September 19, 2015

September Newsletter


With summer wrapped up and fall at hand, we are reflecting back on the busyness of the summer months, the many things that were accomplished, and all the wonderful blessings of God. We are also looking forward to seeing the great work that the Lord is continuing to do in the ministry here in Belize.

As the school year came to a close at the end of June, we held two graduation ceremonies for our preschools with a total of 23 graduates.  What a joy it is to listen to the children singing in English about their colors, numbers, letters, and most importantly our Heavenly Father as they performed for family and friends.  A special word of thanks to First Baptist Church in Parsons, TN for providing graduation caps and gowns.  We would also like to thank everyone that sponsored a preschool child to cover the expenses for that child so the preschools can continue to be offered free of charge to the villagers.  This is a wonderful ministry and way to share the Message of Christ with children and parents alike.  For the 2015-2016 school year, we have 31 students enrolled in preschool who are still in need of a sponsor.  Please contact us if you are interested in sponsoring a preschool student.  This is a great ministry project for Sunday School classes, women’s auxiliary, school groups, churches, or individuals.  The cost is only $250.00 per school year to make a lasting impact of the life of a young student.

Micah helping load supplies in the car

Some of the students in More Tomorrow
Through the help of several of you, GEM was also able to provide registration fees, tuition, school supplies, books, uniforms, and shoes to a total of 29 primary and high school students for the 2015-2016 school year.  It is always such a joy to see the delight and gratitude on the faces of the students as they are presented with a backpack full of school supplies and a new uniform and shoes.  We appreciate everyone who helps with this aspect of the ministry, and we truly couldn’t do it without your help.

Baptizing at the river never gets old...
In addition to training students, we are very excited to be training new disciples for Christ.  In the past few months we have had the privilege of baptizing 43 new Christians from the various GEM River of Life Church congregations throughout Belize.   Praise the Lord for these folks as well as the 19 children that have been dedicated to the Lord as their parents commit to raising their children in a Christian home.
Standing room only at the dedication service

Besides all of our “regular” ministry activities, we hosted several short-term mission teams from various churches in the United States.  The teams did everything from jumping rope to mixing cement as their projects ranged from VBS activities and Bible studies to building construction.  The team from First Baptist – Parsons, TN completed the walls and roof of the church building in San Marcos so we were able to hold a building dedication services while the team was in country.  Regardless of their specific project, many lives were touched and a huge impact was made for the Kingdom of God.
Sean: back left, Trent: back right
With all of this activity in a few short months, you can imagine that Randy and Sheila meet themselves coming and going with Micah bouncing back and forth between the two.  Fortunately we had two young men serving with us as interns over the summer…Sean Elkins from Albertville, AL and Trent Ashcraft from Nashville, TN.  What a blessing it was to have some people on the ground to help chase down groceries, sort text books, dig ditches, keep the grounds maintained, play with Micah, and assist with the overall ministry to keep things going during a very busy season.  Trent and Sean, you were both a great help and we miss you already!

As you can see, the ministry in Belize is continuing to grow.  Continued growth means an increase in expenses to cover operational costs, equipment/vehicle repairs, supplies, etc.  We are asking individuals, groups, and churches to please pray and consider either a one-time gift or monthly support to continue the work to which God has called us.  A monthly gift of $25.00, or any size, would make a tremendous impact toward meeting the needs.  Please pray for the financial needs of the ministry as well as the safety and health of our family as the challenges are sometimes very difficult.  

Tan: Rowdy, Black: Rosie
All in all, the Gaither family is doing great.  Randy has been working on his language skills and has made the embarrassing discovery that Kekchi, Maya, and Spanish mixed together in one sentence make absolutely no sense, but has proven to be quite comical.  Sheila has learned that a good healthy breakfast consisting of a Hershey with almonds and a glass bottle Coke is the perfect way to start a morning with all the craziness and it makes her much more tolerable according to Randy and Micah (Sean and Trent are in total agreement).  Micah had a pretty tough summer saying goodbye to his long-time friend Hachi who was killed by a snake bite in June, but his new puppies Rowdy and Rosie have helped fill the void.  Micah has started 1st grade now so look out world!

Randy, Sheila, and Micah

May 25, 2015

May Newsletter


The last few months have been amazing and busier than we ever imagined.  God has been moving and blessing the ministry in Belize in ways that we never dreamed possible.  We want to catch you up on some of the things God has been doing and the joyful excitement that accompanies His work.  We have been busy about our Father’s business…building, building, and building. 

Building the Kingdom:  Since the first of the year we have seen many people receiving Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  We have been keeping the waters in the rivers stirred with several baptisms.  The joy is contagious as people are experiencing the love of God and following the Lord in baptism.  The crocodiles are getting a little annoyed at the increased activity in their waters, but if God can seal the mouths of lions He can handle the crocs!

Building strong leadership through pastor’s training:   We hosted another pastor’s training conference in February, and the attendance was even greater than the conferences before.  How refreshing to see such a hunger for the Word of God as these leaders come expecting to have someone pour into them great truths about our Father and His Word.  A group from Albertville, AL led the training sessions and teachings were focused on the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper/Communion.  The attendees were taught the Word of God regarding the significance of the sacraments as well as how to serve communion.  In addition they were given several sermon outlines to assist them in teaching the same to their local congregations.  At the end of the meetings, everyone enjoyed partaking of the Lord’s Supper together as a group.  We are so grateful for First Baptist Church Albertville who donated communion sets for each of the GEM pastors to take to their local River of Life churches. 
Building church buildings:  Along with all of the other activities mentioned previously, we also have 5 building projects ongoing.  God has blessed us with five sponsoring churches from the United States who are each funding a church building in five different villages.  We now have church buildings under construction in San Benito Poite, San Marcos, Frank’s Eddy, Maya Mopan, and San Pablo.  Praise the Lord!
We have also had the privilege of hosting nine great short term mission groups already this year.  Harold Renfroe of Corinth Baptist Church spent a week on the maintenance and repair of all of our vehicles to get them in tip top shape before the arrival of any other teams.  Roy Boas of Living Hope Bible Church put a new roof on the shop building that was destroyed by a tree last summer.  Three medical teams treated a total of 1998 patients in various villages.  Other teams ministered in a variety of ways including food distribution, VBS activities, construction, Bible studies, and door to door evangelism.
As far as Gaither family news, Sheila and Micah are enjoying an extended summer break from school.  Since we didn’t have any snow days to make up (boo hoo) and we don’t observe holidays (so far Micah is none the wiser…don’t let the cat out of the bag), the school year was over by the end of April.  Woo hoo!!  Brandon has survived his second year of college and is rejoicing about being at the halfway mark…well, with an undergraduate degree anyway.  As mentioned earlier, Randy has been keeping the crocodiles on their toes and the roads well worn both in Belize from village to village and in the U.S. from church to church.  Randy, Sheila, and Micah have dubbed “On the Road Again” as our new theme song which in retrospect is a praise report after the transmission in our truck went out along I-40 in TN.  Special thanks to Harold, Ken, Beth, Brian, Bro. Don, and Corinth Baptist for taking care of us and getting us back on the road …again.

Randy, Sheila, and Micah