South America (MNN) — A new elementary school will open in
the region of Totonicapán, Guatemala on January 6, making
space for a total of 560 students.
"Three years ago it was a cow pasture," said Steve Geurink
of Worldwide Christian Schools.
"And we prayed and did a walk around the
property, dedicating it. And on January
6, there's going to be a grand opening for this brand-new school — three
stories tall, built by the many, many volunteer hands from North America and
other places, even funds coming from Spain."
The school's current facilities have been forcing it to
operate in very cramped conditions for years. The new building will provide a lot more space.
WWCS's partner missionaries have been working in the
community for 26 years, and originally founded Quiche Bible Institute.
"That has now run its course," Geurink explained. "And now on the very same grounds, there's
this brand-new school. They are so
thrilled that this is going to impact that community with the Gospel."
The school offers the only quality education for the
children around Totonicapán, and the new building will make space for many more
children to attend.
"The Quiche Indians…are kind of a second-class group in the
eyes of many Guatemalans," Geurink said.
"And for these students to have the combination of a Christian education
and a quality education, they're going to have to chance to better their lives
in the society and the development of Guatemala."
The Guatemalans who run the school have big dreams for it.
"The vision of the school leaders is very large," Geurink
said. "They want to transform Guatemala. And they're planning to build a high school. They want to build a college, but right now we're just rejoicing in the fact
that this building is going to open up for the school this year on the sixth."
The new school building was made possible by short-term
missions teams who built it over the last few years. Geurink said that short-term teams can make a
huge difference for the communities where they minister.
"I would just like to encourage people to consider
short-term missions for 2009," he said. "I
know that resources are tight for many people, but this is a tremendous impact
wherever short-term mission teams go."
If you would like to help sponsor or build a school, click