A new generation in relationship with God and reaching out to others
As mentioned in the previous Building My Horizon (BMH) post, the children have been learning all about love. They also have learned about respect, responsibility, and punctuality. Each topic conforms to what the Bible says about that particular subject and has a Bible verse for the children to memorize. During the teaching sessions the children spend time reading God’s Word and they love it. Many of the children have commented how much they enjoy reading and learning from the Bible. They are hungry to learn about God and at BMH they have a place where they are encouraged and taught how to seek God through His Word.
They’ve also had opportunities to demonstrate love. They showed love for nature through doing an activity to pick up garbage by the nearby lake. They have the opportunity to continue creating and sustaining a better atmosphere to live in. The children also demonstrated love for Jesus Christ and their neighbors through the evangelistic that was held in the remote Pokomchi community of Cerro Verde. For many of the BMH children this was their first time travelling and spending time in village far from where they live. They shared what they are learning in class with the children through Bible songs and also a play. As you may have seen in the July newsletter post, this was an incredible and memorable time! One BMH child said:
It is not only just us who need to learn about God. There are not enough people sharing, so we need to share more with others. We should do more activities like this with the children from the communities.
Also, the children are showing love towards others through collecting funds, clothing, and toys for the infants and young children who are admitted to the pediatric ward at the San Cristobal hospital. Every class the piggy bank is there for the children to donate money and they can also donate clothes or toys. The children are enthusiastic about this and it is touching to see their concern and compassion for others. In October, the children will go to the hospital to present their donation. We hope this cultivates in them loving and giving hearts that continue to give back to others.
The children continue to have other activities in class that they enjoy, such as craft time, singing Bible songs with actions, and snack time. There are some new aspects to the program as well. The children have been split in groups for the whole program. Whenever there is a group activity, such a topic/ Bible verse presentation or play, they do that with their group. Working as a team is a great life skill to learn and the children are doing great at working together.
Another huge change this year is the addition of computer and typing (typewriter) classes. Most of the children do not have computers at home and have little knowledge on how to operate a computer and various key computer programs. In this age of technology, this knowledge is crucial for success at school, in future careers, and life in general. We had generous donations of computers for the children to learn on and we are so grateful for this. Also, while typewriters are not usually used any more in North America, here in Guatemala they are. It is an important schooling/ job requirement here. For a month the children had education in these areas. Each class there was 1.5 hrs. of computer/ typing education and 1.5 hrs. of Bible education. During their Bible time they have learned about gratitude, optimism, self-esteem, and solidarity. They will have their second computer/typing education session in September and will also learn about friendship, trust, empathy, and freedom. Future topics within the regular classes include: obedience, kindness, control of anger, sincerity, forgiveness, compassion, will, and understanding.
Also, this year we are focusing more on educating the BMH parents. In early July, ASOSAP organized an education session for them at the Shekinah Center. A Christian pastor/psychologist was invited to teach them about responsible parenting, using how God’s way as a model of this, and about how as parents they can take care of themselves, to then take better care of their children. A lot of new information was presented and the parents were very grateful for this learning opportunity. One parent commented:
The topic of protecting children from the dangers around them really impacted me. I always pray that God would protect my children, but I realized that I need to do more and take some personal responsibility as well. Maybe I’m not the perfect mother, but I’m going to ask God to help me to be the best example for them and raise them as Godly children.
A parent new to the program also shared a tear filled, heart-felt testimony:
They are learning at BMH what they haven’t learned before at home. My children are teaching me what I didn’t learn in my home as a child. Every night the children sing the songs that they learned at BMH, so together as a family we pray and sing. My children have learned so much and I feel very proud of them because I am learning from them. My children are asking for money to donate to others. One night my son also told me that we have lots of clothing that we don’t use anymore. He said that we should give donate them as the teacher said that there are children that don’t have clothing. This is true and I am learning from this as well. Many times we just waste clothing that we aren’t using, instead of sharing as we should. I want to continue learning through ASOSAP and I encourage other parents to fight for their children, not to leave them alone in their struggles, because that’s what we parents are here for.
Many parents have commented that their children are learning to follow God’s path at BMH; that their children before BMH didn’t have an interest in God or the Bible. Now God is important to them and they want to know God more and they talk about God with others. A large number of BMH children cite that learning about God is a major reason why they like to come and want to continue in this program. The impact is huge and doesn’t stop with the children. Parents have drawn closer to God, changed their ways, and returned to living as God desires, so that the family unit as a whole is restored. We weren’t sure what to expect when God called ASOSAP to work with children in this capacity, but we can see that He is working and He has a plan to empower and transform these families. We look forward to see what He will do in the following months. Please keep BMH parents, children, and ASOSAP staff in your prayers as they further deepen their relationships with God and strive to live as He desires, in a world where there are many distractions and temptations to not do this. We sincerely thank you for your role in Building My Horizon. We all as a team have the honor of being included in God’s work, with the ultimate purpose to bring glory to His name. May you be encouraged as you remember the great love that God has for you.
What Jesus Christ’s love means: He suffered on the cross for us. He loves us a lot. There is no one else who loves us more than Him. -BMH Child-