Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
CATA Student's Mission Trip to Belize
On January 19th I joined a mission team headed for Oasis Ministry located outside of the Blackmon Eddy village in the Cayo District of Belize in Central America. Ron and Linda Braaten are the missionaries that run the ministry and they have 12 children living with them ranging in age from 1 year to 18.
Oasis Ministry has several functions; they have a preschool, a mobile library for the local schools, and Ron is the pastor of Mt. Hope Church. Through the funding and work of visiting mission teams, Oasis is able to build homes and businesses for the people of the Unitedville & Blackmon Eddy villages.
The most important thing that Oasis Ministry does is for the children. By providing education both in schools and spirit, food and homes, it is creating a new generation of adults that will have hope. It all starts with the children.
The villages of Unitedville & Blackmon Eddy are similar to most every village of Belize. With the exception of the resorts located on the coast, most people live in dilapidated shacks. Some are lucky enough to have electricity if they live close to the highway but rarely have indoor plumbing.
My team built a home for the Garcia family. Irma, Oscar and their children have rented a small, pieced together wooden 2 room home for 15 years. Not 2 bedrooms plus living space but just 2 rooms. Through farming and saving they were able to recently buy a small lot in Unitedville.
In less than one week, with our team and many Belizean friends and children chipping in to help, we built a new home for the Garcias. While the Garcias did not speak English, the language of compassion, blessings, and friendship was always easy to understand.
One week in Belize was probably one of the best weeks of my life. I learned how to put flooring down and put siding up. I now can operate a circular saw and cut angles to make railings. I know how to build walls and trusses and put a tin roof on a house. I rode in the back of a pick-up truck filled with lumber and people holding on for dear life.
I received more kisses and hugs from children than I ever have in my life. I was able to see the thankful eyes of a child just because I would hold her hand. I could sing as loud as I could in church and not hear my voice over the joy of the people around me. I did not have to fix my hair or wear make-up for a week. I laughed until my stomach cramped and my creeks hurt. I made friends for life; I made a difference.
Benjamin & Brady who live at Oasis Ministry. Morgan spent all of her free time with them.
Morgan with Katherine, the oldest daughter of the family we built the home for, testing out the outhouse hole.
Guard at the top of the Mayan Ruins. He accompanied us to protect us from the Guatemalan bandits.
Written by: Morgan Prewitt, CATA Senior
Posted: Jan 31, 2013 by Deb Christensen