Church takes mission trip to GuatemalaPublished 11:40am Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Special to the Enquirer
Fairview, The Grace Place Church has a passion for missions which is most noted through their support for the country of Guatemala and church members who now serve as missionaries there.
Located in Falkville, Pastor Dr. Milan Dekich said the uniqueness of former Fairview youth pastors and current missionaries Danny and Kim Lopez, is demonstrated, as they do not work through a mission organization.
“Danny receives all his support from Fairview the Grace Place and other churches and sponsors, so all the support goes directly to him and not to administration in an organization,” Dekich said. “He works through a local church and he became part of a local church. We are not outsiders but people working alongside the church in Guatemala.”
Recently, a Fairview group returned from a mission trip in Guatemala and Dekich said there were multiple life-altering changes that the mission group members took home.
“Through the missions, you gain relationships,” Dekich said. “Relationships are formed with the people there that are so precious; they love you and you love them. You are helping them in their ministry and they help you. What takes you back are the relationships you build with the people. You go to help them, but you return home you get back so much more than you give. You come back richer in relationships, richer in relationships, in gratitude, and in love than before you went. They are such people of faith. We have so much that we do not depend on God as much. They have to depend on God so they have a greater faith. They pray about everything and trust God to work. And he does! God is an everyday presence in their lives.”
Dekich said those who attended also gained a sense of gratitude and overall appreciation for the freedoms the U.S. has for its citizens and the opportunities Americans have to constantly gain financial successes.
“Appreciation is gained for our government,” Dekich said. “The people there are afraid of their government. If you do something wrong, you will go to jail, or bribe the police or judge. The government is not seen as a friend but something to be feared. I appreciate our government so much that it is, for the most part, on our side. We have rights and responsibilities. In comparison, there are no poor people in America. Everyone here is rich in opportunity, in a government that helps them and is on their side. Anyone in Guatemala would love to have the opportunities, rights and privileges of an American citizen. If you can go in your bathroom turn on a faucet and hot water comes out of it, you are rich. If you have running water coming into your house you are rich. If you have ice in your house you are rich.”
Contributions from Fairview Church and others who donate assisted in the building and maintenance of a feeding center located in Guatemala, as well as, homes of the locals.
“We have built a feeding center up the side of a volcano and the only way to get there is by hiking,” Dekich said. “It’s surrounded by huts and tin shacks where people live and we feed 50 to 60 children every day. Money is raised at our annual auction each year. If we do not feed them, they do not eat. They also get vitamins and Bible lessons where they hear about God and sing songs, and enjoy themselves. We also build houses for people. A house is a tin shack with a wooden frame covered with tin and hosts a dirt floor. That is all. There is no electricity, no water, no sewage, and they really appreciate it. We would watch Guatemalans cry at the dedication in appreciation for that tin shack.”
Pastor Dekich encourages anyone who is available to donate to the feeding center, sponsor a child, or contribute to Danny and Kim Lopez’s ministry.
“Danny chooses children in communities who are not in school to be sponsored,” Dekich said. “School is expensive and not required and many cannot afford it. Education is their ticket to a better life. Therefore, he chooses children who are not in school. In sponsoring them, you are paying for their education, their uniforms, food and snacks, tutoring, birthday presents, and so much more. As a sponsor, you can contact them, encourage them, and even meet with them. There are always opportunities to help. “
For more information about Guatemala missions visit: www.fairviewthegraceplace.com and choose the Guatemala Missions tab (Buena Vista Ministries.)