September 24, 2017

Sunday Adventures and Learning

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This blog was written by Walking Together Learning Leader Roy van Eerden who is working with co-leader Diane Stronks and key Guatemalan educators as part of the Vision for Christ-Centred Education - Guatemala Walking Together project.

I decided to take a chance and walk outside of the large gated community where our guest house is located and attend a mega-church located nearby. Very nearby. Only about a block outside of the gate, so not so adventurous really. The service was very well organized and presented. I enjoy singing the songs as a way to practice my Spanish, but I catch little else of what goes on, unfortunately. Listening to and understanding Spanish is more difficult than trying to speak it and make yourself understood. It is great when they put up a Bible verse that the pastor is referring to, as I can quickly look it up and try to follow along.

Diane arrived in the early afternoon. Her uncle and aunt picked her up at the airport and then we went out for a late lunch/early supper. We had great conversations about the political situation here in Guatemala, the relationship between the indigenous people, the ladinos (mixed heritage) and those of European heritage. I couldn't help but do some comparisons with current work towards reconciliation in Canada, between the indigenous peoples and the "colonialists."

Our day tomorrow is finding out more about AMG and it's work here and visiting some of the projects. We will also get a better sense of the population in Guatemala City. We will be near the city dump where an estimated 18000 people eke out a living. AMG and Diane's aunt and uncle have a heart for the poor and what can be done to empower and enable them. Education certainly plays a key role and Christian education can and should be taking leadership in that regard, so it is exciting to see what is happening and what more could be happening.

I wonder what that says to us in North America where, if we are honest, Christian education is primarily for those with financial means. While we walk together with educators here, what can we learn about how Christian education could and maybe should be done differently back home? May God bless our relationship as one of reciprocal learning.

One last thought from Diane's uncle. He advised we pay attention with all of our senses as we become immersed for a short time in this place.

Pictures tomorrow, I promise. I did take some at the Fraternidad Cristiano de Guatemala, but better to see them in the context of the rest of the city, I think. And tomorrow we hope to find some stories to go along with the pictures.




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