Can you relate? The other day, one of our young leaders said that he had made many plans for 2020. Of course, these plans were now not working out.
But then he felt God speaking to him. “Sorry about all your plans,” God seemed to say, “but the thing is, I had also made plans for you, and My plans for you are different from the plans you made for yourself. So, could you let go of all your frustrations about not fulfilling your plans, and submit yourself to My plans for you?”
Isn’t that good?
In many ways, that explains how Impact Ministries has needed to approach this year as well. Many, many of our plans flew out the window, as schools and churches were shuttered, mission teams were cancelled, and lockdowns became the new norm.
But we bow our knee to the heart of God and are committed to listening to His voice as He directs our steps. He has this year in the palm of His hand and He is hard at work.
In Guatemala, Covid-19 restrictions have caused us to approach ministry creatively. Our teaching staff are showing great dedication and commitment to their students with whatever means possible. Some students are reached during food hamper deliveries (which include study materials for our students), others through their parents’ WhatsApp or phone messages. Some teachers are sending greetings and study materials on a daily basis for students who have online access.
In fact, out of necessity, we have opened a new “technology” department in Guatemala with two full-time staff. Some of you may have joined us for a Sunday morning worship service online. This is just one of the ways that we are using technology to stay connected. The Rio de Vida Church has been streaming services and Bible studies.The Vida Schools have just started streaming weekly devotionals for the children. And our teachers have taken on a new and exciting project of putting curriculum for every subject online.
The school administrative team has formed small groups of teachers according to their subject strengths. Each group is working together to make outstanding lesson plans, dynamic activities and excellent evaluation processes. Even if classes go back to normal next year, we expect this to be a great resource for all our teachers in every one of our schools.
While this is definitely not what we had planned for this year, we choose to be thankful for the good that is coming out of it. Our mission is not cancelled – it just looks a bit different! We ask you to continue to pray for our students and teachers, and for the ministry as a whole.
(This fall, we are also planning to celebrate Impact Ministries’ 20th Anniversary online – watch for a “Save the Date” email coming soon!)