Alcohol is a big problem here in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Many young people start drinking around the age of 13, and it is common to hear of families that have a series of deaths related to alcohol use.
On the streets of Chichicastenango it is a common sight to see men and sometimes even women sprawled out on the sidewalk or stumbling through the streets, inebriated by local liquor called “cux” (pronounced “cush”) or other alcohol that they are able to buy using their family’s meager income.
That’s why, when Luis Miguel Lopez, the ASELSI intern, was given the task of planning an outreach in the community, he planned an outreach to the alcoholics who frequent the “cuxarias” or bars that sell the local brew.
With donations from local businesses, churches, and individuals; a team of volunteers from several local churches walked the streets and invited the men on a short ride to the church where a hot meal was waiting for them.
The thirty-three men who came in stumbling and haggard were welcomed heartily and invited to get a haircut, a medical checkup, offered a hot shower and a new change of clothes. Then, they sat down for a hot meal and a warm conversation. Through the care and those conversations that centered on Christ, six of the men gave their hearts to Christ.
A one time event like this is a small effort to change a large problem that impacts many families across these mountains, but it is a start. With a heart to bring about changes that last a lifetime, people like Luis are starting to do outreaches in their community to turn hearts and minds to Christ.
There’s even a Facebook page started to promote this type of outreach in other communities called “OutsideGuate“. The goal of this group is to encourage others to take action of their own to change the issues they see destroying lives in their communities.
Michael Shead is the director of the ASELSI internship program in which Luis Miguel Lopez served in 2015.
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