March 31, 2011

January - February Update

Greetings from Belize,

In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul says “So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17). Paul makes it clear that it is not enough just to love and care for people; we are called to communicate the life-changing message of Jesus Christ. We are continuing to see this happening as individuals and teams are using their gifts and skills for opportunities to share this message.

Several people from Iowa and Tennessee came to Belize to prepare the way for the arrival of other teams to follow. Some maintenance problems around the facility (including the remaining post-hurricane repairs) were addressed. With new screens on the windows, the bugs stay outside the dining hall and Micah once again has a swing set. Much needed new bathroom facilities were also constructed very quickly to accommodate our upcoming teams. We are very proud of the new bathrooms and one of the team members who was able to utilize the new showers thought they would rival any five star hotels in the states. Ok, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but she had been in the remote villages of southern Belize and running water was a luxury…not to mention hot water.

While some of the folks were working on the bathrooms, two mechanics were busy working on all of our vehicles at the northern campus. These guys did a great job to get things running, keep things running, and overall facilitating more dependable transportation for this year. What would we do without you guys? (I guess walk.)

During the last few days of January and first part of February, a medical team from Tennessee provided onsite clinics in several villages in the more remote jungle villages in the southern part of Belize. They treated 489 patients in four different villages and distributed over 300 health packs. Not only did they minister to the physical needs, but also the message of Christ was shared through videos and one on one personal testimonies.

We also had a team from the University of Arkansas who tested the well water in several locations including More Tomorrow and our main campus. As a result of the tests conducted, the team is planning to return to Belize in the next few months for projects to provide safe drinking water to the entire village of More Tomorrow. While the team was working in More Tomorrow, they took time to prepare a foundation with posts for a new home for one of the families there.

Through all of these efforts, the love of Christ was demonstrated and the gospel was shared personally which both strengthened and encouraged our churches. We appreciate each and every member of the teams that gives his time and talent to serve God here in Belize.

After a very busy (but very wonderful) start to the new year, the Gaither family is currently taking advantage of a few days to catch their breath between teams and get caught up on work that had been backlogged for several weeks. In all of his running around taking care of business, Randy found a real treasure…a case of Dr. Pepper from Guatemala which made for a happy Valentine’s Day for Brandon. For the most part, Brandon has been buried under so many school books and research papers that we haven’t seen him for days. However, the number of cans of Dr. Pepper keeps decreasing so he must still be alive somewhere under all those books. Speaking of education, Sheila is seriously contemplating why it is necessary for a child to be potty trained before he starts college…after all, if Micah can change his own diaper why deal with all the soiled clothes when he is too busy playing to take time for toileting??? Micah celebrates his second birthday this month and he is convinced there is nothing he can’t do…from speaking in full sentences using very descriptive language to attempting to climb the mango trees…well, nothing except the potty training that is! The two newest members of the family, Hachi (a blue heeler puppy) and Zeke (a German shepherd puppy) are enjoying life in the jungle. Just keep the food and the belly rubs coming and life is good. Hmmm…how much simpler life might be as a dog…


Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah