Churches in the capital of the Central American nation of Guatemala are like an oasis in a city where gangs rule the streets.
That’s according to the Executive Director of children’s ministry Keys for Kids Greg Yoder.
He told Mission Network News that in Guatemala City poverty is pervasive, gang members reign supreme and children are vulnerable with many malnourished.
He said Guatemalan pastors are ministering Christ’s hope and trying to support families in this difficult context.
“Many of them have been working there for years and years, and there are no accolades at all. I mean, they are in the trenches. It’s like a battleground for them. Some of them are in areas with gang activities and there are extortions going on all around them. In fact, one church is even closed because they couldn’t pay this extortion that they were asked to pay by these gang members,” Mr. Yoder explained.
Keys for Kids is an international Christian ministry producing and distributing media resources to evangelise and disciple children and their families.
It has partnered with World Orphans which provides holistic support for pastors who need resources to teach the Gospel to kids in a consistent and accessible way.
Mr. Yoder expounded that: “One of the things that’s a challenge for them is, what do they offer families that are maybe are limited in their education? Maybe they don’t read well or maybe they’re illiterate completely. How do you offer families material that will really help them grow in their faith or even understand who Jesus is?”
“This is where Keys for Kids comes in. The ministry’s Spanish translated materials like Unlocked teen devotionals or Creature Feature Storytellers can encourage children and teenagers with Gospel hope.”
After speaking to the pastors in Guatemala City, Mr. Yoder revealed: “They are dreaming of ways they can use them. They were telling us these stories are perfect for kids that are non-churched. They’re going to understand Jesus in a way that they have never been able to tell them before. It’s not going to be like using their Sunday School material. It’s going to be using unique material that will help them share the Good News of Jesus with these kids and families who are really struggling.”
Mission Network News writes that the partnership is an answer to many prayers.