July 2, 2019

Agents of Reconciliation, Restoration, and Transformation

Christian Education in Guatemala: A Restorative Approach

One of the unique features of the AMG Guatemala schools is their emphasis on the whole student.  They are concerned for students’ physical, psychological, spiritual and academic growth.  In order to accomplish AMG’s goals, students who are 11 to 18 years old have an opportunity to attend Camp Canaan for one week each year.  The camp is run by Jose and Orfa.   These amazing people have such a heart for children.  They really appreciated the Restorative Practices training because it gives language to what they already knew.  Giving both children and teachers robust ways to communicate ways to listen and truly “hear” one another is something they always strived for.

The program at the camp is a time of safety, fun, encouragement, development of self as a child of God.  For Guatemalan children, safety is a real concern especially those who live in the cities and who may be recruited by gangs.  For students to have a whole week of investment in them as God’s beloved and to investigate how not only to believe the Gospel but to LIVE the gospel in their homes and communities is such a gift. 

The long range goal is to develop a new generation of leaders who can both believe and live the Gospel - being agents of reconciliation, restoration, and transformation.

In this week with the teachers of AMG schools, they have had an experience that inspires, encourages and equips them to be Christian servant-leaders. 

On the first morning of the training, Pastor Harold explained that Christ’s disciples were a motley crew of misfits, broken and even difficult to work with. 

He suggested that our classrooms have students who  are a challenge to us but that God calls us to love them in spite of their difficulties or behavior.  We have to see our students as beloved children of God. 

Since the difficulties or conflicts in the classroom is one of the foci of the training, this devotional spoke to the teachers.  They anticipated learning about Restorative Practices as a way to deal respectfully and creatively with their students.

It is amazing how all the pieces of this week: devotions by the chaplains, activities by the camp and the training by EduDeo all were connected with the same theme of love, care, respect, and developing healthy relationships in the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

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