In just a matter of weeks our world has turned upside down. This virus has shown us how interconnected we all are. Within a few months a strange isolated seemingly flu-like virus in China evolved into a worldwide pandemic. Joint efforts to slow its effects are now underway on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. We are connected and we are all pursuing the same goal, to slow and put an end to Covid-19.
As with most countries, Guatemala has been affected by Covid-19 and has taken drastic and necessary measures to slow its growth. In a country with limited hospitals and limited resources, there is a very real need to protect the population from this virus. Unfortunately, this also means that schools and businesses are closed and travel is restricted into the country. In short, the entirety of the delicate economic structure of Guatemala has come to a standstill.
The families of IMA’s students have been hit incredibly hard by this economic freeze. There is very limited employment and families are facing huge challenges to provide for basic needs like food, water and medicine. Not only are our students and their families affected but the community that surrounds IMA’s campus is struggling as well.
In the midst of this global crisis, IMA has been a light in Guatemala. With the mandatory closing of its campus, IMA has regrouped and reimagined how to reach its students as well as the local community. The IMA store has begun taking phone orders and created a hands-off delivery system to local families that need food, medicine and vitamin supplements. IMA has donated medical supplies to a local clinic and masks and gloves to local firefighters out of the stock that has always been available in the store. IMA has reallocated the school’s food budget towards groceries for students’ families and also for the surrounding community. In just a few days, IMA has already provided groceries for over 230 families including food deliveries using the school bus. In many cases a desk was also gifted to IMA families as an encouragement to students to continue to participate in distance learning opportunities. IMA’s teachers are checking in with students to offer emotional support and to help them continue their learning.
At this time, IMA is continuing to pay the salaries of the Guatemalan administration, teachers and hourly staff while reallocating discretionary funds to better meet the immediate needs of our community. We have provided hope, encouragement, prayer as well as food and medicine to our families and local neighbors.
During this uncertain time, we, the IMA family of volunteers and staff would like to thank you for your continued commitment to minister and serve girls and their families in Guatemala. The support and love you are providing to them is immeasurable. May God’s work continue to reach the lost, provide hope in a time of fear and shine a light in the darkness. God bless you.
Jamie Randy – IMA President
Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in.”