March 4, 2013

March Newsletter


The first two months of this year have been filled with a lot of activity as the ministry continues to grow.  Several teams have helped us minister to both the spiritual and physical needs of the people in Belize.

We started off the year with a team from NW Arkansas who worked in the village of Otoxha.  Otoxha is a remote village in the southern part of Belize near the border of Guatemala.  This group has had a burden for the people of Otoxha and their need for a church building as the structure they have been using is literally falling apart around them.  These college students from AR braved the heat and humidity to dig the footing and pour a slab for the new church building.  Several members of the local congregation came out to help as they are so excited about their new building.
Villagers gather to watch the Jesus film in their native language

As a result of a new program the government of Belize has implemented, GEM has been assigned villages in the southern part of Belize where we have been given the task of providing ongoing health and wellness services.  We hosted a medical team from Tennessee (and one couple from Iowa) for two weeks in January who came to help us meet these needs and requests of the government.  This team really had their work cut out for them as they saw 1245 people in 9 different villages over a period of 8 days.  One village is not accessible by road so the team had to walk for two to reach the village.  Not only did this team minister to the medical needs of the villagers, but they also distributed food and Bibles.  Most importantly, they shared the Gospel to many through personal testimony and by showing the Jesus film 28 times including 7 times in schools. 

A second team from Tennessee (from the same church as many of the people on the medical team) also spent two weeks in Belize working down south.  This was a construction group consisting of three men.  They also had a burden to help construct a church building so they went to Otoxha and picked up where the previous team had left off.  By the time this construction team arrived the foundation was dry, so they were able to begin building the walls.  These guys completed all four walls ready for the top beam to be poured.  It is wonderful to see teams from different areas coming together to accomplish a common goal. 

Brandon rock climbing in Albertville, AL
As far as Gaither family news, we are learning to fly by the seat of our pants….maybe a little more literally for Randy.  Randy has made several trips back and forth between Belize and the states just since January.  One trip back was to attend a mission conference in Albertville, AL.  This was a fantastic weekend for the entire family.  The host church was generous enough to fly Randy in from Belize and Sheila and the boys to AL from Little Rock and all four of us met up in the Houston airport.  It was a great weekend of pampering, meeting old friends and new friends, hearing and sharing the Word, and overall being blessed tremendously.  Thank you Albertville First Baptist for a wonderful weekend!
Otherwise in the Gaither household, things are moving right along as usual.  Brandon is busy applying for scholarships and trying to decide where he should attend college.  (It is hard to believe he will graduate from high school in May)  Micah turned four in February and thinks he is twenty-four.  He has even started shaving every morning. (Don’t worry; the blade has been removed from the shaver)  Sheila is just trying to keep up with what day it is, which country Randy is in at the moment, and what can we eat for dinner besides beans and rice.  Where she left her head….well that is a problem for another day!
Micah getting ready for the day

Randy, Sheila, Brandon, and Micah