Displaying items by tag: central america

Thursday, 08 April 2021 21:35

Guatemala: 4,600 survivors cared for

Praise God that the Institute for Victim Care and Assistance in Guatemala has been able to give holistic care to 4,600 survivors of violence in the past six months. 60% of those receiving the trauma-informed support, co-created by the Guatemalan government and IJM, were women and children. Praise God that survivors of violence can now receive free legal, psychological, and medical support in one place. Pray for God's strength for staff members at the Victim Institute as they continue to support survivors of violence.

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 19 November 2020 21:11

Central America: ‘in the hands of God’

Category 4 Hurricane Iota began devastating Nicaragua on 16 November. It is the strongest storm on record to reach Nicaragua ‘We are in the hands of God. If I have to climb up trees, I’ll do it’, said a farmer in Guatemala. ‘We don’t have food, but we are going to wait here for the hurricane that we’re asking God to stop from coming.’ It came. Swollen rivers burst their banks, roofs flipped onto the streets and electricity poles have been downed. In Honduras the mayor of Wampusirpi said, ‘We are flooded everywhere, we need food and water. We lost crops when hurricane Eta struck two weeks ago.’ Pray for the residents of Central America which is still partly flooded, farms destroyed and debris from Eta everywhere. The wind tore the roof off a makeshift hospital. Patients were evacuated, including intensive care and two women giving birth during the first rainstorm.

Published in Worldwide

In Central America, people will struggle to eat in today’s lockdown; unable to provide for themselves and their families with food banks closed due to pandemic lockdowns. Pray for God to support those who are providing aid to families in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and other vulnerable countries. India has a social stigma around the ‘unclean’ disease, so individuals returning from isolation are treated as outcasts. To avoid being labelled and discriminated against people hide the illness, avoid tests and delay hospitalisation, with fatal consequences. Pray for this ‘unclean pandemic caste’ to be helped and healed not shunned. Africa’s virus is spreading rapidly. Rural areas in Tanzania have no food, and people like the cattle people in Kajiado (who depend on livestock markets) suffer because all markets are closed. Meanwhile, some Caribbean islands are now reopening for tourism with strict public health protocols. Pray for safe ‘sun, sea, sand and social distancing.’

Published in Worldwide
Saturday, 01 December 2018 03:20

World Youth Day: Panama City Panama. January 22-27

Expecting 500,000, Ages 15-35.  They want to keep the attendance down since the country itself is only 2 million.....But in the past they have far exceeded 1-2 million.  It was begun by Pope John II in 1984.  He imagined the youth encountering Christ, being introduced to Christ, and and learning from Christ how to be "bearers of the Gospel".  

The Jesus Film will be represented during the conference as a tool for sharing the Gospel.



An outside glance of an international World Youth Day would spark a bystander’s curiosity as massive crowds of young people flood the city streets. Some might cringe at the thought of those words, wondering what delinquency is in store, but to witness this gathering would end those fears. The happenstance observer would witness not angst and malice, but smiles and joy, singing and dancing young people, culture upon culture and nation upon nation, proudly holding their flags high (or wearing them), greeting one another in peace, trading their tokens, humbly realizing how small they are in a world of people, and strengthened to witness so many who share their convictions. How did it all begin?


In 1984 at the close of the Holy Year of Redemption, over 300,000 young people from around the world responded to the invitation of His Holiness John Paul II for an International Jubilee of youth on Palm Sunday in St. Peter’s square. Looking out to the crowds who answered his invitation he said, “What a fantastic spectacle is presented on this stage by your gathering here today! Who claimed that today’s youth has lost their sense of values? Is it really true that they cannot be counted on?” It was at this gathering that the Holy Father entrusted to the youth what is now known as the World Youth Day Cross, to be carried throughout the world as a symbol of the love of Christ for humanity.

First WYD:

The following Palm Sunday, coinciding with the United Nation’s International Year of the Youth, Our Holy Father took the opportunity to welcome the youth of the world to Rome again. Later, announcing the institution of World Youth Day on December 20, 1985, and the first official WYD was held in 1986.

International WYDs:

The following year brought about a new tradition when the second event and first international WYD took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Every Palm Sunday has since been designated as a World Youth Day, alternately celebrated at the diocesan and international levels. There have been 12 International World Youth Day celebrations, where the youth continue to answer the invitation of the Holy Father in staggering numbers and carry home the message received there to be Christ’s light to the world. While these events are organized by the clergy and laity of the Catholic Church, youth of all faiths are invited to attend and encounter Christ, making this gathering truly universal.


In Toronto, the last International WYD in which JPII was present he told the 800,000 gathered with him at the vigil, “When, back in 1985, I wanted to start the World Youth Days… I imagined a powerful moment in which the young people of the world could meet Christ, who is eternally young, and could learn from him how to be bearers of the Gospel to other young people. This evening, together with you, I praise God and give thanks to him for the gift bestowed on the Church through the World Youth Days. Millions of young people have taken part, and as a result have become better and more committed Christian witnesses.”

