Street Kids Direct is grateful for the visit of the Lord Bishop of Bristol, Rt.Rev Mike Hill, to Guatemala in May 2017.

Mike has been a supporter of Street Kids Direct and wanted to travel and see the work for himself.  After visiting the city streets and the work Street Kids Direct is doing through its partner organisation Mi Arca Mike commented that being on the streets was: “Amazing, disturbing, inspiring and depressing”.

Duncan, Street Kids Direct´s Director, was dropping Mike off, together with his armed bodyguard, at his hotel and Mike was reflecting back over his day.  He mentioned how it would take him time to process what he had seen and wondered how the team was able to keep going with the relentless demands on our time, the pain of seeing so much abuse and the constant dangers all around on a daily basis.

Mike in TerminalDuncan has known Mike since 1987 when he joined his staff team as a youth worker and then five years later Duncanleft the parish in Chesham Bois to move to Guatemala and founded The Toybox Charity and the El Castillo project.

When Mike, his bodyguard, the Mi Arca street team headed to the streets we were sure he would find the afternoon and evening difficult.  No sooner as we arrived in La Terminal a man was shot in the chest and sadly Mike had to witness the man fighting for his life as the municipal ambulance team tried to keep blood loss to a minimum.  The reality of the visit was hard for Mike, as it would be for any visitor, as it´s not everyday people from the UK see this sort of thing.

Mike at EmbassyThe following day, and with some time to reflect on his experience on the streets, Mike delivered a powerful message to a group of invited guests at the British Embassy Residence in Guatemala City.  The Embassy has always been very supportive of our work and had invited Mike and Duncan to The Residence to talk about the work on the streets and for Mike to discuss “Spiritual life in public space” and guests included the pastor of my church, a Guatemalan Bishop, members of the British community, UNICEF, local VIPs and the Attorney General.  It was a very special time.

The photo shows Bishop Mike Hill and Chargé d’ Affaires of the British Embassy, Mr. Andrew Tate and Duncan Dyason.