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Field Trip to Guatemala City!

Posted on November 13, 2019 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (1464)
Our children in Chuisajcaba had a day field trip to Guatemala City. They went to Auora Zoo, where they saw lions, giraffes, hippopotamuses, penguins, and so many other animals. After the zoo, they went to the National Palace and Congress. Our children looked so happy at the zoo, even though the trip was a bit challenging. They departed Chuisajcaba at 2 AM. Most of the children were not used to a bus trip, so, unfortunately, some experienced car sickness. But when I saw our children happy faces, it gave me so much joy! For our children, their village, Chuisajcaba has been the entire context of their world. Previously, they had not had any chances to go outside of the village. However, through the field trip, they could experience much a larger world in their life. I am praying that their dreams become bigger as their world became a little bit bigger! When I reflected on this field trip, despite of the joy in me, my heart was so distressed. As I watched our children backs as they walked out of the zoo, one question came to my mind, who will take care of them? This happened at lunch time. Since the zoo was packed with so many students, we could not find a place to have lunch together. As usual, we prepared pizzas for lunch. Luckily, we found an area of green lawn where there was no do not enter sign. We all sat down and were about to share the pizza. However, a zookeeper came and asked us to leave the lawn. We complied without any complaint and ate our lunch while standing by the entrance area. After lunch, the teachers allotted free time for our children to play. I walked around the zoo so that I could watch our children at play. As I did this, I noticed a bunch of students who were eating their lunch while sitting on the exact place from which we had gotten kicked out. And the zookeeper who asked me to move our children did not do anything to eject these students even though he saw them sitting on the lawn. I asked him why he was allowing these students to remain; but, had kicked us out an hour prior. He said, The policy was just changed. The children who were having lunch on the lawn were wearing private school uniforms, which indicated that they were from a higher economic class. However, our children who wore typical Mayan dress could easily be recognized that they were from extreme poverty. I felt that our children got discriminated against, and with anger I went to the zoo master, asking her to apologize to our children. Luckily again, the zoo master was a Canadian, who did not approve of the ill treatment by one of her employees and in addition to an apology she promised us to give us free entrance tickets for the next year along with a promise of a little souvenir to each of our children. The discrimination is the last thing that I want our children to experience. Widely spread discrimination of Mayan descendants has been an inherent problem. However, I could see an additional bad aspect to this problem at this happening. It was the attitude of the principal and other teachers toward the zoo master. I thought they would have shown their anger when they talked to the zoo master. If they did not show anger, at least, I thought, they would have expressed their frustration for the sake of our children. Our children could not notice the discrimination, for they were too young and not exposed to this. But, the teachers should have noticed this and raised their voices to prevent the discrimination in the future. However, they seemed to take it for granted that our children received this prejudicial treatment. They did not show their frustration. They were just grateful for the offers of the zoo master. I felt so sad and distressed about the lack of an advocate when I saw the backs of our naïve children as they walked out of the zoo. I am not sharing this to blame the teachers attitude. I am sharing this to ask your prayers, for there are so many tightly woven layers of problems. I just am praying that the Lord embrace our children shoulders. CHECK OUT PICTURES OF THIS FIELD TRIP IN OUR PHOTO GALLERY!

Lifting the spirit of our children

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (1339)

When I look back at our ministry in Chuisajcaba, I can see that our children have been changed a lot. Also, I can see that the community has been very much changed. When I came to Chuisajcaba for the first time, I felt that the air of the community was lethargic and spiritless. I felt like that something pressed the community heavily down. Probably extreme poverty, which seemed permanent, for there was simply no way for them to see an escape from poverty which made them give up hope. Maybe that was the accumulated experiences throughout their parents’ generations so that they might be adapted to live without any hope. Maybe having hope which seemed unreachable would give them more pain. In those circumstance, it would be justified that parents sent their children to nearby coffee farms to make 3 dollars a day instead of sending them to school. The school attendance rate was below 40 percent, and the middle school entrance rate was less than 5 percent.

However, those rates have been changed dramatically. The attendance rate is now greater than 90 percent and the middle school entrance rate is 80 percent. Not only I see and experience the dramatic change of those rates; but, also I feel the more resilience in the spirit of the community. They seem to have regained hope to get out of poverty. They may not make it in their generation; but, they believe that at least their children will have different lives from their own. I appreciate that your prayers and financial support have made the change in Chuisajcaba. I praise the Lord who began his good works among our children through your support. And I believe he will complete the works that he has begun so that all his children will enjoy His Kingdom. Amen.

Our Children had field Trip days!

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (812)

The children of Chuisajcaba Uno went to Antigua, where they felt pride as Guatemalans as they toured the colonial city. Then they enjoyed the day at a water park nearby. Also, the children of Chuisajcaba Dos explored Mayan ruins in Retalhuleu where they pictured the majesty of their ancestor’s culture, and where they meditated on today’s reality of their life of poverty.This field trip began with a prayer that the children could get a bigger dream when they encountered a bigger world. Most of the children had not had any chance to go out of the small villages which used to be the whole world for them. When we took them to Guatemala City last year, none of them had been in Guatemala City before. We supported every expense for the trip, such as bus rent, entrance fee, and food. We would like to expand this ministry to children in other area, especially children nearby our Bethesda Mission Center. To make this happen, we need two buses (retired school buses in the US). If we have two buses, with a small expense, we can bring many children bigger dreams. To have a bus in Guatemala, we expect to need 15,000 dollars. (bus: 10,000 dollars, shipping/tax: 5,000 dollars). If you want to bring our children bigger dreams, please consider donations and prayers.  Last year, they traveled to a zoo and presidential palace in Guatemala City.

Contact us if you are interested in this program and we will get back to you with details.

Our children in Chuisajcaba had an awesome summer

Posted on October 12, 2018 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (378)

 First of all, the selection process of the scholarship program at Chuisajcaba is in full swing. A Chuisajcaba scholarship is granted to those who graduate from either Chuisajacaba Uno or Dos Elementary school to enter middle schools. Without the scholarship, most likely children would end up continuing to live in Chuisajacaba in extreme poverty, just like their parents. We believe that we can break this cycle of poverty through our scholarships which will act as seeds to change the life of our children. We ask for 35 dollars a month for a three-year commitment. 30 dollars will go directly to a scholarship student and 5 dollars will be spent to hire a teacher who will do administrative work and conduct after school classes. Last year, we had 25 scholarship students, and we are expecting 50 scholarship students this year. Would you pray about your participation in this program to help our children escape from extreme poverty?

Additional exciting news is that our children of Chuisajcaba competed at the Guatemalan Taekwondo National Championship 2018! 17 children participated and 2 of them won medals! It was incredible for our children to win medals at a national competition; however, for me, it was more meaningful that our children competed at the national matches with confidence. They were not frozen. They were so sure and firm when they punched, kicked, and blocked their opponent! We give Taekwondo classes to our 300 children at Chuisajcaba Uno and Dos. The purpose of the class is to inspire and to motivate the children so that the children have dreams, hope, and confidence, which they did not previously even entertain because of extreme poverty. It is so good to see our children regain their dreams and confidence! In prayers, we are joyfully teaching taekwondo to our children!