John Paul II left a legacy for the youth in his institution of World Youth Day, which Pope Benedict XVI has faithfully continued, carrying on the hope of His predecessor for the youth of the world, inviting them and commissioning them as Christ’s disciples to be faithful living witnesses.

More: http://worldyouthday.com/

Let’s pray for this huge gathering of young Catholics that they may encounter Jesus Christ Himself through what happens there and for the Jesus Film team that will be reaching out to them.


Thursday, 25 October 2018 23:41

USA: caravan of migrants

For over a week, 4,000 migrants from Central America have trudged north towards the US, fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras. Many are children, some with families, some alone. El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras have endemic levels of crime and violence. More than a third of all Latin Americans reported being victims of violent crime in 2016. The region is home to just 8% of the world’s population, but 33% of its homicides. World Vision (WV) has released a statement demanding that the needs of the immigrants in the caravan, especially the health and safety of children, be looked after. It wants measures to be taken to care for children on the move. WV understands the violence and sense of hopelessness that is driving families to leave their homes. As Christians, we are called to love and serve the most vulnerable among us, to welcome the stranger, and to show hospitality to those in need.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 22 September 2017 10:27

Mexico: earthquake disaster

Rescue workers, backed by an army of untrained volunteers, are still searching for survivors buried under mounds of rubble in Mexico City. The death toll from the magnitude 7 earthquake, on 19 September, has reached 237 and is expected to rise. 44 buildings collapsed completely, and thousands are damaged and unstable, in the sprawling city built on a drained lakebed. As  rescuers work against the clock, there has been an outpouring of civic generosity. Thousands of people donated time and medicines, food and water, blankets and basic supplies, to help relief efforts. Restaurants delivered food to shelters where thousands of people were forced to seek refuge after their homes were damaged. But there is concern about the need to rely on civilian volunteers and donations, and the slow arrival of government rescue services to some poorer neighbourhoods. Many questions about building regulations resurfaced as rescue efforts continue. See the next article.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 22 September 2017 10:24

Mexico: earthquake safeguards

19 September was the 32nd anniversary of a hiuge earthquake in Mexico which resulted in thousands of deaths and many large buildings destroyed. This week’s quake demolished old buildings and less solidly-constructed new buildings. The cure for earthquake devastation is well known: fix the old buildings and improve construction methods for new ones. A complex and expensive decision, but necessary as Mexico City is notoriously vulnerable to earthquakes due to very soft and wet ground underneath. This amplifies the shaking, making the ground like jelly and prone to liquefaction. There have been 34 earthquakes bigger than magnitude 7 within 300 miles of Mexico City since 1900. There is clearly more work to do. Rodolfo Soriano Nuñez, a sociologist and independent public policy analyst, said that government new building codes are not working. ‘We see new buildings have collapsed while older ones have survived.’

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 07 July 2017 14:37

Mexico: media attacks, journalists killed

One journalist was killed while resting in a hammock at a carwash. A second was dragged from his car and shot dead near the newspaper he had co-founded. When another was killed in front of her son, the criminals left a note, 'For your long tongue'. Human rights groups say Mexico is one of the most dangerous countries for reporters. More die here than in any other nation at peace. But even for a country so used to drugs-related violence and organised crime, the recent bloodshed has been shocking. Seven journalists have been killed in the country so far this year, most shot by gunmen in broad daylight. Yet virtually all cases of attacks on the press end up unsolved and, in many, corrupt officials are suspected of partnering with criminals. As the killings mount, is there anything that Mexico can do to save its journalists?

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 30 June 2017 15:16

Two rescues from trafficking

Recently, after an anonymous tip-off, anti-trafficking authorities in the Dominican Republic, working in cooperation with International Justice Mission (IJM), found two young girls and their mother - who was exploiting them - in a crime-ridden and impoverished neighbourhood in Santo Domingo. The mother was arrested, and IJM social workers are working to ensure that the girls will recover from the trauma they endured. In another story, in South Asia, IJM and police had been investigating a sex trafficking network for over a year. On 25 June the team successfully rescued two young girls from a private brothel and arrested four suspects. Please pray for follow-up on the legal case, and pray for comfort and healing for these girls as they settle into a loving aftercare programme.

Published in Praise Reports
Friday, 10 February 2017 10:36

Mexico: please keep praying

Mexico is regularly mentioned in the news these days, but the stories rarely say much about the Mexican people. The daily realities for many in Mexico are dire. 60% of the people live in poverty. Police corruption empowers organised crime. 35,000 people have died in drug-related violence since 2006. 800,000 children either live on the streets or are homeless, and 11 million children are child labourers. Kidnappings in Mexico are among the most frequent in the world. These desperate situations lead many on a life-threatening quest for refuge, freedom, and opportunity. However, praise God: increasing numbers of Mexicans are putting their trust and hope in Jesus Christ! Many are realising that only He can transform this nation and bring eternal peace to its people. Together let's watch and pray for mission agencies working amongst the vulnerable, for the members of the police force who have not succumbed to corruption and for the families who have lost loved ones to drugs and violence.

Published in Worldwide