Time to celebrate: Ministry to host dinner recognizing 5 years of work in Guatemala

After five years of building Uplifting Ministries into what it is now, it’s time to celebrate.

Uplifting Ministries is hosting a celebration dinner Sunday, April 29, to highlight the work the ministry has done and continues to do in Guatemala, David Lane, a Winchest native who founded and directs Uplifting Ministries, said. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. at Campbell Junior High School.

Caterers will serve barbecue and other food, and Uptown Blue, a bluegrass band, will play live music.

Former University of Kentucky basketball players Jarrod Polson and Jeff Sheppard will also speak at the event and may be open to photographs and autographs later in the evening.

Jeff Gaines, minister at Christ Church of Winchester, will offer the opening devotion and Whit Chriswell, senior pastor at Cornerstone Christian Church,  will be the emcee.

There will be about eight different churches represented at the banquet, Lane said. He said he would also give an update on Uplifting Ministries’ work.

Lane started Uplifting Ministries about five years ago after going on a one-week mission trip with Calvary Christian Church.

Lane’s experience inspired him and helped him find his calling in children’s ministry.

The ministry, a registered nonprofit, now dedicates its time to providing charitable, religious and educational services to children, according to its website.

Uplifting Ministries also has a child sponsorship program for orphans and single parents. Uplifting Ministries now sponsors about 40 Guatemalan children. Lane said the ministry has sponsors from Idaho, Kentucky and Tennessee all the way to Switzerland.

“It’s cool the impact it’s made in different areas,” Lane said. “It all started with a little boy in Clark County.”

The ministry centers its current efforts in the village and surrounding areas of Guazacapan, Guatemala. However, Lane said Uplifting Ministries would expand to more areas in the future.

Various Winchester community members and groups have helped Lane and his ministry grow through sponsoring a child, which costs $25 or $35 a month. The $25 a month program ensures each child has supplies for public school, food, clothing and pays for their living necessities for the year. For $10 more, sponsors can send a child to a private Christian school, which offers a higher level curriculum as well as Bible classes taught by Christian teachers.

Lane said 100 percent of the sponsorship money goes to the children, while other expenses to support the program comes from additional ministry support.

Some of the top donors include Cornerstone Christian Church, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Christ Church of Winchester and Belmont Church of Christ.

The ministry also partners with Hope of Life International of Guatemala.

Lane said the ministry recently purchased about eight acres of land and plans to start construction on buildings after securing more funding to buy materials, which is estimated to be about $24,000.

Lane said the 10-year plan is to have an education center, worship center, mission housing, recreational area, a church and a school.

“The more we are building, the more we are growing, the more our budget gets,” Lane said.

Lane said he hopes the banquet can inspire the youth and generate support from those who can help.

To attend the banquet, people can purchase a $30 seat by visiting the website, emailing upliftingchildren.guat@gmail.com, or calling 859-298-1725. Walk-ins are also welcome. Donations can also be made at the banquet.

There will also be a silent auction, and handmade keychains made in Guatemala will also be available for $8 each or $5 each if bought in bulk. The keychains are part of a new program called Teach2Fish, an effort to help make the ministry self-sustainable.

All proceeds go to the ministry and the children of Guatemala, Lane said.

“It’s an opportunity to realize we are blessed with the American dream, to live here in Winchester, but it’s a reminder that there are always opportunities to help and it’s not always about us,” Lane said. “Other than that, it’s going to be fun.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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