A New House for Karina
Since the very beginning of Global Shore’s ministry, providing housing for families in need has been a big part of our work on the ground in Guatemala. When we started working in the town of Tizate in 2004, many of the families were living in houses patched together by corn stalks, scrap metal and even plastic bags fastened together with stickers. In response to the need of families that had no possible financial options to improve their living conditions, our housing policy has been fairly straightforward: the family would provide one laborer for ‘sweat equity’ and we would provide the rest. Over the years, with the help of Canadian volunteers and donors, we have provided 25+ homes for families, many of whom send their children to our school and have hosted short-term team members.
Tizate is a very different town today than what it was a decade ago. Small businesses have popped up where there were none. Dirt roads have been replaced with paving stone roads and a number of households have cars. It has been exciting as a ministry to play a role in the transformation of a community that many had written off as a lost cause. As we have watched the community grow we have started to shift how we approach housing projects. We started to recognize that there was a great housing need in our immediate community, especially our staff. Though many of them own land and receive culturally appropriate salaries, the dream of having their own home without a loan is almost always insurmountable. The loans available to members of our community often come lined with high interest fees. In response we have made our housing policy more dynamic. Projects are now placed on a spectrum based on financial need, ranging from the old model of sweat equity for a free home to a fully repaid low interest loan. The new policy opens up opportunities to invest in people like our staff who have themselves given so much for the work of Global Shore and the lives of our students.
The first person to receive a home through our new policy is Karina, our fabulous school principal. In 2007 Karina, along with her twin sister Pahola, left their family and friends in Guatemala City to join our then small team of teachers and has been serving our school with wisdom, leadership and compassion ever since. Karina and her husband Leopoldo own a great little plot of land just down the road from our school and with great joy we broke ground towards the end of June. Four separate short-term teams have come alongside our local construction team to work on it, mixing concrete with shovels, digging trenches, and helping lay cinder block.
The house is now on the cusp of being done and Karina and Leo are excited to move in later this month. In Karina’s own words:
I think everyone dreams of the blessing of their own home and in order to have a home you need a house. This is the blessing that I have received from God and Global Shore has been the instrument used to bless. After trying to get a credit to build our house and getting a negative response, God used Global Shore as the architect of our blessing. We bless the ministry and want you to know that you have been part of fulfilling God’s word in our lives, showing that he was always in control. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philipians 4:6-7)
We here at Global Shore are thrilled about their new house and are looking forward to seeing where else this new housing policy might take us.
For an amazing group of students this summer in our summer student program and for the way God came and changed lives in radical ways. We miss and love you!
For three amazing short term teams that came down this summer: the Ledwez Family Team, our own Family Missions Trip, and The Mission Church Team. Thank you all for coming and serving with us!
For a full roster of trips for 2015! There is such an amazing line-up of youth groups, church groups, and university groups, along with our own trips. We can’t wait to serve and grow in Guatemala alongside familiar friends and fresh faces.
For wisdom for the design team going down in November and that the Lord would show us the right timing in starting construction.
For wisdom as our Guatemalan staff implement some new policies to encourage greater parental engagement in the students’ academic lives.
We have just released our yearly Christmas Catalogue! There are a number of ways you can get involved financially in the educational lives of our students, ranging from new soccer balls to furnishing an entire classroom. Check it out on our website at www.globalshore.org
Carerra Building Update
This November a small crew is heading down to Guatemala to plan out a whole new addition to our facility! The team includes John Wiebe (a civil engineer), Rebekah Gould (an architect and Robert and Carolyn’s daughter), along with Ken Wall, and Robert and Carolyn Konrad. Kat’s brother-in-law will be serving us as a draftsman remotely from Abbotsford. With our plans to offer Carerra [career] classes (the next level in the Guatemalan educational system) we are going to need more room. We are hopefully building a fairly straightforward set of classrooms on the other side of the security wall behind our current soccer field. If you come down with us sometime in the next year you might have a chance to work on it since we hope to break ground as early as January.
January 12-23rd, 2015. – A “GSO” Trip
This is a trip available to any and all interested in missions. If you would love to serve overseas but don’t have a connection with a church or school that is working with us, this is your opportunity! These trips in the past have had participants from several different provinces, individuals coming together for the common goal of serving God and the people of Guatemala. The program includes construction work, involvment in the school, children’s ministry, experiencing Guatemalan culture and seeing some of the local sites. We are still receiving applications so if you would like to know more send Kat an email at email@example.com
July 13-24th, 2015. – Family Missions Trip
This will be our fourth time running a missions trip for families and we just get more excited about it every time. Come down with your whole family and serve and grow together. Be involved in our school, spend time with local Guatemalan families, work on construction, assist in children’s ministry and explore Guatemalan culture while being challenged in your faith in God as a family. Email Kat at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
From top to bottom: (1) So many amazing new sponsors joined us this summer, like Nelson, who came down with the Ledwez Family Team in June. (2) Mackenzie Wall (participant on the Family Trip in July) with Genesis at our always crazy annual Canada Day. (3) Staff and members of the Summer Student Program take a moment to catch their breath while leading our yearly school retreat. (4) Students in our band march through the local streets for Independence day. (5) Hannah Guendert (participant on the Mission Church Trip that came down in August) hangs out with kids at VBS.