God has been blazing this trail for us long before we arrived in Guatemala for the first time in October of 2019. Our team of 12 people tread further onto a path already well-marked by God’s provision of friendships, connections, shared heart and vision, and invitation into the lives and ministry of the wonderful people of InnerCHANGE Central America and especially in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala.
We were invited into places of deep pain and poverty, where people eke out a living in life-threatening conditions every day. We spent a week immersing ourselves in the local history, walking and driving through cities, entering the homes of families, piecing together modern day economic, social, and political realities. Mostly, we spent a week just listening. We listened to what people from all walks of life wanted to share with us. Many of the stories were hard to hear, but they were interwoven with a firm faith and hopeful reliance on the truth of God’s care, deep love, and provision in miraculous ways. If you want a closer look into our first trip, you can read more from participant Kelly Gould HERE or from Bill HERE. We held a Soundings Seminar right after we returned to discuss a lot of what we had seen both in Guatemala at at the US-Mexico border (where we will return in October of this year!).
In June, we’re going back in a different way to the same amazing places. This time, instead of being an exploration, it’s more of a deep dive. We are going to continue developing our relationship with what God is already doing in Guatemala and to figure out inroads for exchange. We’ll get to witness firsthand and even participate in some aspects of the ministry that has been building over years of selfless living and giving in community by the team in Xela. We’ll be helping with the tutoring and other activities run there to help children disrupt the systemic poverty and lack of opportunity they experience. And we’ll spend two days on spiritual retreat with the whole Guatemala InnerCHANGE team in Panajachel on the banks of gorgeous Lake Atitlan, being refreshed and restored together in God’s loving arms. This trip is for anyone who has a heart for marginalized people, central America, disrupting systemic cycles of poverty and hardship, working with and tutoring children, soccer players, and walking alongside people giving their lives in community in beautiful ways.
What we came away with from that first visit was a hopeful glimpse into the work that God is doing in the country of Guatemala and the ability to situate the current realities of life there in a broader historical context, full of tragedy, war, exploitation, corruption and instability, but also wild beauty, rich tradition, and gorgeous diversity. And we also came away from our time in October knowing that we wanted to return. Now we are! And we would love for you to consider coming with us. We’ll have a small group of no more than 12 people, and we’ll be staying in the homes of some of the team members in Xela, breaking bread with them, all to better get to know the people and the heart behind the work that they do in their community.
If you are interested in joining us from June 22-28 in Guatemala, please contact me! We hope that you will consider joining us to see and join in the great work that God is doing through the people of Xela, the team he has assembled to minister there, and the country as a whole.