I have attended graduation ceremonies on many levels. And there is something within me that is proud every time. There are some kids that breezed through their education and didn’t put forth their total effort, and yet they graduate. And there are kids that shed blood, sweat and tears to get where they are. For most of the students in Guatemala, to continue their education is a sacrifice. It is the blood, sweat and tears kind of education. They sacrifice to be in school. They put off marriage, have less time for helping at home or in the fields, and being surrounded by family. Many of them have to work to put themselves through school. Their families sacrifice financially and put great hope in them that they will be able to succeed. There is much pressure. And there is much reward. They value their education.
And so for me, to be able to see these students graduate and move one step closer to realizing their dream of having a better life, it is truly an honor. I have prayed for these students. I have a personal relationship with many of them. I know their families. I walked beside them. I listened to them and I told them that they could do it. Over and over and over again. Because I knew that their way to a better life was through education. Many of them I had to convince to stay, to work thorough the difficulties, that it would be worth it. To persevere. Yet seeing their smiles and their sense of pride shine through is truly something special.
This year two different classes graduated at ADONAI. The first to graduate were the high school students. One of my favorite moments of the night was watching them lead worship. Seeing them on the stage reminded me of the growth that had happened over the years. These students had been regular attenders at our worship evenings for the community and their talents and confidence grew over time. Their faith was grounded and I have watched them take that faith and be leaders within the community – shining the light.
As they accepted their diplomas and walked off stage, I am confident that there is a better future ahead of them than what they left behind.
Our nursing students had an intense year, completing their studies and passing their clinicals. Each of the students passed the national exam as well to be qualified to practice across the country – a phenomenal feat. These students were so excited for graduation and took great pride in their studies. Many of them will be working in our clinics and hospital, and even better – some will gain jobs in different facilities where we know they will shine the light of Jesus as well as impart their knowledge. Please continue to pray for these students. As our job in guiding them is not over.