March 25, 2010

March Update

Greetings from Belize,

There is a lot of excitement here in Belize among our churches as we are seeing many wonderful things happening. Several teams have been involved in ministry, evangelism, and construction making a huge impact in the villages. God continues to do amazing things that make the impossible become a reality!

Last month we hosted two medical teams who provided care in a number of remote villages in the southern part of Belize. Between these two teams over 1200 people received treatment for various conditions. In addition to providing medical care, the team distributed Bibles and set up an outdoor "theater" to show the Jesus movie. The theater consisted of a flat screen TV with a built-in DVD player powered by an inverter and the vehicle battery. Although they did not serve hot buttery popcorn, many people heard about the Bread of Life in their native language.

Two teams from different parts of the United States joined together to work in the northern part of Belize in the village of More Tomorrow. These men painted the new church building both inside and out, and it looks fantastic! The interior of the church was further accented by scriptures stenciled on the walls between the windows and a beautiful mural painted on the front wall by artist Ralph Irwin. Not only did this team bless us by painting the church, they decided to paint the government school building as well which thrilled everyone in the village.

The new church developments are really on fire for the Lord and continuing to grow. On February 28th, three men from More Tomorrow who were recently saved were baptized in the river following the morning service. The people were so excited about the baptisms that they organized an impromptu village celebration that Sunday evening.

Speaking of church growth, we had been praying for a sound system for the church in Jalacte'. That prayer was recetnly answered as we received a grant from the Kingdom Mission Fund toward the purchase of a sound system. The equipment has been purchased and is already making a tremendous difference as the Gospel is now being heard throughout the village.

The most recent church plant was started in January in the village of Bella Vista. The people are currently meeting under a tarp on a cement slab that was originally intended to be a home as the owner of the "would be" home said he would rather have a church than a house. Already the village chairman has agreed to set aside up to an acre of land for the church where a new building can be constructed.

In the Gaither household we recently celebrated Micah's first birthday with a trip to the zoo and a lot of chocolate cake...his mother trained him well, ha. Nana and Uncle Craig (Sheila's mom and brother) made it down to Belize for the birthday party, which was a treat for all of us. Brandon enjoyed showing them the sites from the top of some Maya ruins to the deepest part of St. Herman's Cave. Randy and Sheila enjoyed having someone else to chase Micah around the house (and everywhere else). One thing is certain, our house is filled with a lot of joy as we serve the Lord here in Belize!

Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah

March 6, 2010

February Update

Greetings from Belize,

2010 has started off to be a fantastic year! January was very busy with teams and a lot of activity. The construction teams completed the ceiling in the church at More Tomorrow as well as wiring the building for electricity and installing lights and ceiling fans. How wonderful it is to be able to walk into the building at night and just flip a switch to have lights and fans to help stir the mosquitoes and the air. The team also installed windows and doors in the internet café in Valley of Peace so now it is ready for paint, furnishings, and computer equipment. Last but certainly not least, the construction crew built a new front porch on our dorm at the northern campus and took care of several maintenance projects around the facility to get us started off right for the New Year.

While the men were busy working on all of the building and maintenance projects, the ladies from the team were ministering to the women in More Tomorrow. They held a Women’s Bible study during the week while the children were in school, and the response was amazing. These ladies really made a huge impact on that village. After the team had to go back to the states, the ladies in the village decided to have a Bible study on their own in each other’s homes.

Besides all the building projects that have been taking place, God is continuing to build His Kingdom in villages throughout Belize. We now have a new church in the village of Bella Vista. With the addition of an eighth church we are in awe at how God is growing His ministry here in Belize.

As people are coming to know the Lord, they are recognizing that God’s plan is for them to be united in marriage versus the common practice of just living together. Therefore, Randy has been very busy with weddings since the first of the year. On January 31st he even conducted his first triple wedding as three different couples all requested to be married at the same time. A triple wedding means triple cake…just keep that white shirt clean!

Regarding family news, the Gaithers are enjoying
nice warm temperatures while our family and friends are enduring a lot of ice and snow back in the states (we are so glad God called us to a warm climate). We did have to dig out some long sleeve shirts when the temperatures dipped into the 60’s in January, but everyone has to suffer a little from time to time…ha. Otherwise, we are learning that “backup” refers to something other than moving in the reverse direction when a computer is involved and how not doing so can bring everything to a screeching halt when the computer becomes fatally ill…and dies. Some of us have to learn everything the hard way which is why it has been a little while since many of you have heard from us.

As far as other family news, Brandon completed his first semester of 9th grade with straight A’s (he must have a brilliant teacher). He also passed his driving test and is now armed with a driver’s permit. Micah celebrates his first birthday this month and is walking everywhere as well as dancing and climbing on anything he sees. The only thing that slows him down is putting shoes on his feet, but he has learned to take them off with little difficulty. Hmmm…what can we think of next…


Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah Gaither