Here in Guatemala, we’ve been on stay-at-home/curfew/restricted contact/quarantine or whatever you want to call it for more than two months now.
Since mid-March, the infection count has gone from 1 to over 2,260 (which is actually pretty good compared to other places). Leaders here are trying hard to keep this from spreading faster than medical systems can handle. This means schools, churches, and all gatherings (sports, small groups, markets, and many jobs) are shut down. We have a mandatory daily curfew from 5 pm to 5 am with threat of arrest if one ventures into the street during those hours. Face masks are mandatory.
Currently Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are closed to pretty much all but medical and heavy transport traffic (semis or heavy cargo.) On those days we can’t go out of our yard.
Things are getting harder for families here who haven’t been able to work and are unable to buy food supplies. One family we gave a food packet to told us they had been without food for about 2 weeks and had been visiting other families in hopes of sharing a meal with them. While some food prices have risen, restrictions on how much food can be purchased have been lifted and we’ve been able to get extra food to help with families in need.
The worldwide aspect of this virus is hitting home for families here who normally received support from a family member working in the USA. As jobs have been lost or closed in the USA, families here no longer receive the finances they had gotten used to. I’ve even heard of some immigrants who left the USA and are sneaking back in through the closed borders and trying to avoid their mandatory quarantine. Some of the cases of the virus here have been tracked back to deported Guatemalans who returned from the USA carrying the infection.
We’re not able to meet with our students at the Bible Institute or children’s outreach in person and even the private clinic at the local ministry we serve with has been closed by the government that only allows hospitals to stay open. However, Michael has kept very busy working from home on the children’s Bible curriculum book as well as on teaching his students and preparing his online classes!
Using the technology available, Michael has been meeting and planning with staff to help the local ministry keep running remotely. Fourteen teachers for the Bible Institute started classes for this trimester totally online. Michael is one of those teachers and has been recording his class videos on the Life of Christ at our house and sending them out to the students online.
We’ve distributed audio players and printed curriculum to kids from our Bible study so they can keep learning and active during their home time.
We’ve also been moving quickly on completing a Bible curriculum for use with the Little Disciples kids Bible Study we do and for training children ministers as a resource for churches, Bible Clubs, etc. across Spanish-speaking countries.