“The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9
Before a teacher committed to teaching at Colegio JET, we made it very clear that this job would be difficult. The job is much greater than simply meeting the academic needs. The teachers would need a heart to minister to the children emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They would need to have a heart for building relationship with the parents. This journey will take many years, lots of tears, some frustration, and small victories before seeing the fruit.
We have tried to be very intentional in teaching our teachers that it is not the responsibility of North Americans to serve the Guatemalans. We do not wait on a mission team to come in order to serve our community. It is our responsibility as Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus on a daily basis.
We can’t tell a child that Jesus loves them while their stomach is feeling the pains of hunger. We can’t tell a mother to trust God when she is scared about not having food for her children’s next meal. We can’t tell a father about God’s faithfulness when he has no money to meet the most basic needs of his family. Throughout the ministry of Jesus, he met the physical needs before he met the spiritual needs.
Just last week, Soy returned home after passing out food to the children. He shared with me how the teachers spent the time talking and listening to the parents. They spent the time sharing the love of Christ with the families. They chose to show love towards the family. The love of Christ was displayed through their actions.
Are our teachers receiving a salary during the school closing? Yes! Their personal finances during this crisis has not changed. However, I am learning the dynamics of a traditional Guatemalan family. Families help each other. If an uncle, grandmother, father, brother, etc. doesn’t have work then it can impact the entire family. It has a ripple effect throughout the family.
For legality reasons, we have to make our staff pay for breakfast and lunch each day. The teachers began to pay for the food in March, but we were only in school for 2 weeks. Last Friday, I sent a quick note to some of the teachers to tell them I was going to refund their “March Lunch Money”.
For the majority of our teachers, I know where they are financially. I know some of their personal needs. I know how this crisis has affected their families. Therefore, I know this money can help them during this time.
I was shocked when I received the replies “Please keep the money and use it to buy food for the children.” I was humbled by their sacrifice. They do not have an emergency fund or savings account. This is a time when every penny counts. This is a time when families know they will feel the impact of this lock-down for future months. This is the time when they could justify using their money to support their family.
And yet they chose to give!
When you have everything–GIVE! When you have nothing–Give!
If you have invested in a teacher–Such a wise investment!
“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21:1-4
***Some pictures were taken before the Cover-19 regulations***