Join us to pray for Central America — specifically for World Vision’s work in the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In many areas of Central America, gang violence, drug trafficking, and the lasting effects of past wars make life especially difficult for children and their families.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.—Romans 12:12
Pray for leadership in Guatemala.
The residual effects of 36 years of civil war combine with a high prevalence of drug trafficking and organized crime to create a dangerous and unstable situation for many Guatemalan children. Almost half of the population is younger than 19. Left without social support structures and positive family relationship models, thousands of children and youth fall prey to drugs, gangs, the sex industry, or exploitative labor.
World Vision helps form community youth groups to provide leadership training and esteem-building activities. Pray for healed relationships and economic opportunity among poor and struggling families. Pray for integrity among Guatemala’s leaders, so they can lead their nation toward a more hopeful future.
Heavenly Father, Proverbs 11:3 tells us that “the integrity of the upright guides them.” May the leaders of Guatemala seek Your guidance to make difficult decisions with integrity. Raise up vibrant leaders from the emerging generation of youth who will seek justice and work to bring stability and hope to their nation.
Pray for hope and healing in El Salvador.
Many of El Salvador’s youth have grown up without their fathers, who fled the country during the brutal civil war from 1981 to 1992. Now, 25 years removed from the conflict, violence and fear still grip communities controlled by ruthless gangs. Today’s youth are coming of age in a culture of hate, suspicion, and violence. Up to 70 percent of El Salvador’s youth are thought to be involved in a gang. As the country becomes increasingly urban, children are more vulnerable to poverty, violence, and exploitation.
World Vision staff members work in the thick of it, supporting children and families to promote peace and reconciliation and opening up opportunities for teens who wouldn’t otherwise have a chance in life. Pray for peace, and pray that God would use the various youth empowerment and reconciliation movements to build up a generation torn down by war and fear. Ask God to protect workers who risk their safety to bring hope to crippled communities.
Lord, Psalm 147:3 says that You bind up and heal broken hearts. We pray that this generation of young Salvadorans, which knows so much brokenness, will seek You for answers. Bring peace to the nation struggling to mend. Watch over those working in the most difficult settings, and instill confidence that their good deeds will not be in vain.
Pray for clean water and improved livelihoods in Honduras.
Poverty and food scarcity are particularly severe in rural Honduras, where 16 percent of people lack access to safe water and the average annual income totals $2,270. Nearly 14.8 percent of people struggle with moderate to severe malnutrition.
World Vision water, sanitation, and hygiene initiatives bring communities access to safe drinking water to improve health conditions. Our staff members also work with farming families to develop new agricultural techniques to diversify crops for better nutrition. Pray for improved access to markets, where families can sell their crops and increase their incomes. Pray also for continued progress in the nationwide effort to drill wells and train communities on improved hygiene practices.
Lord, You gave Your people water to drink during their wilderness wanderings. Please bring new life to communities who have struggled with health issues due to lack of clean water or adequate sanitation facilities. Raise up community leaders who can help isolated, rural farmers learn new cultivation methods and innovative means, so they may better provide for their families’ needs.
Pray for emergency responders in the region.
Over the past few decades, each Central American country has been deeply affected by natural disasters. Nicaragua is considered a leader in Central America because its legal framework is conducive to effective disaster response and risk reduction. Guatemala is situated on top of three tectonic plates and is considered to have the fifth-highest economic risk from hazards like earthquakes, hurricanes, and volcanic activity.
World Vision partners with government leaders, firefighters, police, military, and humanitarian organizations to train youth and community leaders as emergency first-responders. Thousands of youth throughout Central America have returned to their communities better prepared to help when disaster strikes. Pray for strength and focus among World Vision and government leaders. Pray for humility and courage for trainees who desire to serve their communities.
Father, we know disasters and emergencies arise for reasons often unknown to us. Use these events to bring people closer to You. Please give first-responders the courage to help when called upon. Guide World Vision’s leaders in Central America as they develop relationships with government and civil service leaders in order to serve communities more effectively in disaster situations. Preserve recent trainees’ skills and knowledge, so they are able to pass them on to others in their communities.