IT'S A NEW SEASON!
After something like a pandemic, it is often difficult to determine when things are back to normal. One becomes stuck between nostalgia for how things were and the inevitability of new patterns emerging. We here at Global Shore have felt this tension as much as anyone this year, as our students came back to school, then left, then came back again. We were returning to things we had done before the pandemic: devotions, Canada day, the street fair, and other activities. However, we still couldn’t do some things, such as serve breakfast or host a kid’s camp.
More than anything, October felt like a return to normal. Global Shore has always existed as a partnership between North Americans and Guatemalans. This fall, we rekindled that partnership as we welcomed our first North American team to the school since early 2020. It’s always special when we’re able to worship in devotions with our North American guests, and God always pours out something special when we’re together. As the psalmist says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! It is like the precious oil…” (Psalm 133:1-2)
We look forward to hosting more teams in 2023; we know these trips are a blessing for our guests and us.
In addition to hosting our first team in over two years, we also held our first formal graduation ceremony since the class of 2019. This year, 11 graduates left our school having been taught and ministered to for anywhere between 2 to 13 years. Seeing our students graduate with Jesus at the centre of their lives is why we do what we do. As Michael, our Valedictorian, said, “During these 13 years of learning and growing, I have understood that God works at all times. And I saw it reflected in every devotional, class, and talk I had with the staff inside and outside the school. I take with me the love of Jesus and his word. I know that if I trust Him, I will continue to bear the fruit of His love.”
We continue praying for each of our graduates, knowing that if the Lord remains the centre of their lives, they will make a difference wherever they go.
If you talked to any student that attended our school before the pandemic and asked them what their closest encounter with the Lord was, almost all of them would respond and say that the 2019 camp was a time when the Lord powerfully touched their life. This year, instead of a full kid’s camp, we held a special one-day event for our middle and high school students on the last day of October.
Being able to worship with our students and minister to them before they go on vacation was very important to us, as many of them are in situations where they have a difficult time remaining connected to the Lord if they are not in school. But we know that the Lord can guard and preserve those who are his, and we eagerly wait to welcome our students back next January.
“I take with me the love of Jesus and his word. I know that if I trust Him, I will continue to bear the fruit of His love.”
In light of all these things, the return of teams, in-person graduation, and other activities, we recognize that it is a new season for Global Shore. The pandemic is over, and we move forward into the future and what God has for us as a ministry. In this context, we are starting our year-end fundraiser.
Last year, we embarked on a journey of expansion. We began constructing our administration and science lab building, sent Jervin and Jasmin to Poptún to plant a church and start a school, and continued growing our teacher training program. These ventures have all moved forward with success, and we are grateful to have seen God’s favour and provision in everything we have done, but the work has only just begun.
To see our vision fulfilled, we must remain steadfast.
Sherly, one of our teachers in training, had this to say. “To be steadfast is to be constant. Not to depart from what you already have in mind. Not separate from the path that God has given you.” Willy, the foreman of our construction project, said, “For me, steadfastness is what God desires. It’s saying, as his word says, “Lord, here I am, send me.” It’s something that, at least as human beings, can be difficult for us, but with God’s help, we can do it.”
Expansion is exciting, but steadfastness is what bears fruit. Jervin and Jasmin shared what it means to stay steadfast as they grow their ministry. “In construction, the footings are the most important part. When you are building a ministry, it’s the same thing. You have to take your time. It sounds like a lot of work, but this stage is key. If what you are building is significant, the foundations must go deep to sustain what is being built. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we are building the foundations. That is why we remain steadfast.”
This year, we need to raise $150,000 to complete the work we have already started. These funds will help us continue the construction of our Science Lab and Administration Building, staff the third and final year of our teacher training program and continue teaching and ministering the gospel to over 300 students every day!
Our executive director Julianna shared, “The hardest part is buckling down and holding fast to what God spoke. However, any work God calls you to, he has already finished in the spiritual realm. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he told them to ask for what was done in heaven to be done on earth. Obedience brings provision because it’s a direct act of faith. Obedience shows God we believe he is fully capable of doing what he said he would do.”
Will you help us remain steadfast to the vision God has given us?
Applications are now open for our 2023 English staff positions! The TEFL program is a great way to experience Guatemala’s rich and vibrant culture while tangibly contributing to its development. We are looking for qualified, kingdom-minded people to join our team and have openings for all grade levels, including homeschool tutoring. Go to globalshore.org/teach-english/ to learn more and to apply!
Thank you for all your support, and God bless you!
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