- Created on Tuesday, 12 July 2016 01:39
Bob Loker chairs the seeJesus board of directors and is a trainer. In this post, he shares about a recent trip to Guatemala where he and a seeJesus trainee taught the Bethesda course and Person of Jesus.
Debora Ramirez is a Guatemalan missionary I have known for several years. She is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks excellent English. I regularly travel to Guatemala to teach The Person of Jesus and the Bethesda Series, and Debora has helped me teach.
Last spring seeJesus invited Debora, together with Barry and Marquita Staley who are also missionaries in Guatemala, to come to Lakeland, Florida where Timo Strawbridge, our senior trainer, led them through our Small Group Leader Training course. As a follow-up, in early July we planned a trip to Livingston, Guatemala, a small town on the Caribbean coast, for Debora to lead classes in Bethesda for school children during the day and The Person of Jesus for adults at night.
Livingston is a poor but vibrant town nestled between the jungle and the coast and only reached by boat. It is noted for its unusual mix of Garifuna, Afro-Caribbean, and Mayan languages and culture. Its claim to movie fame is that in 1935 The New Adventures of Tarzan was partially filmed there. Scenes were filmed where the explorers prepare to go from town into the jungle. Little has changed except for a proliferation of motorcycles, and Livingston would still make a good movie set.
Although the training Timo had given Debora focused on leading Bible discussions around a table for six to twelve participants, she ended up teaching over 700 kids over three days. Her first class had 250 students! But she did great. Debora is a gifted teacher and the kids loved the classes, especially the skits and the storytelling. There is no doubt about it: Although Bethesda is written primarily for learning disabled young adults, it is easily adaptable for youth and oral learners. Also, while my Spanish is adequate, it is great to have a native Spanish speaker be the lead teacher.
Although we had scheduled our evening classes for teaching The Person of Jesus to adults, a tropical storm hit during the first class and we had to cancel it partway through. The weather was so bad that we could not return by launch to our mission base so we “camped out” in a small house in town. There was no inside plumbing and we had no change of clothes so we were a little sweaty and disheveled teaching the next day. However, our daytime hangout between classes was Restaurante Happy Fish, which had intermittent internet, served great seafood and prepared meals with purified water. (If you have traveled to small Central American towns, you know how important that is.) Storms were predicted for the following night also, so we canceled again so we would not miss our early morning bus back to Guatemala City.
We are so thankful for the ways God was at work on our trip and for the joy of studying Jesus with our Guatemalan brothers and sisters!
"Teaching with Deborah"