Amigos for Christ is an international non-profit organization based in Buford, Georgia. We began there too, at Prince of Peace Catholic Church. In 1998, youth leader, John Bland, proposed a service project for the high school students. He had traveled to Chinandega, Nicaragua the previous year and recorded scenes of the hopeless poverty on video. The young people back home were moved and, through a series of fundraisers led by Sarah Bollinger and Jessica Keifer, raised enough money to build a small cafeteria in one of the local villages. When Hurricane Mitch struck Chinandega in October of 1998, the situation in Nicaragua reached dramatic proportions. Las Casitas volcano overflowed, and mudslides destroyed surrounding farming villages killing 3000 and displacing hundreds of families. The Prince of Peace group took their first mission trip to Nicaragua in April of 1999, when 20 teens and 18 adults spent spring break working on a housing project. The grim reality and enormous need deeply affected the group and they were determined to continue their efforts. Amigos for Christ was formed as an independent 501C(3) charity in June of 1999, with John Bland as Executive Director and the late Jack Schiveree as Board President. Our guiding mission is to serve the Lord by serving His poor.
We have flourished since then as an interdenominational service ministry that has provided several million dollars in aid to the poor and has created opportunities for families to flourish. We focus on strengthening families without resources through our community development, health, education, long-term missionary, water and sanitation, small business, and spirituality programs in rural communities. Each of these programs is described in words and pictures on our website as they grow in scope and effectiveness year by year. Through the efforts of the thousands of people who have traveled to Nicaragua with us on mission trips and our many generous donors and volunteers, we live out our faith through positive action. We bridge cultural barriers and plant seeds of success amid Nicaragua’s beautiful people and rich landscape.
Through our desire to create opportunities for local volunteerism, we created the “Celebrate Service Music Festival” weekend to promote local non-profits, service ministries, and churches in the Atlanta, GA area. Each year, on the first weekend in October, thousands of people come to Suwanee Town Center Park to participate in an event that inspires people to become a positive influence in the community in which they live.