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Festival raising money for Guatemala Outreach

By Randy Thoms Sep 15, 2023 | 4:15 PM

A fall festival with a mission.

The event in Devlin is helping to raise money for Guatemala Outreach.

One of the organizers, Mark Mast, says members make regular trips to Guatemala to offer support.

“Going back 18 years ago, I went on my first mission trip to Guatemala, and since then, I have been back over 50 times and have taken literally hundreds of people from both Canada and the USA on outreach trips there to minister to people in very impoverished circumstances, primarily children,” says Mast.

“We build homes for lots of people. We also have built a school, and all the proceeds have been used to bless people there that just need a hand up.”

The festival was started last year by a Devlin couple, Ian and Chelsea McMillan, to a way to help pay for th trips.

This year’s event takes place at their home on Whiddon Road, a short jaunt north of the Highway 613-Highway 11-71 intersection.

There will be train rides, face painting, horse rides for all ages, a scavenger hunt, pumpkin bowling, axe throwing, a giant slingshot, a nerf shooting gallery, and something called a knockdown showdown.

There will also be treats like ice cream, caramel apples, popcorn, and a pie auction.

There are no tickets to purchase, but organizers are asking for a donation of any amount to go toward the group’s next trip to the Central American country.

“This particular trip we’re going on on November 7-14 will be a home-building trip. So, we’re raising money for homes, but as well, we will be putting on youth events because five of the team that are going are high school students. We are excited about offering opportunities for them to serve high schoolers in Guatemala.”

Mast says one of the plans is to have a swimming party.

“We so enjoy whisking kids out of these terrible circumstances and having a pizza party for them and providing them with just a really neat opportunity to experience life at a whole new level. We have seen over the many years that we have gone to the same location, literally, hundreds of people being taken out of their horrible circumstances and being able to go on in different areas of life. That’s been the biggest blessing of all.”