It has been one of those crazy weeks in ministry where you consider throwing up your hands and giving up. Last week the COVID cases in our department of Guatemala started rising, pushing us into the "red zone." This triggered a slew of changes to how our school operates, including needing to go back to virtual classes/distance learning. So we sadly started to pivot our classes to go back to 100% virtual classes and gave students, parents, and teachers Monday off so they could prepare for the change. Then on Sunday night, the Ministry of Education changed the regulations so that we could still continue with in-person classes (woohoo!) even in red! Excited that we could go back in person, we gave families another day off, Tuesday, to also give us time to get things ready on our end to make the school safer. Then on Monday morning, a protest by taxi and bus drivers launched, blocking all major roadways from 7AM to 7PM. One major roadblock was located in our village, backing up traffic for miles. The roadblocks continued onto Tuesday and there were serious talks of the roadblocks continuing for the rest of the week. This meant kids could not get to our school or risk getting stuck at our school. So we canceled school for Wednesday, unsure of whether the roadblocks would continue or not and decided to go virtual for Thursdays and Friday in case the roadblocks continued. Lo and behold, on Wednesday, the roadblocks lifted, but since we had already planned to go virtual, we decided to continue with virtual classes. Comically, we woke up Thursday morning to find out that there would be no power all day and thus had to cancel classes again. No electricity = no virtual school. Effectively, we have had no school for 4 days and have spun our wheels all week, preparing for virtual classes and then for in-person classes just to end up having no school at all. Fortunately, today, Friday we were able to have our one virtual class before going back to in-person classes on Monday.
It has been stressful to make careful decisions affecting the welfare of our students, parents and employees, and then have our decisions be upended by last minute government decisions, roadblocks, and power outages. It brings to mind Proverbs 27:1 - "Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring." This week has definitely been a lesson that we have no idea what tomorrow will bring. No matter how carefully we lay our plans, God might have something else in store for us. Perhaps as a bit of foreshadowing, in our staff Bible study last week, we talked about suffering and how to deal with challenges that are in our way. One of our interns brought up Romans 12:12 as the verse he holds onto when facing difficulties. I find myself gravitating to this verse this week - "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer." It is difficult to keep enduring in the midst of unexpected challenges, but we are encouraged and reminded to be patient, prayerful and to continue to rejoice in the hope we see.
Here's a little look at some things going on this week that have helped me to "rejoice in hope!"
Bible club 2022 launched this week to a wonderful turnout of over 40 kids!
The unexpected downtime allowed us to work on the library!
Staff getting ahead of class planning!
Enjoying the sunshine after the last few weeks of cold!