End of an Era

Tutoring Renato is coming to a close.

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😢 End of an Era

For the past seven months, I’ve been tutoring Renato once a week. This week, we turned each other into potatoes instead of learning English. Next week will be our last official week 😭.

I have not told him I am coming, but I did say to await a special surprise! Hope he is not disappointed that it’s just me HAHA (I am bringing a gift tho just in case 😉). It has been a surprising year getting to know Renato, and I am SO thankful for the memories!

👨🏽‍🏫 The Kumon Life

Unlike many of my Generation Z peers, I do not have the shared Kumon trauma. And I’ve never done legit tutoring before. And I don’t know Spanish! Literally, Google Translate has been critical in ensuring comprehension when I meet with Renato. I’m also thankful for the years of serving in Awana, recalling that mindset helped me connect with Renato.

stinky translated

When I first started tutoring Renato, I was pretty scared. How does one teach English? What happens if we just can’t understand each other? How can I motivate him when he is tired or bored? Preparing for those first few meetings made me nervous, and sometimes I wondered if I had made the wrong decision.

Turns out, Renato is pretty good at English! He is not fluent, but he is motivated and pretty smart. Importantly, he is so patient with me! I often don’t understand the Spanish he says – most of the time he goes out of his way to translate what he is saying into English. I’m certain that he English has gotten better during his classes at school, but I have also seen that he is a lot better at English than he thinks. I’m glad to have made that space where he can comfortable practice English!

😎 Mentorship


Besides tutoring, I also mentor Renato. For us, this has mostly been playing games, reading Scripture, asking for prayer requests, and praying together. This is something that has come more easily as I became more confident in tutoring.

I definitely think I could have been more intentional about teaching him the Gospel. The language barrier makes it difficult and frankly I don’t have a lot of time, but still this is critical for his spiritual growth! That being said, I know he’s aware of the Gospel, but I am uncertain if it is just head knowledge or also taken to heart (well, he is young too).

I have really enjoyed the fun we have together! He gets my humor and I get his humor. Even though we are not fluent in each other’s language, we still tease and mock each other, which is pretty funny to me. I’m also glad that he’s been open to share prayer requests for himself and his family, and that he has prayed for my own prayer requests!

🥺 Moving Forward

I do have the opportunity to continue with this program; however, I don’t really have a summer break at all. My full-time summer internship starts a few days after I get back from Cobán. Then right after that I start my in-person full-time job. I do hope to meet up with Renato for fun though! I really do want him to remember me, and I’m gonna miss him – we are friends 😊.

👀 Other updates

I can’t believe I’ll be in Cobán next week!!! AAHHH. A lot of prep has been happening.

🤝🏽 Support

I have greatly appreciated everyone who reached out to me over email, Instagram, messenger, text, email, snail mail, and even on Discord! Also thank you for all of my generous donors and prayer warriors 💯💯💯💯💯.

I am about 50% funded right now. To see how you can support our team, check out the home page.

🕺🏾 Online dance classes

Our worship team has been 110% on top of things! They’ve been helping us with our daily playlist at VBS and choreography. So during our Zoom prep meetings, they lead us through the songs, turning our zoom room into a dance zoom.

missions team

They’ve also translated songs in Spanish so we are recording our own Spanish covers of popular worship songs! SO coool! I would attach a video of myself practicing, but TBH I have not practiced enough – I gotta get up to speed.

🥁 Drums

While I was conveniently in the bay area, I picked up an electric drum set that was donated from a family related to one of the church staff in Cobán.

frame assembled

The hardest thing yesterday was finding a box for the frame! The frame had to be disassembled so we don’t get charged extra fees on our flight.

frame disassembled

After calling a bunch of stores, Home Depot literally had the perfect size. PTL even in the small things – this was a great victory. I now recommend Home Depot for your cardboard box needs (Home Depot if you’re reading this pls sponsor me).

🎮 Games

We (Elizabeth, Harrisen, and I) have finalized the games that we’ll be playing with the AMI International School and La Gracia Church kids! We are still fairly uncertain about the playing area, but we’ve planned to be flexible.

handbook slides

It’s definitely a challenge in prepping games since we can’t practice setting due to us being remote. I am looking forward to throwing water balloons at kids haha. (In my defence I initially pitched they throw the water balloons at us HAHA. But having 80 kids destroy us with water balloons? I wouldn’t want to underestimate their power.)

🙏🏽 Prayer Requests


Feel free to respond to me through any of the ways below. Love to hear your comments, prayers, and encouragements!

Nathaniel Louis Tisuela