Life here in Puerto has become very busy for me. I have a new wife, Soco, and a large extended family to go with her. I love them all, and they are all wonderful. Sometimes the responsibility can be a little overwhelming. God has faithfully worked out all of our problems and in the process, is working on my patience and my reliance on Him.
We are currently building a house. It should be finished near the end of March. God provided a man, Mike Albutt, to manage the construction, and I could not have done this on my own. I am very pleased with the outcome so far and expect to have a wonderful house for Soco in a few weeks.
Yesterday, my step-grandson Mario fainted in worship time at school. He is ok, but it caused a stir. His parents are in another state, 12 hours away, and he is staying with his grandmother and me. God is helping me learn how to deal with the unexpected. I know I need a lot more work in this area, but I see His hand in almost everything. That word ‘almost’ is still a problem for me. But He is faithful and true to His word.
School is going reasonably well, praise God. The sixth graders are doing better in math than my previous years of teaching the subject in the middle school. I think part of that is because more of them speak English fluently because they have been in our school longer. And the other part of that is due to God growing me as a teacher.
God is faithful in showing Himself to students in school. There are a few students that are obviously struggling with God. That is good because we can see Him working in their lives.
God is also faithful in my personal life and my life in school and to the students that we are serving. I am so thankful that He has put me here. I will keep struggling with turning everything over to Him, but He will faithfully keep pulling me through.
-David Coulter, GEM Missionary
One of the most incredible attributes of God is that he is never not faithful. Really. He is constant, an ever assured rock where we as believers are founded. God is never not faithful to be loving, to be gracious, to set his purpose into place, and to reveal his glory. He even is faithful to use us for his divine purpose. Humans. He wants us to be vessels for him. I mean, a God that is so perfect, choosing sinners to further his kingdom? Kinda crazy. To add to the crazy, when we are in constant relationship with him, we become more like him. When we choose to follow his path of righteousness, we too can become more faithful to what he commands. It’s a beautiful thing that he calls us to be divine, to be holy like him. I have never been more reminded of his faithfulness, his steadfastness, than when I visited Puerto Escondido.
Being given the opportunity to know the staff and students at Manantial is one that I keep close to my heart. The Lord has been so faithful to plan the steps of each staff member of this precious school. The students see glimpses of Jesus every day because of what they see in their teachers. As soon as you step through the white gate into the school, the atmosphere is so spirit filled. I can’t describe to you the encouragement and joy and peace that anyone can feel in that place. I can only attribute it to faith. The labor that staff members have put into this school has definitely not gone in vain. God is using education, a privilege that some of these children might not have if it weren’t for GEM, to reveal himself. These children are such sweet blessings. Each one so unique, bringing their own talents to make this school even more special. I really cannot speak enough words to say just how much Manantial is doing and how faithful God has been to make the school flourish. Seriously. Pray for the school, sponsor a child, visit Puerto (also because tacos and the beach!), serve alongside GEM, and be faithful to see God’s story played out in this beautiful place.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-59
Sara Smith has volunteered with GEM in Puerto twice, and she is a treasured part of our support team!
It’s impossible to narrow my favorite things about GEM down to only three, but I will stick to just a few for the sake of this blog post. The first thing I absolutely love about working with Global Education Ministries is the incredible people who I work with each day. Jesus has faithfully brought together a group of genuine, selfless people who are really passionate about this ministry. Each morning we spend half an hour as a group in morning devotions. We pray for each other, encourage one another, and bless each other by digging into God’s word daily. Sometimes I have to stop myself in the middle of my day and remember how privileged I am to be serving with such an amazing family of believers who have the same motivation, which is Christ. It is all by God’s grace that this is my reality.
Another aspect of GEM that I love is that I have the opportunity to pour into my student’s spiritual lives on a daily basis. Education is an extremely important asset in today’s world and is a major priority at our school, but Global Education Ministries is also a completely gospel-centered organization. Personally, I believe a child’s faith is much more valuable than anything else in the world. The fact that we have an entire class period devoted to learning about God’s word each day is an incredible gift. In fact, integrating biblical truth into our education doesn’t stop there! If a child has a spiritual question in the middle of science class, we are able to stop, debrief and have a discussion that could change a child’s faith forever. With GEM, it isn’t just about them getting good grades or finishing a math test on time, it’s all about Jesus.
Last but not least, Global Education Ministries hasn’t just given me the chance to meet awesome teachers, but serving at our school has given me the opportunity to meet so many different individuals with different backgrounds; some who love Jesus, and some who were put in my life for the purpose of coming to know Him. GEM makes an effort to accept middle to low-income families as students at our school. This has given us the chance to partner with people who are in physical need but also with those who have never heard of the gospel. GEM doesn’t just seek to educate the rich or Christian population, but the low and the lost. This is such a beautiful thing!
Overall, I can confidently say that Jesus is using Global Education Ministries to transform the hearts of many. That is why I love it so much! As we faithfully serve with GEM, my prayer is that the world would continue to be changed bit by bit, all for the glory of the King.
– Natalia (Miss Nati)
Natalia has served with GEM for almost 2 years now as the Kinder 1 & 2 teacher. She loves music, art and bringing laughter to any situation. At the end of this school year, she will move back to Toronto, Canada to serve with the Children’s Ministry at her home church.
August of 2015 began my journey in Mexico. It was only the second time I had traveled out of the country. The first time was just one month earlier when I went to Canada for missionary training. The idea of moving to another country was a little scary, but I had no doubt that God was calling me to serve with Global Education Ministries. I have been blessed by the experiences where God has shown His work in the school and in my life.
One of my favorite moments was a conversation I had with a parent of one of my students. After our Christmas play, the mom of the student (who portrayed Gabriel) came up to me and said that she was very thankful that her son had the opportunity to be in the play. She said that it was good for him. He is one of my students who knows a good amount about the Bible but doesn’t understand how real it is and how God can change his life. This is why it was a big deal for him to play the angel who shared with Mary and Joseph about the coming of Jesus.
The sweetest moment I’ve had with a student was during our VBS week. We had a church from Oregon come down and share Jesus with our students through crafts, memory verses, Bible stories and new worship songs. After the gospel message was shared with the fifth and sixth graders, the fifth-grade teacher and I stayed around to talk with any students who had questions. One of my girls asked me how we can know God is real. I was able to share with her how God directs each of our lives. I specifically shared with her how God brought me to Puerto to teach her. I was grateful that I could openly share with her about God’s desire to be a part of her life.
Our weekly chapel time has also been a part of some precious moments for me. After lunch on Fridays, we have the unique opportunity to worship God by singing, combined with hand motions for each song. What makes that time so precious is that I can stand alongside my sixth graders and the fifth graders and do the hand motions together. I love to see the pure joy in each kid’s face that you don’t often have the opportunity to see in class.
Being a first-year teacher in a foreign country has been challenging, but each of those memories I mentioned has made me so grateful that God chose to bring me to Puerto Escondido and the Manantial School. Conversations with parents, sharing gospel truths with students, and singing praises to God with young people are all reasons why my first year living and working in Puerto has been truly special. I hope you are encouraged by hearing how God has been working in my life through our school in Mexico!
Tracy Frohlich graduated from Erskine College, in South Carolina with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology in 2013. She loves worshiping God through music and is excited about what the Lord will teach her through this unique opportunity in Puerto Escondido!