As a nation, Honduras has one of highest number of murders globally. In a country of 8 million people, it’s thought there are around 7,000 – 10,000 street gang members.
The gangs in Flor del Campo are recruiting boys and girls as young as seven years old. Naomi and the leadership of her church sat down to talk and plan what they could do to stop this.
They wanted to be a positive influence among children and young people, and so formed a youth group called Jovenes Sembradores de Paz which translates as ‘Young Peace Sowers’.
‘As a church we want to be a family that provides a space for recreation and acceptance, not crime or violence,’ says Naomi. ‘The church doesn’t look at the gang members with condemnation, but accepts them and loves them as they are.’
From despair to care
Naomi believes God has given her a specific calling: ‘He spoke to me and inspired me to serve and support the young people. Now my financial problems are forgotten because I really enjoy being with them. I visit them, and when I cannot go for security reasons, I call them.
‘If I have a day of struggle and depression, I listen to the voice of God, who tells me to get up! The enemy doesn’t want me to work with the young people, but the voice of God is stronger.’
‘We know that some of the young people in the group are still part of a gang, but if we do not accept them and give them hope, who will?’
‘Naomi's life has inspired and challenged me; she is an inspiration to so many children in her community. It is a joy to support her,’ says Alexis Pacheco from Tearfund’s Latin America and Caribbean team. ‘I ask for your prayers in order to continue supporting Naomi’s ministry, and others like her in Honduras and across Central America.’
• Thank God that even in the midst of hardship and despair, God still has a plan for us and wants to help us to help others.
• Pray for young people caught up in gangs in Honduras, that they will find church youth groups like the Young Peace Sowers to inspire them.
• Ask God to bring peace to the hearts of those who perpetuate crime and violence in Honduras.