MINT HILL – Josh Ferguson has served the citizens of Mint Hill as a firefighter for five years.
Ferguson will set his sights on another community – an orphanage in Guatemala – later this summer, as he serves the Casa Aleluya children’s home through his other area of expertise: graphic design and video production.
World Outback Ministries and Big Guy’s Pizza will unite this weekend to host a fundraiser to support Ferguson’s upcoming trip to Guatemala. Big Guy’s, located at 6914 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, will donate a portion of all sales between 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, to Ferguson’s mission trip fund.
Ferguson was approached by a fellow member of Elevation Church Blakeney about possibly going on a mission trip to Casa Para Niños Aeluya, an organization in Guatemala that houses between 400 and 500 orphaned children. Ferguson, who owns Sermon Box Media, a graphic design and video production business, was told the organization needed help with its website design, particularly with a video profiling the organization and its mission.
“I was a little bit nervous at first and maybe a little bit hesitant or anxious to go,” Ferguson said. “I’ve never been out of the country … and the only mission trip I’ve been on was to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”
However, Ferguson was inspired after hearing the story of Casa Aleluya founders Mike and Dottie Clark and how the couple has used the organization to change the lives of hundreds of children, many of whom are abused, neglected or abandoned.
“Apparently, there’s a lot of child neglect down there. People have children but have no means or interest in taking care of the kids. A lot of kids end up in dumpsters (or are) thrown in trash cans,” Ferguson said. “… Mike and Dottie have such a heart for the kids down there and a heart to see the Gospel preached. That story alone kind of stirred me to go down there and help them.”
Ferguson and the rest of the team of 20 to 25 people will travel under the umbrella of World Outback Ministries, an Indian Trail-based nonprofit that specializes in connecting individuals and groups with international mission projects. Founder and director Bill Niccolai said World Outback Ministries has sent at least one team per year to Casa Aleluya for the last five years.
“We send a team every year to the orphanage,” Niccolai said. “… Something that’s attracted people is (the Clarks’) heart for ministry, their heart for the orphanage. People get attached to them, as well, and want to keep coming back every year.”
The majority of the mission team members will participate in standard service projects, such as building repairs, hosting a field day for the children and a brunch for the staff.
Ferguson’s role is somewhat different. He’ll use his video production skills to document the work his team does during the trip. Ferguson also plans to interview the Clarks about the history of Casa Aleluya and the work the organization does within the Guatemalan communities. Ferguson will use the footage to create a new video to revamp the website and bring it up to date.
The team will depart for Guatemala on Aug. 1 (Ferguson will follow a few days later, due to his work schedule) and return on Aug. 10. Ferguson said he’s looking forward to going on the trip and is probably most exciting about “going down there to honor the kids” and “the people that sacrifice to help them.”
“I really feel that the trip is probably going to change us (team members) more than we change (those we’re ministering to),” he said. “I really think it’s going to be a blessing both ways.”
Find more information about Ferguson’s Sermon Box Media company at www.sermonboxmedia.com. Learn more about World Outback Ministries and the work the organization does throughout the United States and abroad at www.worldoutbackministries.org.