Eliazar and his students, with the help of Juan, did a project of planting vegetables. They managed to harvest some delicious tomatoes and cucumbers, which we could use in the kitchen.
Another project we did, for the young ladies, was a rug making class taught by Rebecca Glick. She was here for a week and it very interesting to see the rug making skill acquired by the girls. It also spiked interest in some others, in making their own rugs.
Also, at the beginning of the year we bought two piglets to raise, with the idea that Miguel
would take care of them. They grew very well and we already butchered one and are enjoying the meat.
Despite the difficult times and daily challenges, we have felt the guidance, comfort, and protection of God on this ministry. We also appreciate the prayers and support of all of you! May God bless you greatly.
Nathanael and Becky Aguilar