What began as a conversation among friends and work colleagues one recent evening soon turned into an initiative that mobilized volunteers to feed hundreds of homeless people in Guatemala City, Guatemala.
As a producer of a program for young professionals on Union Radio, an Adventist-operated station that covers 90 percent of Guatemala, Gabriela Coronado wanted to close the weekly program she produces with an impactful final activity. Since 2019, the program, coined “Followers 2.2,” has been motivating young people to follow Jesus even amid the personal and social problems they face every week.
“During our dinner out as a team, one colleague suggested we distribute a hot meal,” said Coronado. “It was as if God was giving us the idea as a dessert.” As soon as they shared the project idea with other work colleagues, church members, and faithful listeners, food and monetary donations began to be dropped off to kick start the initiative. Municipal leaders and police officers were contacted for the initiative. Soon, more than 30 volunteers showed up, and the team decided to distribute the meals at Paseo La Sexta Park.
According to the Guatemala Institute of Statistics (INE), there were more than 1,000 persons living on the streets in Guatemala City in 2020.
The group of volunteers assembled fresh tamales, bread, and juice drinks and distributed hot meals and gave out literature to more than 300 persons. Some were dropped off next to individuals who were sleeping on the ground or seated at streets, corners, and alleys.
“We saw evidence of what the radio station has seen year after year in each project and initiative: that God is in control and guides and gives us opportunities to help others,” Coronado said.
“Today, I’ve enjoyed being part of this initiative,” said Frank Onel Juárez, a young volunteer. “Something that stuck in my mind was when a young man about 20 years old kept staring at me after I handed him a plate of food, like he couldn’t believe it. That was a wonderful experience.”
For Evelin Yasmin Milían, the experience taught her some life lessons. “We sometimes think that we can’t do things like this, but we must make the effort to learn to share with other persons in need,” she said. “This has been such a beautiful experience, and I’m so very happy to have shared my time reaching so many people.”
The end of Followers 2.2 brought forth a new weekly program for young people—mostly for non-believers—on relevant topics or taboo issues discussed from a Christian worldview, Union Radio leaders said.