Giving Guatemalan Gang Members Hope from God’s Word

Troubled youth find eternal hope as they learn to live as law-abiding citizens

Guatemala City is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, rife with homicides and gang violence. But it is exactly the kind of place where God is transforming lives!

Extreme poverty and hopelessness throughout Guatemala drive many children to gangs, some as early as age 10. These young people have their childhoods stolen from them by gang violence.

Thanks to the support of financial partners, American Bible Society reaches out to thousands of gang members in prisons and detention centers and engages them in the grace and love found in Scripture. These troubled young people not only find eternal hope, but learn how to live as law-abiding citizens by engaging in God's Word.

One prison inmate says: "If you weren't here…I'd probably be dead. If you weren't here, I wouldn't have read the Bible so much. If you weren't here, I wouldn't have heard so much about God. So, I'm satisfied with my life here in prison because here, I learn about God through the Bible."

Carlos, a former gang member says: "[Gang members in prison] feel lonely…they feel abandoned…they feel like nobody cares. But when you leave a Bible in somebody's hands, God can do anything.

"I started in the gang when I was 9," says Carlos. "I ended up in prison three times. I used to love to fight. I used to cry at night in solitaire because there was no hope for me. But that Bible, it's like having hope in your hands. I asked God to do something in my life. I feel like he transformed my life. God changed me. He can change anybody."

Another former gang member, Francisco, says: "Before receiving the Bible, I used to be desperate. They went and gave Bibles and I was thinking I was pretty sure that it was not for me.…I took the Bible and I began to read. And in those passages about Jesus's death, that was something that affected me. Please continue sharing God's Word."

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

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