The Carpentry Shop in Xela

Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Quetzaltenango (or Xela), Guatemala

Our daughter Melanie and her husband Julio serve in this city with InnerCHANGE, a Christian order among the poor. They work with homeless street boys to help them to a responsible way of life, and help them become established in Christian faith. The “boys” are ages 14 to 21.

By this time five of the young men are in school full-time. One of them hopes to become a dentist.

Three others are apprentices in the carpentry shop. The InnerCHANGE team opened this shop in February to help the boys have a useful trade. Mr. Tulio, a trained carpenter and experienced teacher, is the instructor. InnerCHANGE team members assist as needed.

This is a paid apprenticeship, so the boys don’t have to steal or shine shoes any longer. The goal is that after three years of apprenticeship the young men will be able to support themselves long-term by working for another carpenter or starting their own business.

Here is the exterior of the shop, which is located about 2 miles from Julio & Melanie’s place.

Here is a general view of the shop. You see some of the machines in the background.

Here are the young men at work on two different orders from local people.

And here is a set of finished shutters.

This work among the poor is a sign of the kingdom of God.

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