By Alejandra Diaz –
Early last year we included a blog on our website about our older students who are receiving tutoring in English from Paul Stickland, an Englishman who has been living in Guatemala for eight years.
I am happy to report that Paul is still coming twice a week, and the classes are proving quite beneficial to our children.
We have around a dozen students taking the class; some days it is more and some days less, depending on their school schedules and other activities.
To show the progress they are making, students in the class are getting good grades at school. They ask their teachers more questions, and feel more confident about speaking English with visiting mission team members. This confidence stems from an increased vocabulary, helping them with conversation.
Paul lives close to Dorie’s Promise and saw our children walking in the park many times. Finally, he decided to come here to offer his help teaching English.
Before retiring, he worked as a banker, and his office supported three charities for children. Each time Paul visited them, he met bright and happy children, and saw how important it is for children to have a loving home and good education.
“I would always come away full of admiration for the people who helped them,” he recalls. “The experience here has been incredibly rewarding. The children are always keen to learn, and their progress has been truly remarkable.”
Not only does he try to make the classes fun by asking silly questions to help students practice their English, Paul has warmed up to them. Last December, he organized a nice Christmas party for the children, and sometimes has brought donations for them.
Sometimes Paul will help them with a special presentation they need to make at school and give them a chance to practice it before the class. Learning to speak English has helped considerably, and when they have a question, they will bring their school books and ask Mr. Stickland about it.
Besides their improved ability to carry on conversations with visiting missionaries, the kids are learning not to be shy. They realize if they want to learn English they need to practice and take the risk of making mistakes.
We deeply appreciate Paul’s volunteering to help us with these classes. They are a great help because they offer our children a great education without having to invest our limited resources.
The English classes are a symbol of the help each and every volunteer missionary makes to FCI’s ministry. Your efforts are appreciated and stretch our resources much further than they would go without your help.