April 13, 2010

April Update

Greetings from Belize,

Things continue to progress very well as the new churches are growing and reaching others for Christ. The excitement and joy of seeing people saved and lives being changed far outweigh any struggles we sometimes encounter. God is so great and glorious! There have been some wonderful things that have happened just in the past few weeks.

Last month we hosted our third medical team this year. The team was from Bethel University in McKenzie, TN and they did a fantastic job ministering to folks in the southern part of Belize specifically in the villages of Santa Cruz, Santa Elena, San Vincente, Conejo, and Dump. This team of six (including one medical doctor, two physician assistants, and three PA students) was able to see a total of 578 people throughout the week they were here.

Thanks to the Bethel team and two other medical teams from TN that were here in February, the people working with the Ministry of Health in Belize have been very pleased with the medical care provided through GEM to the remote villages in southern Belize. We were also asked to have a booth in the health fair held on March 24th in San Pedro Columbia in coordination with the World Tuberculosis Day events. The health fair was a great success as we saw students from three different schools as well as many local villagers.

Another team that was here in March worked in the northern part of Belize. This team from Grace Community Church in Fort Smith, AR built rafters and put the roof on the preschool building in More Tomorrow in just three days. While some of the team members were busy on the construction site, others were working with the children in the village after school each day teaching Bible songs, playing games, and working on various crafts. In addition to the construction work and ministering to the children, the team went house to house distributing food to families in both More Tomorrow and Valley of Peace.

The new church building in More Tomorrow has become quite the center of activity in the village...and what a blessing! Besides our usual Sunday morning and Sunday evening services, we have recently begun a midweek Spanish service for the adults that do not speak English. The building has also provided a place for teams from other ministries to hold outreach activities. The week preceding Easter a youth group from North Carolina was working with the Baptist Training Center here in Belize and wanted to have a three day VBS for the children during Easter Break. It was wonderful to have our church building for the team to use to teach the children about Jesus.

As schools have once again resumed class following Spring Break/Easter Vacation, we are already looking ahead to the 2010-2011 school year. Believe it or not it is already time to start working on school supplies, uniforms, shoes, books, etc. for the upcoming year. School registration fees are due by the first part of June for many schools. Therefore, if you would like to sponsor a child for school please let us know as soon as possible. You may notify us via email at gem3737@gmail.com. The cost to sponsor a child for one school year is $250.00 US dollars. That amount covers the school registration/tuition fees, two uniforms, a pair of shoes, books, and school supplies for the entire year.

We as the Gaither family are doing our best to stay cool during this hot, dry season. For Sheila, Brandon, and Micah that often times means taking turns in Micah's baby pool. Randy, on the other hand, seems to find many errands that require him to drive around in an air conditioned vehicle...hmm... Captain Jack, our Australian blue heeler, is a little less than thrilled about us spending so much time outdoors trying to cool off because Micah likes to steal his favorite rubber bone and play Keep Away from "Puppy". There is certainly never a dull moment around our house. All in all we are doing great.

We would like to thank everyone for your love, support, and prayers. In recent days we have received several emails and phone calls from people just letting us know they are praying daily for us and the ministry here. Those emails and phone calls are very encouraging and are a great reminder of our extended family all across the U.S.

Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah