We are all aware that COVID restrictions continue to affect the cans and can nots of our lives around the world. Here in Colegio Bethel many activities such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, the school´s anniversary could not take place as we would usually do them. We completed 31 years of ministry this year; it was impossible not to do something to thank God for His faithfulness! July arrived and it was so satisfying that parents and students were the first to be interested in celebrating these 31 years; but what would we be able to do, considering the restrictions we still have in Guatemala, was our dilemma.
The running of the torch has been something spectacular in the past years, but this year we couldn’t. The church service to give thanks was a must, but we couldn’t. The election of Princess Bethel is exciting, every year a play is presented, the parade… all those things we always did before we could not do. People expected these events, but we were unable to hold any due to the restrictions of the pandemic.
Sister Ester, Pamela, Benjamin, and I worked to find strategies to celebrate the anniversary and we agreed to do virtual activities. By the grace of God our four major anniversary events took place!!
The torch was brought into the school and there was an election for Princess Bethel. It was on Friday, July 30. We could not gather as we would have liked to, therefore, we held it on Facebook live. Pam took five alumni to run in the torch, it was nice, small, but meaningful. The staff waited in the basketball court for the torch to arrive and a larger flame was lit in the center of the court as we sang praises to God for His faithfulness, protection, and support.
Then, on the fourth floor, in the multipurpose room, the three candidates for Princess Bethel introduced themselves; Joanie Chavajay was running for elementary school, Luisa Puzul for middle school and Sharon Arriola for High School. The three young ladies, with elegance and originality, sported regional clothing and evening apparel as they each gave their two speeches, one regarding the importance of education in times of pandemic and the other, the value and importance of typical native clothing.
The votes were based on the number of likes in the photos published on the school’s Facebook page, the winner was Sharon Arriola. This modality had its challenges, but we were able to reach the goal.
On Saturday, August 7, we had a thanksgiving service to God for one more year at the school. Pastor Emilio preached that day, and the teachers sang. It was a special moment to recognize God as our guide, our provider, and our protector. This was also streamed live. Following the service, Astrid González, who was Princess Bethel for two consecutive years, (due to the pandemic, she maintained the reign in 2019 and 2020), crowned Sharon as Princess Bethel 2021-2022. As a finishing touch we had a firework display in honor of the new princess.
During our celebrations, we thought of you all, dear friends, and donors, because we acknowledge that you make all these activities possible, and we can assure that you are instruments that God uses to bless Colegio Bethel, San Pedro La Laguna, and Guatemala. We love you and pray for you.
Though our anniversary celebrations were not like we are used to, deeply grateful hearts for God’s faithfulness to us allowed us to find ways to celebrate in His honor.