All over Guatemala, schools were filled by students going back to classes for the year, all except the school where I've been teaching. Still owing the teachers 2 to 4 months of pay from last year, no decision has been made to open the school for classes this year. As the school year drew closer and closer with no word, more and more of our students have enrolled in other places. The days stretch on, and still no word. Whether or not an official decision is ever reached, if there are no students, there is no school.
However, this has not been without blessing. Working at the school, I received a check just big enough to cover my rent and about half of my food. Getting the other ends to meet has been difficult. I can earn enough through translating, but when I have to work three days per week at the school, I can't have a whole week free to translate, and therefore my services are unwanted. While no official decision has been reached yet about what I will be doing this year, it is likely that I will be relocating to Escunitla and working on the farm of a friend's family. My house in San Antonio is rented until the 29th of this month; so as of this writing, I still have 2 weeks to finalize my plans. The farm would give me some place to live and work, but it would also give me the flexibility of schedule that I'd need to translate for a week at a time.
This week, I am translating. I am in Retaleheu translating for a group called Children of the Americas. I dare say that this is the largest group (and certainly the largest medical group) which comes to Guatemala during the year. It is a team of about 120 people—doctors, nurses, dentists, physical therapists, pharmacists, surgeons, anesthetists, orthopedics, translators (of course!), and even a sonographer—who take over a national hospital for a week (obviously with the permission of the hospital) and take care of everything from colds to gastritis to cancer to forming limbs where limbs didn't grow. This is my second year of translating for this group, and they're a bunch of friendly folk. It is not a religious organization, but when you ask people where they heard about the organization from, more often than not they'll say, “Oh, so-and-so is from the same church as me, and he was telling me about it one day.” In the pharmacy, they typically hand out a Spanish New Testament to everyone who walks through the doors. Even though I'm translating 13 hours per day, this is my vacation of the year. It's a time where I can literally do nothing connected to my regular life here; although I do make connections and have been sending information on a few children back to a contact I have who deals with special needs children in Guatemala.
Even though my life is sometimes full of uncertainty, I am still certain that this is where God called me to be, and therefore I have no doubts or worries. I know that God cares for me daily and that He will never abandon me.