This fall, the couple hopes to raise $3,000 to help poor people in Nicaragua through their Winder based charity, Kosmos Ministries.
Matt Guthas said the current fundraising effort will help provide food for “the poorest of the poor” in the Nicaraguan city of Tipitapa.
Kosmos Ministries, a non-profit public charity, will be holding two raffles to raise money for the upcoming mission trip.
The winner of the October 2 raffle will receive a University of Georgia football autographed by Mark Richt.
On September 25, Kosmos Ministries will hold a drawing for a pair of tickets to the October 3 football game between the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University.
The money raised will go entirely to fund mission work.
“That will send one or two Kosmos representatives to Nicaragua to work with local officials down there,” Guthas said.
Guthas said Kosmos ministries will purchase the food and work with community leaders to determine where help is needed most.
“Our plans are to put a week’s worth of non-perishable food items on the tables of 50 households with that $3,000,” he said.
Guthas said he hopes to find enough funding in order to carry out two mission trips next year.
“We’re just trying to get the word out and we’re really trying to find some support,” he said.
Guthas first became interested in helping the poor after a 2007 mission trip to Nicaragua with a team of chaplains and retired law enforcement officers.
During the trip, Guthas and a friend saw two little girls begging on a street corner.
“Their clothes were dirty. Their hair was dirty. They didn’t have anything,” he said.
Guthas and his friend decided to help the little girls by buying them new pairs of shoes. Hours later when they returned, they noticed the girls were not wearing the shoes and initially thought they had been the victims of a scam.
“Actually, the little girls had their shoes hidden in their little coats,” Guthas said. “These girls were so poor, that was the most precious gift they had ever been given. These girls were too scared to put on their new shoes because they didn’t want to ruin them or get them dirty.”
The experience led Guthas to begin Kosmos Ministries to help people in Nicaragua.
“God has just been wonderful in the way he has blessed our progress,” Guthas said.
Guthas and his wife Ashley hope Kosmos Ministries will continue to grow with the help and support of local businesses and churches.
“We hope we can instill some long term effects for these people and not just a one-time handout,” he said.
While the focus of Kosmos Ministries is on helping the poor in Nicaragua, Guthas hopes to help ministry volunteers as well.
“We want American Christians to see what true poverty is and see what an effect it has on the people of the world. We are hoping it will change their mindset and world view so that when they are back at home, they can make more society conscious decisions,” he said.
For more information on Kosmos Ministries or to purchase tickets for the upcoming raffles, visit www.KosmosMinistries.org. Raffle tickets may also be purchased at the Video Warehouse located at 78 East May Street in Winder. Raffle tickets for the autographed football are $2 each. Raffle tickets for the UGA v, LSU game are $6 each.