September 10, 2014

September Newsletter

Greetings from Belize,

It has been a wonderfully, busy, exciting summer! 

Since the last newsletter, we have distributed food, clothing, toiletry items and school supplies throughout five different villages and to each of our pastors.  We have held five revivals, one pastors/leadership training, four VBS sessions, door to door evangelism, numerous Bible studies, and two preschool graduations.  We have also painted two church buildings in addition to five ongoing church facility constructions, one water tower construction project, and various maintenance on buildings, buses, and equipment.  In addition we hosted nine different groups from high school students to senior adults that assisted with some of these activities.  One group was a medical team that did a great job ministering to the physical needs as well as spiritual needs while treating 790 patients in five different villages.  But most importantly we have been keeping the river waters stirred up with baptisms as people are being saved throughout the churches.  Check out the Gaither Evangelistic Ministries facebook page for more details and pictures of these activities.

As summer kicked off, the end of June also meant the close of another school year here in Belize.  Two of the students sponsored through GEM graduated from high school and at least one is now enrolled in college.  Graduation ceremonies were held at both of our preschools on June 27th.  There were five graduates from the preschool in More Tomorrow and 29 graduates in Valley of Peace.  We want to express our gratitude to all of the churches and individuals who lovingly donated funds to keep our preschools operational.  The two preschools are completely free of charge to the students and parents.  For the 2014-2015 school term, we are asking for sponsors to assist with the costs to enable us to continue to provide a free preschool education in the villages.  Our purpose is to use a Christian-based curriculum to teach school readiness skills and English as a second language to enable the students to be successful once they reach primary school.  The cost per student is $250.00 for the entire school year.  If you would like to sponsor a preschool student, please send your check payable to GEM to PO Box 348, Bismarck, AR  71929 and mark “preschool sponsorship” on the memo line. 

One of the highlights of our summer was the pastor’s conference that was held in July.  The conference was open to all of the GEM pastors and leaders.  Through funding provided by Zion Baptist Church in Fordyce, AR, we were able to bring all of the attendees to the northern campus and house them overnight for a weekend of worship, Bible training, and preaching.  We were also able to provide each pastor with a Bible in his native language whether Kekchi or Spanish.  Though our facilities may not be five star compared to US standards, it was somewhat of a resort get away for many of those attending who live in remote villages that often do not have electricity and running water.  There were over 50 people in attendance excluding the team members who were on hand to teach, preach, and serve.  The pastors and leaders returned to their home villages with a fresh excitement and love for Jesus.
There was a small interruption in our busy summer schedule with the fall of a very large tree limb (the size of a tree itself) onto our shop building.  Fortunately no one was hurt, not even the Dodge that was sitting under the shed, and the heartless tree (both literally and figuratively) has since been removed.  However, the building itself was destroyed.  Now we are in desperate need of a construction crew with project funds to rebuild our shop building.  Please contact us if you are interested. 

As far as Gaither family news, the four of us enjoyed a summer of serving together as Brandon was able to join us again in Belize during his summer break from college.  It was wonderful being back together  here in Belize…especially since Brandon kept the yard mowed and all the grounds cleaned up…ha.  Micah was a little concerned that “Bam Bam” was trying to infringe upon his self-assigned title of “team leader”, but they worked out the pecking order and duties (as assigned by Micah).  The summer activities have come to a halt now.  Brandon is back in the states attending college and Sheila and Micah have started home school.  We aren’t quite sure who is teaching whom, but word has it that Sheila is learning quickly.  Randy tries to stay as far away from the home school classroom as possible as well as staying away from the crocs with all the baptisms he has been conducting.  Wow, how blessed we are!
Randy, Sheila, and Micah