By Alissa Bridges

Twenty-six members of Grace Community United Methodist Church of FishHawk are gearing up for the exciting opportunity to go on Grace Community UMC’s first-ever international mission trip to Nicaragua this summer.

To help raise money for the trip, Grace will be holding a silent auction, starting at the beginning of January and a garage sale at the church on Saturday, January 26, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

“The cost of the trip is close to $35,000, and any money we raise will help us defray these costs,” said Lori Burgan, who is leading the trip. “We’re thrilled that 17 youth and nine adults have signed up to go on the mission trip. Most of the youth are seniors, and they’ve chosen to go on this mission trip instead of going on a senior trip with their friends. This says a lot about their character, and we’d like to support them in any way we can.”

The group’s work will take place at El Ayudante, a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to partnering with Nicaraguans to transform the nation – one child, one family and one community at a time.

“We plan to build a house for a family while we’re there,” Burgan said. “It’s hard to believe, but 80 percent of the people in Nicaragua live on less than $2 a day. We’ll also lead recreational and educational activities at local schools and make home visits to families with special needs children.”

The silent auction will have items including passes to popular theme parks, a snook fishing excursion and an autographed Shaquille O’Neal jersey. Other items include photo sessions, massage packages, restaurant coupons and food baskets. Information about the garage sale, bidding instructions for the silent auction and descriptions of the items being auctioned will be posted in early January at

For more information about the silent auction and mission trip, contact Lori Burgan at 689-4687. For information about the garage sale, contact Pete Casso at 777-0009.


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