Youth with a Mission (YWAM) first arrived in Guatemala in 1983 when Loren Cunningham and Oren Paris were given permission of the then President of Guatemala, Efrain Rios Montt to come and launch a large evangelical outreach bringing the gospel to many places in Guatemala. Over 800 young people from around the world came and participated in this event.
After establishing the ministry in the nation, YWAM Guatemala opened its first training schools in 1986. The first Discipleship Training School (DTS), the introductory course in YWAM, had over 20 students in attendance. Other additional courses were later added which included the Introduction to Primary Health Care (IPHC) and the School of the Bible (SOTB). In 2001, the Season in Service Training (SST) was also offered in order to reach out to teens interested in missions.
Apart from training (which is part of the three-fold ministries of the mission), YWAM Guatemala is involved in Evangelism and ministries of Mercy and Compassion. Our ministry was instrumental in launching and participating in large outreach campaigns which included the “Go Fest” in 1988 and “Plan Mil Dias” (The 1000 Day Plan) in 2002. Additionally, our task force has been involved in assisting in various relief efforts after natural disasters such as hurricanes Mitch and Stan and the earthquake in El Salvador.
In addition, Youth with a Mission in Guatemala City has been involved in:
- working with homeless drug addicts on the streets of Concordia and Central Park
- ministering to children at risk in the city dump in zone 3 and the cliffs of Tierra Nueva 2 in Chinautla
- showing God’s heart to prostitutes in “The Line”
- gathering and sharing the gospel with B-boys in zone 1
- bringing hope to battered women in shelters
- encouraging burn and cancer patients in wards of children’s hospitals and centers
- facilitating a Bible Club in a daycare center
- visiting and
disciplingyoung people in public school
- distributing Bibles throughout the nation
- bringing medical and dental teams in areas of need
- constructing homes for widows or single mom families
- helping weigh and bring nutritional supplements to families in areas of malnourishment.
Apart from these works to help others in need, the vision of the center in Guatemala City is to raise up young leaders with Biblical principles that desire to transform the areas of influence of their nation and multiply it in others. It is important for our long and short-term volunteers to “hear God’s voice.” This requires a vision that begins with children who are 4 years old and continues until they are ready to attend our center’s Discipleship Training School where God can begin to show them His plans and purposes