Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Update Part 2

We also had a number of memorable moments this year. At the beginning of February, we received a visit from our former principle of the high school Lia and I attended in Chilliwack. Mr. Jim Beeke came down to do an evaluation of a school that Word and Deed North America (WDNA) supports in the town of Monjas, Jalapa, Guatemala. This school is run by AMG and I had the privilege of spending several days and working with Mr.Beeke on parts of the evaluation. It was a neat experience and it is not every day that one can work with a former teacher or principal. Corney Les, John Otten, and Rick Postma also came down during this time and it was nice to work together and see what God is doing in Guatemala.
Dinner at Fridays with Mr Beeke.

Intermissions Conference in Panajachel, Guatemala

Hotel on the shores of Lake Atitlan
During the second week of the visit of WDNA I also had the privilege of working for 2 days in an AMG project in the small rural community of Matochos together with Pastor Tyler Thompson teaching the leaders of the church. I first worked with Pastor Tyler in November of 2013 and we hit it off well. My primary role was to translate into Spanish, but he gave me the freedom and encouraged me to elaborate on things as we went along. I really enjoy teaching and it is something that I miss doing since I do not do a lot of it any more.
The 3 Dutch Ladies at the Conference
After this visit at the end of February we had the privilege of attending the annual missionary conference in Panajachel for 3 days at the end of February. It was nice to see old faces and meet new people. It was nice to connect with different people and encourage one another. Also the workshops and the seminars were uplifting and encouraging. The kids also loved Intermissions as they can be with their friends and enjoy activities that are set up for them. The only time we see them is at meal times and when it is bed time.

Several days after the missionary conference (end of February-beginning of March) I had to go to Bogota, Colombia for a week of seminars on monitoring and evaluation. The seminars were intensive as it was from 8:00-6:30 each day for 5 days. Thankfully, we had a weekend in between which allowed us to recuperate and digest what we were learning and gave us a few days to "relax". We spent one day in a salt mine that is still active, but parts of it have been turned into a tourist attraction. It was neat to see and allowed us to experience something quite unique.  Although the course was intensive and we were bombarded with a lot of information it was also quite practical and we were able to return to our respective organizations with practical ways in which to implement what we had learned. I enjoyed Bogota and the weather there as it reminds me in many ways of BC with the mountains, the rain, and the farmland.
At the end of March we had the annual father-son camp-out at the school. This over night event is a highlight for myself and Nico and Jesse as we get some time to be together and share our hearts. The boys also love the fact that there are a lot of games and they get to go to bed late.
Downtown Bogota
Sculptures made of salt inside the salt mine