Hope and Healing in Guatemala

Hope and Healing in Guatemala
- Christ Centred | Child Focused | Church Led - 
 

Four Truths Carlos Learned 

At Source of Hope, the message of Christ is transforming children's lives. 

About 45 minutes outside of the noise and bustle of Guatemala City, there is a small community nestled in the shadow of a large volcano. It is called Zapote. Zapote is poor and remote—there is little infrastructure and the people live off of less than $2 per day. Widows and orphans make up the largest population segments. Food, work and education are scarce and while these realities are difficult in and of themselves, they act as a catalyst for child abuse, neglect and forced child labour—all of which are abnormally high in Guatemala. 

And yet, despite all this, Zapote is also a place of hope.
Hope Story has continued its partnership with Iglesia Galilea, a local church, to help bring health, healing and hope to the people in Zapote through Source of Hope; a care centre that provides 220 children access to education, medical care, nutritious food and the teachings of Jesus.
It is the hope and prayer of every teacher at Source of Hope to see each child encounter Christ in a powerful way and to teach them that there is grace and mercy to be found in Jesus; they desperately want each student to know that there is a life free of sin, shame and bondage. 

In a culture heavily rooted in fear, where children far too often know the realities of neglect and abuse, the restorative message of Jesus can alter the entire trajectory of a child’s life. 
Part of the centre’s Christian teaching is to impart “Four Truths” to the children and to nurture these truths so that their roots run deep in each child’s life. These “Four Truths” are all about finding a new identity in Christ.

I am clean.

I am powerful.

I am chosen with a purpose.

I am a child of God. 


One student who has learned to believe these truths is Carlos.
Carlos recently gave his testimony at the school’s devotion time. He stood up in front of his peers and shared about his mother abandoning their family when he was a young boy—Carlos was maybe 5 or 6 years old. He did not feel loved or cared for and wrestled with feelings of hurt, abandonment and neglect.
 
In grade four, Carlos began attending Source of Hope. For the first time he heard about a God that loves him and never abandons him and though this was not a reality he had any experience with, he wanted to learn more. 

Slowly, the seeds of faith began to take hold in his life and Carlos came to the knowledge that Christ is his saviour. That he is a child of God. That he has been chosen and purposed by God and that he can live a life free of the hurts of the past. 

Today, Carlos is proud to share his faith in Christ with others. He knows that there is a God who never leaves or abandons and that we can see the goodness of God shine through even the darkest circumstances of our lives. 
 
Rodrigo's Perspective
A local worker at the Oasis Girls Home, a ministry of Kids Alive International, shares how he experiences God through service.

Rodrigo is often known locally as “the maintenance guy in the red t-shirt”. He is tall and friendly; he loves to sing, play guitar and he's always on the move. 

Rodrigo has felt God working throughout his life, even before he came to know that it was God who was at work in him. Raised by a harsh stepfather, from a young age Rodrigo learnt indifference from the adults around him and as a result made risky and unwise decisions—it didn’t seem like anyone cared about him, so why should he care about anyone else. “It was God who helped me survive, even when I wasn’t a Christian," Rodrigo shared. "God helped me escape a bad lifestyle.” Rodrigo came to Christ at the age of 18 and a few months later began working at the Oasis. That was 12 years ago.
The Oasis is a community of family style homes that offers haven and refuge to young girls who have been rescued from dangerous environments—many of them are pregnant as a result of abuse. 

Though Rodrigo feels sadness every time a new girl arrives—his heart breaks for the circumstances of these girls and the abuse they have experienced—he is hopeful for the future of every person who steps foot into the Oasis. 


(Rodrigo pictured, right, making cabinets)
He knows that the Oasis will offer them a place of healing and restoration. “They will be safe here. The healing can begin.”

It is amazing to hear Rodrigo’s perspective. A man who is so far removed from the experience of the young girls the Oasis serves, and yet he still personally sees God at work in such real ways. Rodrigo sees what God does in the lives of these girls and is transformed by witnessing it. 
In his 12 years at the Oasis, Rodrigo has encountered Christ again and again; through the restoration he has seen, through his experiences with staff and the local church and through the faithfulness of God’s provision, not only sustaining the work that is being done but growing it. He knows that it is a place of hope, a beacon for the community and a refuge for all those who walk through its gates. 

Anyone who comes here, especially the children, are always in God’s hands,” Rodrigo commented. “They will not leave Oasis the same as when they entered. It will be the same body, but a new heart.”

Rodrigo considers it a real honour to work alongside the Oasis staff and the service teams who come to visit, and he loves being able to play soccer with the girls. 

Other Stories

Measuring Impact

Ministry opportunities in Guatemala continue to thrive. In a place with deep physical and spiritual needs, it is amazing to see God at work in the lives of so many people.
 
Read More>>
 


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