Building hope, one class at a time in Guatemala.

By December 6, 2006

Guatemala (MNN)–Worldwide Christian Schools’ Steve Geurink says on the Pacific side of Guatemala, half the kids do not have the chance at a public education.

The government can’t afford to subsidize so many public educations, so many children are turned away from the schools. Without an education, poverty threatens to become a way of life.

That’s where WCS steps in. “We’re working with a ministry called ‘Eduguate.’ It’s a partner of ours. We are establishing an elementary school, and hopefully later, a high school, to reach out to that community and provide an education, but teach them about Jesus and bring the Gospel to them.”

Colegio Juan Wesley is made up of 300 students, mostly from Quiche families of Mayan descent. The school’s vision, Geurink adds, is to form men and women who are holistic elements of change.

The team works to provide an education that pays attention to the individual needs of the students, and create an alternative to the overtaxed public school system.

Geurink says with education comes a future. That’s led to the critical need for the new building. “What we’ve got is roughly 300 children that are meeting in church Sunday school classrooms. The spaces between the seats are literally so tight that I have to move the seats apart to be able to walk between the rows. The school is already successful, it’s just that they need a whole lot more space so they can reach out to more children in the community.”

The final building includes three stories and with stage one being the ground floor. Geurink says that’s near completion. It involves an expansion to ten classrooms and the addition of a vocational workshop and computer lab.
Stage two will add 14 classrooms, a library, and a multi-purpose hall. Stage three, finally, will add another 14 classrooms and administrative offices for a future university.

WCS is forming work teams now. Geurink says they have formed teams in as little as 30 days’ notice, however, they’d like to have three months to plan.

They’re hoping to fill 12 teams over the next year to see work continue through 2007. Three teams are slated to visit in January. Click here if you want details on the work WCS is doing in Guatemala.

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