Click on the articles below to read the latest news from HFH including team trips and special projects.
Today was the end of the year for 31 students at the Learning to Read School at La Primavera. We were asked to attend their ceremony to hand out the little diplomas to the children. La Primavera is the location of our biggest Feeding Program and Learning to Read school. Click here to learn more about the Feeding Center at La Primavera. Hearts for Heaven pays a licensed teacher a livable and comparable salary to teach 5 days a week. The hope is to encourage and prepare these children for elementary school by teaching them the very basic reading skills. Some of the children graduate after 2 years being able to read while others will move on to the local public school without developing that skill but much better equipped to learn. It is much easier in this society to slip through the cracks without ever learning to read, especially in the poorer communities. Unless a child has the structure and encouragement from their parents they are not likely to be interested in school.
The teachers are Christians and use a lot of christian material, specifically the Bible. Most of the kids in the Reading Program are also involved in the Feeding Center. The building at La Primavera is somewhat of a local hub for the children offering them a place to go 6 days of the week. Much thanks to the many supporters in the US for helping to pay for and build this building. We are currently trying to raise money to add a Vocational School right adjacent to the existing building. We have the footings in the ground and the column rebar set. If you are interested in learning more about the Vocational School click here. If you are interested in supporting the Vocational School or the Learning to Read Programs click here.
One of the main things on our to-do list for these first couple of weeks here in Guatemala was to find a school for Elsa. Well, we seem to have found a great one! It is named Colegio Brooklyn, and it goes from pre-K through high school. The classes have no more than 20 students in them. Other than running on a different calendar (the school year runs from mid-January to mid-October), it seems to be a lot like what she would be attending in the States. She’ll have art, music, math, social studies, etc. Classes here seem to start a bit earlier in the morning. This school starts at 7:30 am and runs til 2 pm. One school we visited even started as early as 7 am! Sheesh!
Elsa enjoyed looking around the school grounds, though she’s so shy that it was hard to tell! But I saw a happy little smirk, especially when she was walking through what will be her classroom next year.
It’s hard to tell how she’ll do, attending a school that is all in Spanish. As they say, kids pick up languages in no time. But what does no time actually mean? So far they can say “gracias” and that’s about it. Of course, our kids are on the shy side. So they probably won’t be ones to let us know just how much they could say if they wanted to! 🙂 Still, being shy myself, the thought of Elsa going into an environment where she doesn’t understand much of anything is….scary. We do, of course, have about 3 more months before school starts. Three months of Spanish in the grocery store, Spanish at church, Spanish in the market, etc. But I have a feeling I’m going to be pretty nervous when the first day rolls around. I mean, it’s my first child, attending her first day of school. In a foreign language. Hm!
Yesterday was our two week anniversary for arriving in Guatemala. 🙂 It’s been a busy two weeks!
We’ve had several outings to ministry sites and also around the city and surrounding areas.
Last week we headed out to San Antonio Buena Vista (SABV). In the photo above, you can see children lining up outside of the church, waiting for their meal. The kids had a great time out there, and I must say that Josiah stole the show with his entertainment tactics. Elsa enjoyed handing out hair clippies to the girls she met.
Please keep Pastor Hugo in your prayers. He has been having many heart problems, and cannot afford to buy enough of the medicine he needs in order to take it on a consistent basis.
Sunday was our first time to get out to La Primavera, since we were rained out last week. Every Sunday afternoon we hold a service for the children. It is intended for the children of the feeding program, but of course all are welcome. Before the service begins, we open the building up so the kids can come in and play. Upstairs the bigger ones will be playing a rousing (read: possibly dangerous) game of soccer while the smaller ones do puzzles or another such activity below. The service then begins with songs and proceeds to a lesson, which is followed by a craft/coloring time. Needless to say, this was right up Elsa and Amos’ alley!
Lots of Firsts in Guatemala
Today, David and Roger made their first visit to the SAT office to secure a federal tax number called the NIT which will be used to purchase a car or property of any sort. This was just one in a long lists of firsts for the Rossers. One of the most memorable was the first trip into the market.
If Elsa learns how to bargain from Grammy, she will be quite an asset to her mom. However, at this point, she is hardly saying anything what with everything being so new and different. All in all, the kids are doing super!
No need to go on and on. Oh, I might mention that around the corner form here, they saw a huge hog head laying on the counter. It’s just the beginning! They are doing great!
San Antonio Buena Vista Feeding Center. Over 100 children are fed three times a week in this rural village. Hearts for Heaven provides the food, clean drinking water, and salary for the cooks and feeding center director. Please pray for the children, the Pastor Hugo and Dora and the village of San Antonio Buena Vista.