February 5, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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One of the heartbeats within the Calvary Vision is rooted in global missions, and we’ve had the opportunity to partner with incredible global missionaries like Pamela Greene. Pamela has been a vital part of Calvary Christian School in Guatemala, something that’s been on the rise since 2018.
Has the Lord ever placed a question on your heart you knew could only come from Him? After a church plant in La Esperanza, Quetzaltenango, and an after school program for 60–80 children, the Lord began to lay these questions on the heart of Pastor Jeff Stone: What if we could reach the children in our community on a larger scale and instruct them in the ways of the Lord? What impact would that have on the Department (state) of Quetzaltenango and the country of Guatemala? Could we help form future leaders with the mind of Christ through education? These questions turned into a vision and eventually the formation of Calvary Christian School in Guatemala.
In 2016, doors opened with 12 students in preschool. The school quickly became known for its affordable tuition and biblical and English-immersion curriculum. After fi ve years, the school had 284 students and became a pillar in the community.
With the vision of making disciples of students in mind, the staff must be disciples of Jesus. Recruiting English-speaking, Jesus-loving teachers can be a challenge, but they have been blessed with a team of 27 staff members who are passionate about teaching in academics and the ways of the Lord. Mindy Ajanel, a second-year 4th grade teacher at Calvary Christian School shares, “Pastor Jeff and the team of directors have invested in me and the team in discipleship. This has encouraged me to share with my students, knowing I can make an impact on them in the same way the Lord has used my leaders to impact my faith.
“I’m amazed at how mature some of my students are when it comes to devo time, their questions, comments, and the way they treat their classmates. The way they pray is so real, and I just love praying with them and also listening to their prayer requests because they don’t focus on asking for themselves, but other people.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”—Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
Calvary Christian School is passionate about partnering with parents to disciple children in the ways of the Lord. This is met through daily devotional and discipleship programs between teachers and students, parent-teacher conferences, parenting classes, and family fellowship events.
It’s been beautiful to see the way the gospel has impacted families through the school’s ministry. One of those families is the Cifuentes. Ana Cifuentes, a mom of two students at Calvary Christian School, shared how the school has had an impact on her family.
“My children have learned and grown incredibly in their faith in Jesus. They now share and talk more about the stories of the Bible and have focused more on prayer.
“As a young single mom, I’ve struggled for many years. The school has helped me in two main ways. The first is when I attended the Legacy of Faith classes and learned so much about parenting my sons with biblical principles. The second is through the male staff who have been mentoring my sons in the ways of the Lord. The teachers and staff have taken time to invest in my sons and show them by example how to live godly lives.
“In the academic area, I’ve been able to see their growth. They’ve made a lot of progress in the English language as well as various academic areas.
“As a mother, it fills me with joy to see that my children are able to grow up in a good environment full of great teachers. When I take them to class, they’re excited and happy, and when they return home they talk about their experiences and what they learned during the day.”
The Lord has moved in unique ways in and through the ministry of Calvary Christian School, leading each step and endeavor. We believe that as we continue to educate future leaders in the ways of the Lord, they will empower a generation of impact, furthering the gospel and continuing to make disciples for years to come.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.