Guatemala

Xela Team History Español abajo

InnerCHANGE started in Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala within 2006 with a 40-day exploratory trip. During this time, God revealed to us what He was doing amongst the poor and marginalized in Xela. As a result, German and Karla Avila started the ministry in Xela that same year. As time passed, others joined the team: Julio and Melanie Avila (2009 – 2014) and Chris Campbell (2013 – present). In each area of the ministry, InnerCHANGE works with local leaders and volunteers, offering them spiritual, emotional and ministerial guidance and support.

Shoeshine Boys
We are responding to the problem of children and youth on the streets of Xela. It starts with forming friendships on the streets where they work, spend time, and sometimes live. While we listen to the stories of their lives, they begin to trust us and feel God’s love for them and ours as well. Little by little we have become a family for them and have been able to help some of them become free from their addictions.

Scholarships and Tutoring
A group of the youth have decided to leave their life on the streets and go back to school. We help these youth with their studies offering them scholarships and a place where they can come daily to do their homework and receive tutoring.

Discipleship
Once a week we offer a Bible Study for the youth. We invite those that are part of Tallando Vidas (carpentry shop), those that are receiving scholarships and a group of youth that are still working on the streets. Aside from the weekly Bibly Study, two times a year we have a spiritual retreat where we focus on their relationship with God.

Tallando Vidas
In 2011 we opened a carpentry shop for the shoe shine boys. Our desire was to teach them the art and trade of carpentry while offering them occupational rehabilitation. Just like the carpenter molds and shapes his work, God is molding and shaping the lives of these youth. The project as it was faced many difficulties which led us to close the doors until God provides the personal needed to run it.

Women's Jail
Additionally, InnerCHANGE and a group of local volunteers lead worship and a bible study weekly inside the womens jail. The women come to praise the Lord, and to learn more about his word. Afterwards, there is time to share and pray with one another. The team also accompanies women to their court hearings, offering them companionship and counsel.

Immigrant Youth
With the blessing of their families many young children and youth leave Guatemala to pursue a “better life” in the United States. Along the way, many of them are caught by police officials and sent to deportation centers to await their parent’s arrival. One of these centers is in the heart of Xela. Kids arrive by the busload disillusioned and scared. In the past, InnerCHANGE has visited this center several times a week to encourage, to listen to, and to share a biblical reflection with these youth. Currently, this ministry is "on hold" until our team grows.

Here is a recent video about our team!

Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala

CambioINTERNO empezó en Quetzaltenango (Xela), Guatemala con un viaje exploratorio en 2006. Durante este tiempo, Dios nos reveló lo que Él estaba haciendo con los pobres y marginados en Xela. Como resultado, German y Karla Avila comenzaron el ministerio. Luego, se unieron otros; Julio y Melanie Avila (2009 - 2014), y Chris Campbell (2013 - presente). En cada área del ministerio, CambioINTERNO camina junto con líderes locales y voluntarios ofreciéndoles apoyo en lo espiritual, emocional y en el ministerio.

LUSTRADORES
Estamos respondiendo al problema de jóvenes en la calle en Xela. Empieza con la formación de amistades en las calles donde ellos trabajan, pasan tiempo y viven. Mientras que escuchamos las historias de sus vidas, empiezan a confiar en nosotros y sentir el amor de Dios y de nosotros. Poco a poco hemos sido una familia para ellos y les ayudamos a salir de sus adicciones y vicios.

BECAS Y TUTORIA
Un grupo de jóvenes ha dejado su vida en la calle y está estudiando. Ayudamos a los jóvenes con sus estudios ofreciéndoles becas y un lugar para tutoría.

DISCIPULADO
Una vez por semana les damos un estudio bíblico a los jóvenes. Invitamos a los de Tallando Vidas, los que están siendo beneficiados de las becas escolares y un grupo de jovencitos que siguen con su vida en la calle. Dos veces al año hacemos un retiro espiritual para enfocarnos en su relación con Dios.

