Guatemala Mission Trip March 2019
Shepherd of the Bay & Peace Lutheran Churches
The SOTB Mission Team was in Guatemala March 22-30, 2019 for the sixth year in a row. But why Guatemala?
A 30 year civil war that ended in the mid 1990’s has left Chichicastenango and surrounding areas in a state of devastation. Many of the indigenous people, especially the men, were killed in their fields and homes or were “taken prisoner” and never seen again. As a result there were approx. 70,000 widows left in the area of Chichicastenango, Guatemala.
Locals live in a great amount of poverty. They generally earn a living through farming or weaving goods to be sold in the market.
Women and children are not considered equals as they are in the United States. Many children work from a very young age. It is difficult for a woman to make a living on her own.
In Chichi alcoholism is a large problem. Many of the men are alcoholics and it is easily visible as you walk or drive through town. The hope of the ministry is to bring Christ to the people in Chichi to change the practice of abuse into a practice where men are caring for and loving their families, and respecting women and children like God does.
Chichicastenango is the center of Mayan idol worship in Guatemala, although the country is listed as a Catholic nation.
Pray America/Manos de Jesus is active in approximately 40 Mayan communities.
The vision is to go deeper in these communities, moving them constantly closer to sustainability and more importantly into a relationship with Jesus. Relational trust that has been built by Pray America/Manos de Jesus over more than 10 years has been the key to reaching these communities through a series of weekly nutrition programs, widow house construction, water filtration systems, efficient vented cook stoves, solar powered audio bibles, and more.
There is much work to be done. As always, we ask for you to pray for those going and for those with whom we will be sharing the love of God.