IDC Youth

It's a Friday night in Antigua. Music is playing. A group of teenagers is laughing and talking. Plans are being made for the weekend. And it's all happening at Iglesia Del Camino's Friday night youth service.

A little over a year ago, there was little for the youth of IDC to do together as a group. Abner and Katie Contreras saw the need and stepped in to help, along with other young adults in the church. A Friday night service was started, and has grown to about 35-40 people attending each week.

Games are played, songs are sung, a message is given, and there's lots of laughter and time just to hang out together. The group is a mixture of missionary kids and local Guatemalan youth, and it goes by the name of the IDC Joven Ministry. It includes young people ages 13 to 23.

Besides having a regular weekly time to encourage each other and get together, the youth group has goals to reach out into the community. They have already done one outreach event and are planning to do more this year. Many of the youth are already very involved in other ministries around Guatemala.

Abner and Katie's hope is for the young people to know God more, to build strong friendships, to grow in their own faith and then to reach out to others. Many parents have already commented on how this group has changed their teens' lives and has given them close friends where before there was a lot of isolation. Katie especially has a heart for missionary kids, recognizing that “God calls an entire family and the kids play an important part. If you can keep missionaries encouraged and built up, then you are helping the ministry that they are called to do thrive.”

So far, several young people have given their hearts to God as a direct result of the Friday night service, and many more have asked for advice on how to make better decisions, how to help their friends, and how to be more responsible in school and in life.

It is an often-repeated cliché that the young people are our future, but perhaps it is repeated because it is so very true. If the youth of IDC are any indication of that future, then we can be excited about where we are headed and be encouraged that new ideas, fresh passion and strong faith are thriving here in Guatemala.