Loaves and Fishes in Abundance
I am always surprised where I will find something about hunger and how we are called to help bring it [...]
Date posted: Friday 04 October 2019
Remember the little school on the edge of the ravine? The ILAG elementary school about 20 yards away from a ravine that drops chunks of rock after every rain and every earth tremor? That little school?
A new location for the school has been found! It is a large lot with a big three-story house with 20 rooms that will easily convert to classrooms. The new lot is in a safe and desirable location in the same general area, so students will be able to walk to school. There is enough room to spread out, to have an office space, and to create a play area.
You may recall that the ILAG staff was eyeing a property last spring. That lot was sold to another buyer...one who had cash in hand. This time, the ILAG staff went to the ELCA to request a loan, to guarantee that funds would be available to purchase a suitable lot. The ELCA granted that request, knowing that the companion synods and other partnered churches would help to repay the loan.
Pastor Karen Castillo signed the preliminary papers last Monday and made a down payment. Full payment will take place in the next few weeks, as soon as the ELCA is able to disperse the funds.
The purchase price is $363,000, plus $50,000 is needed for repairs. Even though this price is much higher than the first desired lot, the value is much greater, making growth a real possibility.
The terms of the loan are $250,000 borrowed over 10 years, with 5% interest. The ELCA generously gave a grant of $50,000 for the project, and the funds from the May gala ($75,000) are still in reserve. We will work together with other ILAG partners to make regular payments. This does not scare me a bit. Friends, we can do this!
The 2019 school is drawing to a close in a few weeks. The new school year begins in January, and classes will open in the new space. Thanks be to God!
Janet Metcalfe, Chair
Guatemala Committee - Saint Paul Area Synod