July 20, 2009

July Update

Greetings from Belize,

June proved to be a very busy and exciting month including 1 wedding, 2 graduations, and 3 work teams...all in just 4 weeks. Randy preached his first Belizean wedding a few weeks ago in a Ketchi Indian village in the southern part of the country. Through the assistance of a translator, Randy had a crash course on the Ketchi wedding traditions and the happy couple tied the knot.

Because of our involvement with the people in the village of More Tomorrow, Randy was asked to speak at the school graduation. Several of the young people that attend our church graduated and plan to begin high school in the fall. We also held a nice graduation ceremony for the 26 children who successfully completed the preschool program at our preschool in Valley of Peace (pictured at left). Those children have been taught English and school readiness skills through a Christian curriculum to prepare them for primary school when school starts in September.

Furthermore, we had the privilege of hosting 3 great groups during June. These teams covered a variety of projects from evangelism, discipleship training, sports camps, door to door visitation, food distribution, and construction. One family not only assisted in ministry but also took on several maintenance projects around the northern campus and our house. Through all the efforts mentioned above there were a number of decisions made for Christ. There were 7 professions of faith in the village of Jalacte' alone. Praise the Lord!

God has also blessed us with another church start which is located in San Pablo. These people are very excited about the gospel and being a part of what God has in store. With this addition, we now have 3 new church starts under our ministry as well as 4 existing churches. Some men from a village in Guatemala have also contacted us about starting a church in their village. Please pray with us that God will send ministers to assist with all the churches as He continues to expand His reach into the remote villages.

We are looking forward to some wonderful weeks ahead this month as we have teams scheduled to conduct Vacation Bible Schools for the children, distribute food, and complete construction on the church/preschool building in More Tomorrow. We are planning a big celebration for the end of this month to dedicate the new building to God's service.

As far as family news, we are all four doing well. Along with everything else, Randy is working on learning the Ketchi language and praying that God will divinely intervene. Sheila is trying to keep up with the house work, secretarial work, and entertaining Micah. Brandon is enjoying his summer break from school while trying to learn the Maya Mopan language and getting a dark enough tan that he now looks like the native Maya and Ketchi Indians. Micah enjoys eating, sleeping, continual interaction and sitting in front of a fan to stay cool. He is really starting to get around well in his walker...look out world, here he comes!

We continue to thank God for each and every one of you and pray that God will richly bless you. Please keep us in your prayers also as the work here in great and expanding faster than we ever imagined.

Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah Gaither