It’s been amazing seeing the reaction to “The Lambert Collection” that we debuted a couple of months ago in June! This collection was a labour of love that first came about because I wanted to have some cute products to help show off my love of yarn and crochet to the world. With the help of Laura of “Art + Soul Creative Co”, we came up with two designs featuring my amigurumi Lambert, and it’s been neat seeing you tote around your yarn, protect your cell phones, and drink your morning tea with our Lambert products!
As we wrote in this blog post HERE, Ryan and I were strongly convicted to use 100% of the profit we make from this collection to share God’s love with those around the world and use the talents that God has blessed us with to help others! We have the opportunity to shine the spotlight beyond ourselves and crochet, and help show the needs around the world. Our friends Elaine and Steve are currently serving in Guatemala with Impact Ministries, and this ministry has been building schools, medical clinics, and supporting the growth and development of the church there. Impact Ministries recently started a new program where you can support a whole class, and this is where we decided to use the funds. They are trying to get 4 sponsors for each class for the end of this year, and we are helping to support the Pre-Kinder class in Vida Nueva! Elaine gave me lots of information about this program and our classroom and provided me with all these beautiful photos so we can give this update!
Vida Nueva (New life) is the newest school of Impact Ministries and can be found in a small, extremely poor mountain village community near the town Purulha. It just opened last year as the town mayor actually invited the founders of Impact Ministries to their village and asked them to build a school! They offered to provide the land if they would provide their children with an education since there were no schools in the area. When they were told that Impact Ministries ran Christian schools and that their children would be learning about God, the mayor and the parents in the community said, “Yes! Come tell us! No one has ever come to tell us and we want to hear!” This is a very special community made of loving and accepting people!
The pre-kinder class that we are helping to support has children ages 3 and 4 years old! This age is very special to us since Myla is this age and we will be able to see these children grow up throughout the years alongside Myla. Above are two of their class photos, one taken at the beginning of the year in January, and the other just taken last week!
Impact ministries runs a child sponsorship program which helps to begin the support of these schools. They are running full schools, a feeding program and medical care for the children. With this new ‘support a class’ program, they are hoping to cover the rest of the necessities to provide greater care for these children. For example, not much importance is placed on dental hygiene there, and not many families can afford a toothbrush or toothpaste. Now the whole class brushes their teeth at school, which will hopefully help them develop a good habit and routine!
The students get a hot meal when they arrive at school, and Impact Ministries tries to hire their students’ parents whenever possible to help support these families. Thus the cooks pictured above are the students’ moms! The students receive a full education, school uniform, and a new pair of shoes every year. With this new initiative they are hoping to bring more books into the classrooms, to provide resources for the teachers, and to increase teacher salaries. These are all so important, and I am very happy that we can help with these aspects of the classroom!
Elaine provided us with some details on what the homes look like too. The home pictured above with the laminate siding and roof would be considered a middle class home since it at least blocks the wind. Many homes have just planks of wood with large gaping holes.
This little ‘sink’ area is a luxury item that some families have in their homes called a ‘pilla’. This is where they wash their food, dishes, clothes and take baths- it is definitely multi purpose. Many families (especially those who live very far up into the mountains) do not have access to running water so they have to walk up to one hour sometimes to fill up jugs and bring them home.
The average salary is Q30 per day, which is roughly $6 CDN. The majority of families are ‘work by hire’. Since Guatemala is a country that is so politically unstable, there is much corruption and about 10% of the population own about 90% of the wealth and land. These owners hire managers to manage the land for them, and these managers in turn hire day laborers. These day laborers are the students’ parents. Fathers will be out in the fields working or pulling giant carts of produce to the market for the mothers to sell. Mothers will be out selling pretty much anything they can to make enough for the family, but most of the time it is not enough.
Pictured above is Victor, the principal of the school who has an amazing testimony! Victor was a street kid as his parents left their family when they were very young. He and his six older brothers and sisters were left to fend for themselves. One day they heard that a group of foreigners (a short term missions team with Impact about 15 years ago) were coming near their area. They excitedly visited this team everyday while they were building a house since they knew that foreigners have candy! One of the missionaries taught then 8-year-old Victor a kids’ bible song, and to this day, Victor remembers this missionary and the song remains special to him. Victor went on to attend an Impact Ministries school where he grew up over the years learning more about God and how to have a relationship with Him. Victor is now a powerful leader with Impact, and he and his wife Glenda are expecting their first child next month in November! Every day he leads the whole school in worship and teaches these children about Jesus since He has dramatically changed Victor’s life!
It is so powerful hearing these stories and seeing how God is using Impact Ministries throughout the generations. Many of the former students become teachers as they want to give back and help build into these young lives just as others supported them growing up. We are honoured that we can play a small part in this ministry and help support the pre-kinder class of Vida Nueva. We get to watch them grow and develop as they progress throughout the years in school and receive updates about them. We get to pray for them and they pray for us as well. It is so special that we can help build the next generation of leaders and support the students, teachers, families! To learn more about the “Support a Class” program, click HERE!
Thank you again to Elaine for providing us with the photos and so much insight into the program and a glimpse of what life is like for these children and their families. We are so thankful to have this blog platform and a worldwide audience so that we can share about our faith and powerful programs such as these that are helping improve the lives of so many! Thank you all for supporting “The Lambert Collection” so that we can help support these children and their teachers!