Happy New Year! We started our new year in Guatemala by gathering our team and their families to celebrate King’s Day on January 6th, the day set aside to remember the wisemen who searched for the Christ child and brought gifts to honor him as the long-awaited King.
It was a great time of gathering in the garden of our offices to give thanks to God for the gift of Jesus, to enjoy a time of good food, crazy games, and to exchange gifts.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
We welcomed our newest team member, baby Santiago, born to Jacky and Neri Ajiataz, and also welcomed two new MAF pilots in training with A.G.A.P.E. for this year. (yes, of course we made them dress up as kings for the game!)
A new year of ministry is off and running! Thank you for your support and prayers that keep everything moving ahead. Keep reading to see what we are up to as the new year unfolds, gracias!
Our Run:Hope Teacher Conference January 9 – 12
Exploring Geography was the theme of our conference as we brought 25 our Run:Hope teachers to Guatemala City. We had various workshops and visited the amazing Relief Map in Guatemala City, hiked the active volcano Pacaya, and learned about the past Mayan Civilization in Museo Mira Flores, built right in the heart of a large shopping area in Guatemala City. We used Psalm 104 as our reflection devotion passage, as we talked about geographic landforms, natural resources, and the ecoregional diversity in Guatemala.
Here are just a few of the special memories of our geography conference:
Highlights in the making for 2023
- Run:Hope schools begin their new school year in January & February.
- Bible training programs begin again in the month of January in Estanzuela Joyabaj, Samococh, Chisec Alta Verapaz, and in Sacoj San Raimundo.
- Planning has begun with an architect and engineer to update a donated building in Xemac-La Perla for the middle school and a possible training center in Chel.
- Hosting community races in Salquil, Xemac-La Perla, and Ilom once again in May to promote perseverance in education. Community races also provide an opportunity to give testimonies to the larger community of the hope that students can have beyond an education.
- Planning and hosting Run:Hope events in the US in September and October.
- Planning a first time Run:Hope torch run in Guatemala City for Guatemala independence day in September.
- Participating in mission month conferences in the US in the fall.
- Planning final certificate celebrations for our Bible leadership programs in November and December.
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Your support, prayers, and love keep us going!
Rick and Deb
(for our entire H.O.P.E. & A.G.A.P.E. teams)