Saturday, January 4, 2020

The 2019 KBI Graduation

At the end of the year we had our 3rd graduation at Kekchi Bible Institute!
Mari, Rodrigo, Henry, Gerson, Angelina, Giovani
I wanted to share a little bit about each graduate's plans. Mari and Rodrigo each completed the full 3 year program of 60 courses. In mid December they moved to the unreached village of Agua Chiquita. They have a son whom Titus will miss very much.
Jackson and Titus
Giovani came to the farm as a single student, met the cook and got married! He completed the 3 year program and Angelina didn't begin studying until later, but completed the certificate program of 20 classes (she actually completed 35 classes). They also moved in December to the unreached village of Se Pur. They have one son as well. Since moving they have already faced some opposition among the village leadership but God cleared the way for them to remain in the village. 
Graduates with all of the men and women who teach at the institute. (Oscar's face is behind Eulalia, but we really appreciate him too.)
Henry was in the first group of students to ever come to the farm. Besides Elias, Jimmy has probably spent the most time with and feels the closest to Henry. When he left 3 years ago, with one semester to go, that was a very low point for us personally. He returned this past year, with his wife Ana. She is still completing the program, so he will stay here for a while. He will be teaching some first year classes at the institute and is our translator for all of our materials that we want to be put into Kekchi. He is a gifted teacher and translator, so we wouldn't mind if God's plan for him was to partner with us long-term, but God will reveal that in His own time. When I try to predict things like this, I'm always wrong!
There are a couple missing from this photo, but these are the other men beginning their 2nd and 3rd year at the institute, plus Gerson and his brother.
 Gerson is the first student to graduate single. Like Jimmy said in the graduation video he made for the students, it isn't for lack of options, haha! Gerson is waiting for a girl that wants to serve God along side him. He lives the farthest away out of anyone and is one of the only students who had a dad that truly supported him studying at the institute. His dad is a pastor in the department south of here and Gerson returned to his church to take over the youth ministry he start during breaks at the institute. He spoke of coming back once he is married to partner with our association to begin a church plant in Petén. (It is just an association to be legal in Guatemala, each mission once it becomes a self supporting church will file paperwork to become it's own association.) Can't wait to see what God has for him!

 Each year we learn so much about how to better prepare each student. We adjust and readjust constantly. This is the first year we worked outside the umbrella of an existing association for the church plants. These 2 families are pioneers. If they persevere and are successful, this will serve as proof of concept for other graduates who want to be autonomous. Please pray for them!

Another adjustment for the upcoming year is we have learned that many students (not all) move out of their parents' or inlaws' house to move onto the farm property. That means that when they leave the institute, it is their first time truly outside of a big family situation (We consider the farm community a big family!) where they are setting up their own house and won't have someone around to help them all the time. It can be overwhelming. Day one at the institute will be different for new families. It's hard because you want to fix everyone's problem immediately if you can but in some cases that will stifle their future. Please pray for our upcoming year!
This upcoming year will be our first where the ladies have a uniform too. We were all pretty excited about it!
It is such an honor to share 3 years with these individuals who sacrifice so much to follow God's call. The farm is such a unique environment. Everyone is there to grow, us included!

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