TALLANDO VIDAS
Hace dos años y medio abrimos un taller de carpintería para los jóvenes lustradores. Nuestro deseo era de enseñarles el arte y la vocación de carpintería mientras que les ofrecemos rehabilitación ocupacional. Tanto como un carpintero talla y forma sus creaciones, Dios está tallando y formando las vidas de estos jóvenes. El proyecto como tal presentó dificultades por las cuales tuvimos que descontinuarlo hasta que encontremos el personal adecuado para administrarlo.

CARCEL DE LA MUJERES
Karla Avila y una voluntaria, Ingrid Vásquez, dirigen un grupo de mujeres voluntarias que visitan a la cárcel de mujeres una vez por semana donde dirigen un tiempo de alabanzas y un estudio bíblico. Las mujeres vienen para alabar al Señor y aprender de Su Palabra. Después hay un tiempo para compartir y orar unas por las otras. El equipo también se les ofrece acompañamiento a la corte, dándoles compañerismo y conserjería.

JOVENES INMIGRANTES
Con la bendición de sus familias muchos niños y jóvenes salen de Guatemala en búsqueda de una “vida mejor” en los Estados Unidos. En el camino, muchos de ellos son capturados por los oficiales de migración y enviados a centros de deportación para esperar la llegada de sus padres. Uno de estos centros se encuentra en el centro de Xela. Los niños llegan en una camioneta con alrededor de 40 niños y jóvenes 2 veces a la semana, asustados y desilusionados. En el pasado, visitábamos el centro varias veces a la semana, para animar, escuchar y compartir reflexiones Bíblicas con los jóvenes. Actualmente, estamos visitando la casa del emigrante unos dos veces al mes hasta que crezca nuestra equipo.

"God Cries For Us"

“Dios llora por nosotros (God cries for us)" was the phrase Jose used as he shared his testimony with the rest of the street youth. Jose is 38 years old and started working and living on the streets at age 9. He now sleeps in the dormitory at night and washes cars to earn a living. He goes to church on a regular basis and attends night school, working on his high school education. But Jose’s life was not always so clean...

The Call to Love - Guatemala

The call to love looks different in different places. Xela, Guatemala is a city rich with history, beauty, education, and all the trimmings of a modern society. But there is an underbelly to Xela—a population of kids who live on the streets and get by shining shoes, washing cars, or working as assistants on the microbuses.

Mi Cajita de Dulces

(My Candy Box)
by Melanie Avila, Guatemala

I’ll sell you a lollipop for un quetzal –
my stomach is growling, a cup of atol*
would curb my hunger

Or perhaps a cookie for Q2.50 –
tonight I need to prepare supper for myself
and my 2 brothers

I also sell gum –
I save every quetzal to pay the rent for my room (Q400/mo = $50 USD)

Here’s a cigarette if you like –
I need to buy a new cajita de dulces;
the police took my brother’s and he has nothing to sell…it’s been a month

Xela, Guatemala Video

The InnerCHANGE team in Xela, Guatemal shares about their work with the shoeshine boys and the women's jail.

Video de Xela, Guatemala

El equipo de CambioInterno en Xela,Guatemala comparte acerca de su trabajo con los jóvenes lustradores y en la cárcel de mujeres.

Pasantia Guatemala 2015

Participarás en la vida y misión del equipo de misioneros de CambioINTERNO en Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Además, recibirás el acompañamiento y sabiduría de un mentor personal, ya que consideramos este tipo de experiencia una exploración personal y vocacional en la cual uno despierte y descubra nuevas dimensiones de sus dones y propósitos en el Señor.

Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!” I can hear these words being yelled from one student to another on the elementary playground as hurtful words are hurled from one to another. It’s a phrase said in defense, as a cover, in hope that others won’t notice the tears welling up in the eyes as the damaging words sting all the way down to the soul.