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to the Hope Center, asking if he could partake in their education classes. He was grateful when he was accepted into the literacy class. Twice a week, Angomas joins the other adults, learning first the letters and slowly putting them together to form words and sentences. He never misses a class. He knows how important this is for his future. “Anywhere I go, I can get a job because I can read or write,” he


said. “To read and write is important for many other things of course, but that is the most important to me.” It hasn’t been an easy road, but he is diligent, and his hard work


is starting to show. “When I first started the class, I didn’t know anything about reading or writing,” Angomas said. “Now, I can read so much more. I was just sitting here in the classroom the other day, looking out the window, and I saw the writing on the store across the street. I excitedly told Guarionex, ‘I know what that says on the wall.’”


For De Los Santos, seeing his students get excited and improve in their reading and writing skills is his greatest reward. “The best satisfaction is seeing the result in each of them and when they come and tell me the stories of their progress – how they don’t need to use their fingerprint to sign important documents because now they can sign their name – it’s so fulfilling to have that kind of feedback from them. When Dichoso said he can read everything, every word, it fulfills me, and there is no amount of money that would take away that satisfaction from me.”


But the literacy class is fulfilling another need beyond the physical.


Norma Peralta lives with her daughter and two grandchildren close to the Hope Center in a small one-room brick house guarded by a red iron fence. While her daughter works, she cares for her grand- children. When she learned about the literacy class, she desperately wanted to join so she could read her Bible by herself. Like Angomas, she never misses a class.


“I really enjoy the class because the most important thing to me is to read the Bible and that is motivating me to come,” Peralta said. “I want to be closer to God and reading my Bible is going to help that.” Though she has spent most of her adult life unable to read her Bible, Peralta knows God listens to her prayers. Peralta can count time after time when she prayed for a specific need and God delivered, sometimes even more than she expected.


This happened recently when she realized she would soon


be out of her blood pressure medicine. It’s an expensive medication, and she knew she would not have the funds to replace it. About that time, a medical missions team came to the Hope Center, and she went to one of the clinics. They not only gave her enough blood pres- sure pills to last a year, but it was a better kind than she was currently on.


“Now, I don’t have to worry,” Peralta said about her new supply of medication. “Every time I take a pill, I feel good and remember how God always answers my prayers.”


Peralta has been in the literacy class for five months, and she is


starting to improve though she admits it’s a slow process. However, she is dedicated to continue until she can read her Bible. “I am so grateful Buckner is giving me the opportunity to come and learn for free and open the Lord to many other people in my community,” she said.


At the end of the class, a graduation ceremony for the students is given. The skills they learn in the Hope Center literacy class allow them to attend the public school to continue taking classes to further improve their reading and writing skills. And as a special reward, De Los Santos plans to take all the graduates to a movie because none of his students have ever been to the theater. The movie is in English with Spanish subtitles and now that they can read, they will be able to read the subtitles. It’s hard to tell whether the students or De Los Santos is more excited for graduation day.


“Even though they are adults, I see my students as though they are my children,” De Los Santos said. “I am so happy with their accomplishments.” n


66 Buckner Today • FALL 2015 ISSUE


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