On January 12, 2022, after being locked out for 670 days, our students finally returned to the classroom. The gates were opened, the buses pulled through, and the kids stumbled out, masks and all. The chaos of the first day of school—kids trying to find their classroom, their bus, the learning of new names and newly acquired friendships—was a welcome change from the sterilized monotony of virtual classes. There is something natural and organic about it, but more than anything, joyful. We are so grateful to the Lord for how he has brought us through this past season. It was a long haul, and there were many times when the end was unclear, but God is faithful, and he has brought us out into a broad place (Psalm 18:19).
This year, students will come to the school every other day to receive classes in person and work from home on the off days. While we are thankful for this change, it is still not perfect; there is no replacement for them being at school in person. We believe that having kids here every day provides us with the best opportunity to impact their lives. Many of our students have good homes with families that love them, but many do not. Many students have lagged academically, but more than anything, they need a fresh encounter with the Lord.
A lot has happened over the past years, but one thing remains the same: the faithfulness of Jesus. He has never left us, and his dreams and desires for our ministry have not changed. His love for our students has not diminished. He is still looking for willing partners who will carry out his will on the earth and bring the transformative power of the Kingdom to those who need it. As a ministry, we look forward to meeting this challenge with renewed vigour and tenacity, and we are confident that we will see His goodness manifested in the lives of our staff and students in 2022.
New Horizons Update
The New Horizons fundraiser was a huge success! Amid the virtual holding pattern of the past year, the Lord gave us new projects and a vision for expansion. Jervin and Jasmin felt the call of the Lord to move their family to Poptún and start a church. We decided to keep them on as GSO staff and send them to explore the possibility of starting a new school. We also wanted to construct a new building at our Pastores campus, and we needed to staff our new teacher training high school program. While our year-end goal was $150,000, our donors went above and beyond with their support. Our final tally was over $170,000!
Today we can report progress on all fronts. Jervin and Jasmin have moved and are already ministering to the people of Poptún. We also recently met with engineers and designers to start work on our new building. The second year of our teacher training program is well underway. God is good!
We are so grateful to everyone who gave to the campaign. There are so many people whom God has called to invest in what he is doing in Guatemala. We are always so thankful for our donors, and we give glory to God for his provision towards our ministry. However, the purpose of our ministry is not to raise funds but to impact lives with the gospel, and we believe in these projects because we believe they will accomplish that end. We are very excited for what God has in store for us this year and beyond.
Work to Be Done
Although we are grateful for the breakthroughs and the victories we have seen to start the year, there is still a lot of work. The Omicron wave delayed the trips we had planned for the beginning of 2022. While we remain optimistic that we will host teams this year, this is a significant loss for us, both in terms of funding and maintaining relationships with our North American friends—relationships that we deeply value. Our projects continue to need funding and resources. If you want to be a part of the ongoing work of Global Shore, we invite you to consider becoming a vision partner. Vision partners (as differentiated from a student or teacher partnership) give monthly gifts towards fulfilling the vision of GSO. To learn more about the commitment and benefits of this program, go to globalshore.org/visionpartner/.
We are still looking for TEFL teachers for 2022. Although we can teach all our English classes in our current staff configuration, it is not ideal. We are ideally looking for at least 1 or 2 more TEFL teachers to join our team this year! A TEFL certificate is required, but applicants can acquire this training online or in-country. Go to globalshore.org/teach-english/ for more information, or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know that the Lord can meet all these needs and, no matter what happens, he is in control. We remain, as always, willing servants in his hands to carry out the work he started. We also pray for you, our friends and supporters, that God would bless you and your families this year. The best is yet to come, and we can’t wait to share it with you!