Dear Prayer Partner

This month we’re telling you about Guatemala. Girls who have been rescued from situations of human trafficking and abuse are discovering that Jesus loves them and cares for them. Read on to find out how the Bible Society of Guatemala is using the Bible to help young girls find healing and hope.
Guatemala


Capital: Guatemala City

Population: 16,581,273  

Official language: Spanish

Religion: Roman Catholic, Protestant and indigenous Maya beliefs 



 Guatemala is in Central America. It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, with more than half of the population living below the national poverty line. 23% of the population lives in extreme poverty. Nearly a half of Guatemala’s children under the age of five are chronically malnourished – this is one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world.

Guatemala is the most populous country in Central America, and the number of people living in the country continues to grow at a very fast rate.

The Bible Society of Guatemala has gathered information and statistics from various organisations on the levels of human trafficking in their country. Guatemala has the highest level of human trafficking in Central America – every day, at least 33 children and women are caught by trafficking networks. Very young girls are being coerced into prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labour, and slavery.
 


Statistics collected from The World Factbook . Find out more about Ghana through Operation World .

Free to Live

Girls who have been rescued from situations of human trafficking, and who have experienced sexual and physical abuse are living in state-run and private shelters. The Bible Society of Guatemala have set up the ‘Free to Live’ project to reach out to and help the girls living in these homes.

Girls who are living in these homes may have been abused by a family member or exploited by an employer. All will have been made to do something against their will. Some will come to the shelters without ever having experienced genuine love and care from anyone. Girls as young as ten years old may be struggling with pregnancy, and teenagers will have been made to believe that they are worthless.

‘Free to Live’ provides weekly sessions for the girls to learn about Jesus, engage with the Bible, and discover how they can deal with their past and present trauma and move into a new life with Christ. Facilitators of ‘Free to Live’ groups are trained to work with these girls and help them come to a place of healing and forgiveness.

‘Free to Live’ is using God’s Word to speak truth into the lives of girls who have only experienced lies. The healing that is discovered through the weekly sessions and support of the volunteers is having a huge impact on the lives of girls who couldn’t see any light in their futures.
Maria's Story

Maria’s story is not easy to read. Please pray for her and her brother and sister.

Maria is 13 years old. When her parents separated her mother took her and her brother and sister to live in Mexico. Maria says that when she was in Mexico “she was forced to prostitute herself by her mother”. Sometime later Maria and her siblings were rescued and sent back to Guatemala to live with their grandparents. Unfortunately, this too became a harsh environment and the children were taken by the state to live in shelters. Maria and her brother were taken to one shelter, but they were separated from their little sister.

Maria was invited to go along to the ‘Free to Live’ sessions in the home. She was provided with ways to heal her emotional scars through art therapy, as well as playful ways to learn biblical principles and values. Maria’s mentor says, “she opened her heart to God at the end of our first session that is named ‘I am important to God and to the creation’”. Maria started attending a local church to continue learning from God.

Maria will live in the home until she is 18 years old. She says that “I will continue praying and reading the Bible. This way I will feel better and that I am not alone. I believe I am not alone. God created me and He will always take care of me and my little sister.”

Pray

Please pray for this important work in Guatemala. The Bible Society there asks us to pray for…

  • Girls who have been victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. Pray that they will find pain relief and restoration in the Scriptures, that they will be fully healed from their trauma and wounds.

  • Girls who have become mothers at a very young age. Pray that they will find healing to love their children and that they will be able to give them a different life to the one they have experienced.

  • The ‘Free to Live’ project. Pray for the volunteers who are trained to go into the shelters and work with the girls. Pray that God will guide each session and conversation, that girls will be taught from God’s Word and that they will become living testimonies of God’s transformation and restoration. 
Give

Every £5 donated to this project will give a Bible to a girl in Guatemala.

Make a donation online now.

This project is our Bible-a-month project for February. Decide to become a Bible-a-month partner today! You will receive a free calendar with information about this and 11 other Bible Society projects. Commit to giving just £5 each month and you will ensure that the Word of God is shared across the world. Sign up here.

BIBLE SOCIETY NI
27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
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