Plans and financing are in the works to finish the hospital construction project by late Spring / early summer. Please continue to pray that the second floor expansion project wraps up and for the medical staff needed to answer the call to serve. God is faithful! All in His timing.
NEW on the horizon: We look forward to launching a literacy project in one of the rural villages where we are working. The project developed when students in a local Missouri elementary classroom chose Guatemala for a service project and their teacher, and dear friend of ours, (Sabrina G.) contacted us to see if we would like to partner with them. -- Uhhhm -- YESSSSS!!
De did a presentation for the students while we were home -- talking about what life in Guatemala is like for the village children, and helping them see the nutritional and daily life challenges of living in extreme poverty. The U.S. students had opportunity to carry water on their heads -- a common daily chore for Guatemalan children. They learned that Guatemala is #1 in chronic malnutrition among all Latin American countries, and ranks #4 in the world. And that malnutrition not only affects physical growth, but the ability to learn and comprehend as well.
The literacy project will focus on writing skills using a pen-pal format. All correspondence will flow between us and the school teachers in both countries, with De (translating letters) and I helping directly on the Guatemalan side as much as the local teacher(s) will allow us to. Our church donated a year-and-a-half worth of Spanish bible story literature that we are carrying back so the students can practice reading comprehension. We hope to be able to help the village students draft their responses or in whatever other way we can. Remember, the students in our desired work village speak Kekchi as their first language, so they come to school and immediately begin learning in a second language. Imagine how you would struggle to take a course in a foreign language you had not yet mastered. YIKES!!!
We see an incredible opportunity to come alongside the students and teachers here, and also to be a help to the students in the U.S. classroom as well. Please pray with us for favor and open doors on all fronts.
Thank you for your prayers and faithful support! We love and appreciate you, and continue to count it an honor and privilege to serve on your behalf.
Rod & De Ishmael
Crescent Lake Christian Center / 1250 Saint Louis Ave. / Excelsior Springs, MO 64024