When Covid-19 shut down much of Guatemala, Seño Estivalis, our second-grade teacher, along with her family members, lost three out of their four incomes. Because extreme travel restrictions have been in place for months, her parents no longer were able to take their vegetables and weaving projects to the city to sell. Additionally, the gas station where her brother worked let him go due to budget cuts. Because the schools also were closed, they feared Estivalis might also lose her job. Month after Month Estivalis would hear of teachers at other schools becoming unemployed, but in her case, she was blessed to find that Agua Viva continued to pay her salary. While funds are tight with only one income, Estivalis and her family are thankful that God continues to provide their needs.
Online teaching has its challenges, and for Estivalis, finding a good way to track the progress of her students’ reading has been challenging. For all of her students who have access to the internet, on a weekly basis, she requires them to send her videos of themselves reading books. She then analyzes the videos in order to provide parents with individualized tips to show them where their children need improvement. Estivalis puts in endless hours to create engaging lessons, but she always pushes herself to work harder. Whenever she feels overwhelmed, she takes her requests to God, asking for his help, protection, and blessings on each student. She said, “I understand how difficult it is for many of my students, but I know prayer can help them.”
At Agua Viva, we’re working hard to adapt to these trying days. To the best of our abilities, we’re using the skills and resources God has given us to serve him and our students. We pray that God will continue to be glorified in all that we do and that he will show us how best to continue to minister to our students.
We want to thank all of our sponsors and donors for your faithful support this year. Because of your assistance we’ve been able to continue paying our teachers and staff. You’ve been a great blessing to us in unprecedented times!