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Trusting God for safety in Guatemala

Trusting God for safety in Guatemala

Here in Guatemala, we have a problem.

Actually, it is more than one, but we could summarise them under the topic of safety. Guatemala is not a safe country, and you can see that on every corner. People with shotguns and bulletproof vests are just as normal as big fences and the presence of police and military.

The reasons for the problem are many, and I will not even attempt to cover them all, but I can at least name a few:

First, there are gang wars going on in various districts of Guatemala City and other places in the country. They are violent but primarily focused on other gangs and not normal people. Still, sometimes innocent Guatemalans die in the crossfire.

Then there are the Narcos, the groups trafficking drugs through Guatemala with the final destination of the USA. They are in a war with the police and military (and each other), and collateral damage is just as common as in the gang wars.

And third, there is poverty. The greater the poverty, the lower the scruple. Robberies can happen any time at any place, and they can be violent. People in Guatemala get killed for a cheap cell phone or a small amount of money.

As a result of all that, the population has gotten paranoid. And to be honest, after living here for more than a year, I am like that as well. I only got robbed once, but it was not a nice experience. And we hear so many stories, so how could we not get paranoid?

The fact that I need 4(!) keys to get into my own apartment doesn’t help either, even though before using any key, I have to pass the security gate at the entrance of my neighbourhood.

Many times when I am out on the street, I find myself looking over my shoulder to see if someone’s behind me. After the sunset (around 18:30) the streets get empty fast, and only a few people walk around anymore. If I have to go out, I do so in a taxi. I only walk around freely in my neighbourhood because we have private security patrolling. 

So, yes, we have a problem here in Guatemala. But interestingly, the Guatemalans have not lost their humour.

A friend of mine once said, “They steal everything, and the only thing we can do is to laugh about it.”

The whole situation makes us focus more on God and His protection for us. While in the streets, we are praying and, before leaving the office, we call on the Lord and ask for His help.

We also try to help people that have suffered from the violence in Guatemala.

We really need your prayers for our protection, the country and the people of Guatemala. We want to see this beautiful country changed, and maybe you can help us with that. 

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