A Christian group helps Guatemala with child care reform

By February 21, 2005

Guatemala (MNN) — Guatemala’s orphan situation is in bad shape. Because of that, a Christian organization is reaching out to protect the nation’s children, while also supporting a way to keep adoptions open in that Latin American nation.

Buckner Orphan Care International’s Mike Douris says, “Children are actually being sold and stolen and there’s women that actually are getting pregnant in order to be able to place a child for adoption because of the money they can get. The second largest income producer for the country of Guatemala is adoptions right now. We know that many agencies working in Guatemala are ethical but corruption is a significant problem.”

Because of the corruption, Buckner is doing something about it. “Buckner has been supporting the First Lady and other government officials to try to see well, what’s the best way to address children’s issues so that it doesn’t stop adoptions, but it can hopefully eliminate some of the corruption that’s going on in Guatemala right now.”

Adoptions are NOT on hold, but they have slowed down. Legislation has been proposed in the legislature, but Douris says it’s not clear if it has support of elected officials.

While adoptions have slowed, their ministry to orphans continues. He says it’s a wide open door to share the Gospel. “We have got access to be able to go into the orphanages, to do VBS, to do discipleship. We have staff in Gualemala right now who go to the orphanages on a regular basis and do small groups and discipleship with the children.”

Douris says there are many opportunities to help in these orphanages. “If a church or an individual wants to participate in that, we would love for them to be able to go. We’re working in a lot of orphanages and doing renovations.”

Buckner also needs support to help fund staff to do this evangelistic work. Douris says they can do it for about $250 a month. Churches could have an incredible impact.

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