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Precious Moments
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2014
It’s been a very good day for the second grade class at Precious Moments, located near the Santa Fe slum in Guatemala City. The students were introduced for the first time to the computer lab at their school and then received new backpacks filled with school supplies from Christ Church Plano and Monterey Church of Christ in Lubbock.

Not for our sake, God, no, not for our sake, but for Your sake, but for Your name’s sake, show Your glory. — Psalm 115:1

Helga (pictured below) and her friends at Precious Moments may never meet the people who provided their gifts, but they feel their impact. And for Martha, the founder of Precious Moments, the gifts are another testimony of the power of God.

“Everything here started with God’s heart. This is all because of Him.”

Martha (pictured below with Eduardo Lux) grew up near the Santa Fe ravine. Attending school was a struggle because her parents simply didn’t have the time or resources to help her. Then she fell in love with a man who believed in her vision to make sure new generations wouldn’t have to struggle like she did, and they married.

She began her ministry to children with a whiteboard, desks and free lunches at the ravine. A nearby cemetery then became the school’s home, and thirty students faithfully attended. When she moved the school to its permanent location in a struggling business district in 2000, eighteen students joined her to learn basic reading and writing skills.

In 2006, Martha added a daycare to the school. And shortly after, she opened its doors for anyone who needed overnight shelter.

Now 190 students fill the tiny classrooms at Precious Moments and are taught reading and writing plus mathematics, art, and computer.  Each afternoon, at least 50 children receive free childcare. And on any given night, 14 spend the night in special sleeping quarters recently built by visiting missionaries. A storage closet has been converted to a kitchen to prepare meals for the children who often get their only meals at the school.

“This neighborhood isn’t an easy place to live,” Martha shares. “There are gangs, but they respect the work being done here, and they keep violence away from our street.

“The impact in this neighborhood has been great. Through Precious Moments, people can see the God who doesn’t forget the least. I remember caring for three children who used to sleep in a car. They are now in university.”

Martha’s vision keeps growing. The computer lab is the latest addition to the school, and she sees it as the next step in transformation.

“I believe that, after God, education is the most important thing we can give a child. Without those two, there is little hope for a good future.”

For years, Martha and her husband funded the efforts of Precious Moments by holding garage sales. The school is certified by the government, but doesn’t receive any financial aid. “We have had many visitors come to see our school. People love to give to big ministries, but we are small so we haven’t received much help. The parents of our students give what they can. But always, always God sends someone to provide.”

For Eduardo Lux, the 5th and 6th grade instructor at the school, the greatest gift has been his students. “I decided to teach here because of Martha’s vision and her commitment to education. I came to Guatemala City to attend seminary, and a friend told me about Precious Moments. I visited here and knew this would be my calling.” Eduardo grew up in a single parent home, so he understands many of the struggles of his students – kids like David (pictured below), a 16-year old currently in 6th grade. He is the only one in his family who has ever attended school, and he hopes his life will be better because of it. He smiles as he looks across the street at an auto repair shop. “I want to be a mechanic when I graduate.”

Martha prays that even more David's will find their place at Precious Moments. “Most people in our community will never be able to afford an education or computer training. We now have help to make that possible.” Orphan Outreach has joined Precious Moments to provide school supplies and computer equipment to the school, and this summer mission teams will visit the school to help teach and provide care for the children. Martha looks forward to meeting the new faces, especially as they join her favorite part of the week’s activities – a special time of devotional worship that takes place each Friday morning.

She laughs with joy as the tears well in her eyes. “This is all for the glory of God. It is always about Jesus.”

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