We have had a very busy couple of months.
The 1st semester of EPBT classes finished up at the end of May so we could transition into team season. For the 1st attempt we feel the classes went well. The classes were, basic finances, communications, baking, agriculture, event planning, sewing, carpentry and small business. Overall they went well and now we will begin the fine-tuning process.
June 1st marks the beginning of team season. This year about 80 teams came to El Salvador, keeping the entire ministry very busy. Scott leads the communications dept and Melissa leads the new Cosecha Cafe. Her team was run off their feet all season. When it isn’t team season, the Cafe is used as a practical training ground within the EPBT. Once teams begin to arrive the Cafe transitions into a 16 hour/ day operations. The students who had taken the class are now given real life opportunities to put into practise what they have learned, such as everything from customer service to inventory control to new product launch.
Before teams begin to arrive, our 80+ students are also given in-depth audio and video training. From caring for equipment all the way to hiring themselves out to create an income for themselves, the students are trained thoroughly. Once teams arrive, the department to transitioned from a classroom to a full live production studio.
Aug 1st, marked the end of team season and the beginning of the new school semester. All of the classes have started again with some improvements. One change we made was with our Finances I class. The goal of any missionary is to work themselves out of a job. The goal is to always have local nationals do the work as soon as possible. this alleviates the temptation to become dependant on an foreign influence. This semester Audrey Van Belle has switched her role from actually teaching the finance classes to overseeing the finance classes. We have found a local national couple who are well suited to teach the class. It’s always hard to let go of something you are passionate but Audrey’s move helps the ministry become 1 step closer to an indigenous ministry. This month we are doing the same thing with the Cosecha Cafe. Melissa will slowly move from teaching the students to helping local nationals teach the students.
There is so much more to tell you about the other areas but until then please continue to pray for us as we move forward everyday. Please also pray for the missionary team here in El Salvador. John and Audrey Van Belle came from Canada and are doing such an amazing job. We have been blessed just to know them. In addition, please pray for all the US missionaries who are here as well as we all work together to reach the children and make an impact in this world.