David is the pastor of Iglesia Cristiana El Camino in Escuintla, Guatemala. Since 2011, David and other leaders from El Camino church have ministered in the nearby village of San Vicente. The church there began with a few families, and the church has grown steadily in the last few years.
Welcome to Iglesia Cristiana El Camino!
In 2001, David’s father, Joel, started El Camino Church in Escuintla, Guatemala after leaving his career as a doctor to study the Bible. In 2008, Joel was called to Spain to be a missionary. David sensed God’s calling to step up and fill his father’s shoes. Similar to his father, David left a comfortable lifestyle to serve the Lord.
Under David’s leadership, El Camino church increasingly began looking for ways to serve the vulnerable people around them. In 2009, David and his members started praying about what it would look like to start a deaf ministry and raise up leaders who knew sign language or who were willing to learn. Today, El Camino has a thriving Deaf Ministry, and God has called dedicated leaders, including David’s own brother, to lead this important ministry.
In 2010, the church discovered the needs of people living in a nearby refugee village called San Vicente. This community is entirely dependent on farming for food and income, and access to education and transportation is limited. Electricity was not available to the community until 2017. After a few years of getting to know the community better and building trust among a few families, a church was planted by David and El Camino for the refugee people of San Vicente.
David, with his family and church leaders and members, continues to serve the needs of the most vulnerable people around them. They are living out James 1:27 in their own community and continue to find ways to share the gospel and live it out beyond their church walls.
Meet David Lara
David Lara was born in Guatemala as one of seven children, and when he was 11 months old his biological mother passed away. Eventually his father remarried, and they remained a close knit family. When David was 21 years old he had the opportunity to go to Ethiopia on a mission trip. During his time there he felt overwhelmed by the needs around him, yet sensed God’s calling to care for the vulnerable despite feeling unequipped.
A few years later, David’s father started a church in Escuintla, just outside Guatemala City. While David was starting a family, he remained involved and committed to his father’s church even as he finished college and pursued a career of his own. In 2008, David’s father answered God’s call to become a missionary in Spain. When his father moved, David decided to step up and serve God by pastoring his father’s church. Similar to his father, David left the comforts of a good paying corporate job to follow the Lord’s leading.
Today, David and MJ continue to serve the Lord through El Camino church and the San Vicente church plant. They homeschool their three daughters, Mafi, Renee, and Sofi. Through the victories and struggles of pastoring, serving, and parenting, God has been faithful to David and to furthering the ministry he called him to as a young follower of Christ.