“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows,” James 1:17, (NIV)
We are all given gifts from God in this life. The most precious gifts we receive however, are often the people He places in our everyday lives. These gifts can be found in teammates that He gives us. They can even be easily overlooked as we get used to those we are typically around. Even so, they are often the most precious, when seen through God’s eyes.
How The Peru Team Has Mastered This
One notable example of this is how the Peru team has honored the gifts found in their teammates. It all began through the gift of one of their newest team members, María Farfán. María joined the team with an impressive background in psychology. This background could’ve been overlooked, as it wasn’t in her job description. Yet, because of the team culture they have nurtured, María’s gifts were immediately recognized, and welcomed at the table.
María was hired on with Edify as an Education Technology Officer. With the primary focus of her role to visit and interact with partner schools, she became more familiar with the condition of each school. Over time, she began to notice that many students’ mental health was declining. Many students were regularly coming to school burdened with social and emotional struggles. With her background, María suspected these symptoms were due to the extended lockdown the students had endured over the last two years. She also expected these symptoms to hinder the students from reaching their fullest potential in the classroom if left unnoticed.
“The time at the school was not enough, so we started working with the parents. After the past couple of years, the kids returned to school with many social and emotional needs,” María recalls. It was only because of the collaborative culture God instilled within Edify that María felt she could share her findings with her colleagues. By God’s grace, the entire team agreed and quickly took action by forming a training program. The program was essentially made for the school leaders and teachers, in order to provide the emotional support that they would need in the return to school.
Results of the Training
María recalls the early stages of the training, “The teachers came to school with emotional challenges, so they received those trainings very well.” As the teachers and school leaders felt more emotionally supported, they found that they could pour more into both the students and parents. This structure provided a more holistic approach, specifically for teaching and caring for the students. It also led to the student’s parents receiving training to provide support for their children when they came home from school.
Alan Lopez, Christian Transformation Training Officer, shares how the training evolved. “We started with school leaders, and the proprietors started to ask us to open it to the parents as well. It is important for them to know that Edify is there for them. We are open to helping them, and giving them the help they need in these difficult times. Our team understands this was an opportunity to give the proprietors knowledge and know we are here for them.”
The Vision for the Peru Team
As God continues to open doors for the Peru team, they know they will be holding a more significant influence on the families. Because of this, they plan to ultimately bring about community-wide change. “This year, we are going deeper into Christian transformation for the schools in Peru. We have seen how the schools already trust us in the management. Still, this pandemic has been an opportunity to encourage the leaders to continue doing their mission as Christian schools,” Alan shares.
Overall, the Peru team is grateful for the gifts that they have found in one another as they follow God into bringing hope to the future generations of their nation. May we all take note of those God surrounds us with, cherishing them as