September 21, 2011

September Update

Greetings from Belize,

With summer wrapping up and fall approaching, we are reflecting back on all the wonderful blessings of God and the many teams that came and labored with such dedication. We are also looking forward to seeing the great work that the Lord is continuing to do in the ministry here in Belize.

It was a much more comfortable stay for all the groups that came this summer due to a very generous gift from Corinth Baptist Church in Darden, TN of 50 new mattresses for our campus. Also, fans were bought by a group from Hopewell Baptist Church in Parsons, TN (a nearby sister church to Corinth) adding a wonderful “coolness” to the stay as well. Together these make for a much more pleasant night of rest.

The rains continue to pour down here in the jungle, but it hasn’t slowed down the baptisms in our churches as we continue to see people saved. However, it does present a challenge at times to keep your feet planted in the swift rivers while baptizing. It is so exciting to see lives being changed by the Lord Jesus Christ. To the right you see Randy pictured with Pastor Mas and one of six new Christians from Valley of Peace baptized on August 7th. You may view a video of one of our recent baptism services by the following link:

In recent weeks we have hosted five teams who covered many villages throughout Belize. Their activities ranged from VBS and sports camps to construction projects. A team from Corinth Baptist in TN held a VBS for the children while having Bible study classes for the men and women in both Valley of Peace and More Tomorrow. Often times there are a few adults who will join in on the activities for children. It was such a blessing to have organized activities for the adults as well who are so hungry to learn more about the one true and living God versus the clay figures they have been exposed to all their lives.

Two youth teams from Central Christian in AR ministered in the village of Bella Vista. These teams worked very hard putting siding on our church in that village. They also provided many activities for the children including a family movie night for the entire community. In addition, these teams distributed a ½ ton of food to the villagers and spent over eight days going door to door sharing Christ as well as witnessing one on one on the streets.

A team from Hopewell Baptist in TN worked in Hope Creek village. The ladies held a VBS for the children while the men worked on constructing a building for our church. In just one week the men had all four walls up and were ready for the top beam to be poured to support the rafters and a roof. We just began the church in Hope Creek in March and the congregation is so excited about having a building as there are no other churches in this village. Pictured to the left is the Hopewell team in front of the church building.

August also meant a very busy time preparing for “back to school”. There were children to be measured, uniforms and shoes to be purchased, and many backpacks to be stuffed with school supplies. In addition to the 30 preschool students attending our Children’s Nest Preschool in Valley of Peace, GEM is sponsoring over 35 primary and high school students who would not otherwise be able to attend school. We are still in need of at least 23 additional sponsors. Please contact us by email at if you are interested in assisting a student. Pictured to the left are stacks of backpacks full of school supplies and to the right is Sheila distributing backpacks in More Tomorrow.

Of course “back to school” hit the Gaither household as well. We enjoyed a long summer break, but home school classes resumed on August 15th…whether Brandon was ready or not. While Brandon is tackling chemistry and Spanish II, Micah is working on counting, number and letter recognition and his Spanish. As many 2 year olds do, when something is not going exactly how Micah wants it he starts yelling “help me!” However, if someone doesn’t respond to his plea quickly enough he begins yelling “¡ayudame!” I guess he thinks we don’t understand English anymore... Sheila stays busy with her Spanish-English pocket dictionary trying to figure out what Micah is saying and her periodic table trying to remember everything she forgot about elements and ionic compounds. Randy, on the other hand, has been busy trying to oversee five different construction projects we have going on at the same time and relocating wildlife in his spare time. Apparently all the rain we have had lately has caused the “critters” to search for higher ground. One wush willy (aka black iguana) recently found a nice, cozy, warm place to lay his head in bed with Brandon. However, Brandon was a little less than thrilled with his new roommate when he was awakened at 2:00am by the 16 inch lizard in his bed. YIKES! Brandon made sure that little guy never got the chance to be relocated… In the jungle every day is a new adventure!


Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah