I think God must be looking out for me. Within 48 hours of finding out that I was without a paid job with which I pay my house rent and food, I was offered another job. The new job was to start 3 weeks later, but I was also given two translating jobs in the meantime. In other words, I've been doing okay financially.
The new job isn't high on my list of things I'd like to be doing down here, but it offers me enough flexibility that I will be able to serve more in the communities where I have been led to serve. It will also allow me opportunities to translate for mission teams which is another way in which I am able to serve the people down here. I'm working as a manager for some hotels in Antigua. It's 4 hours per day, 5 days per week. The hours and days are almost completely flexible. It's definitely higher stress than teaching English. I'm now responsible for all of the English which happens in 8 different hotels; this includes making sure the receptionists can sell rooms to English-speaking people. In short, give me middle schoolers any day! However, while on one had I feel like I'm getting away from my goal—helping the people who need help—I also feel that I'm getting closer to it—being able to be in the communities where I would soon like to be able to bring groups and have the flexibility to be with those groups.
The story I have to share with you this month, though, is a sad one. I ran into one of my students from last year on the bus a week or so ago. She graduated from the 9th grade and is now studying at a high school in Antigua. I asked her about her former classmates, if any of them had gone on as well. She told me that of the 12 of them, 9 or 10 are still in school. For me, the saddest part of it is that the brightest student out of the 12 of them (the only student in the entire school to have enough points to pass my class by the end of the third marking period) is not continuing on in her studies. This is likely due to a lack of money in the family. I've been considering what can be done, if anything, and what should be done. I'd ideally like to find someone to sponsor her education. The girl's name is Ana Gabriel, and she is one of those girls who could be a neurosurgeon or some sort of engineer or president of Guatemala. Someone with her drive and intelligence could become anything she wanted to be. But in this, one has to realize that maybe she just wants to be a wife and mother. Maybe she has come to her own conclusion that she doesn't need her family to spend any more money on her education. Maybe she herself has decided that ninth grade is good enough. Anyway, keep an eye out for further thoughts about her, and if you know someone who might wish to sponsor her education, let me know. (If you're not an e-mailer, you can send me messages through my mother who regularly e-mails me.)
The Care and Keeping of a Missionary
Obviously, I'd like for you to keep Ana Gabriel in your prayers. As for me, I want to thank you, as always, for your constant support—both in prayer and financially—of the work being done here in Guatemala. I hope to travel to Solola soon and present a roof and clothes for 5 boys which a sponsor in the US has donated. I'd like to ask for your prayers of safe travel not only for that trip, but also for an upcoming trip to the capitol to renew my visa for another 3 months which I'll have to take in the next 2 weeks. As always, you can read more at my blog: http://GringaOnTheGround.blogspot.com and you can e-mail me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!