Children’s ministry is an oasis for struggling Guatemalan families

By March 14, 2023

Guatemala (MNN) — In the capital of Guatemala, poverty is pervasive and gang members reign supreme. Kids are vulnerable to gang activity in Guatemala City, and many are malnourished.

It’s in this difficult context that Guatemalan pastors are ministering Christ’s hope and trying to support families.

Greg Yoder, executive director of Keys for Kids Ministries says, “These churches are kind of oases within Guatemala City itself where the problems really exist, where there’s gang activity and the like.

“Many of them have been working 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’s extortion 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.”

Boys share a Storyteller.
(Photo courtesy of Keys for Kids)

Keys for Kids recently partnered with World Orphans to provide critical Gospel resources for these pastors. World Orphans provides holistic support for pastors and families in Guatemala. But they need resources for parents and pastors to teach the Gospel to kids in a consistent and accessible way.

Yoder explains, “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.

When he spoke with the pastors in Guatemala, Yoder says, “They are dreaming of ways they can use it. 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.”

There are still several details to work out. But one thing is certain: This partnership is an answer to many prayers.

“We had been praying for probably seven or eight years that God would find a partner with us that could use our Spanish material in a way that we couldn’t even imagine. We believe that God has opened this door. And they told us yesterday that we’re an answer to their prayer!”

(Photo courtesy of Keys For Kids)

Please continue to pray with Keys for Kids as they grow this new partnership with World Orphans to encourage children’s ministry in Guatemala.

“We’re really asking people to pray for us, that God will provide the resources needed both in terms of people (because we can’t do it with our current staff) and then also the funding that we need to really ramp up our Spanish program,” Yoder asks.

“Pray that God will protect these churches, that these oases will continue to provide hope for many in these communities.”

If you’d like to support Keys for Kids, click here!







Header photo courtesy of Perry Grone via Unsplash.

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