Access-Life Belize 2017, Day One (Tues.):
On our first full day in Belize, the day started out very wet. The team stayed at the Hearts of Christ mission and started organizing supplies and cleaning equipment that had been shipped. Korie and some of the guys went to buy lumber and materials for the first ramp that would be built. After lunch, the rain stopped and we all loaded up and headed to the work site.
Ciara and Wilson:
The ramp was for a family with several children, one of whom has Cerebral Palsy. Ciara is almost 10 years old and has a smile that lights up her face. We met her mom, Kimone, and her cousin Taylor and baby brother Will. Their house was up on stilts, so the ramp needed to be “double decker” with a landing in between. The building team had put together the larger pieces before we went to the site, so when we arrived they got to work building the framework and finishing out the ramp.
While the building team worked, others on the A-L team walked around the village neighborhood to hand out hygiene packs and candy to the children and families who were walking home from school. The activity attracted a lot of attention and one family came by asking for some kind of wheelchair for their son, Wilson, who was born with deformities in all four limbs.
Leanne and John had gone back to the Hearts of Christ mission to get a wheelchair for Ciara and at the last minute decided to put an extra mobility stroller in the van to see if Ciara could use it, too. When they got back to the job site, Wilson and his family were there and it was very evident that God had intended the mobility stroller to go to him. So, Ciara got her weelchair and Wilson got his stroller – double blessings!
Doug’s morning devotion had reminded us that God is with us and goes before us, so this was affirmation that God was at work and had gone before us to help us to be prepared for the families we met that day.
Access-Life Belize 2017, Day Two (Wed.):
The plan for the day was to build two ramps for families who live not too far from Roaring Creek Village. Our team was divided up to send some out to build and to leave others at Hearts of Christ to clean and sort and organize medical equipment and supplies.
The first ramp of the day was for Ms. Sonia, a woman who had one of her legs amputated below the knee last October. She had been staying with her sister during the recovery and was excited to be able to move back to her own house and to have a ramp built so that she could come and go more easily. She was surprised when we drove up, as she didn’t know what day we were coming. We also were able to give her a motorized wheelchair to help her to get around.
Several of Ms. Sonia’s siblings live nearby, so our team was also able to meet them and see about some of their needs. One brother, Roy, needed colostomy supplies, and one of the sisters, Matilda, has stage four cancer and was blessed to receive a scripture blanket and a wooded cross carved with the words, “Amazing Grace.” Our team was blessed by all of the interactions with Ms. Sonia and her family.
The second ramp was built for Ms. Laverne, a woman suffering from arthritis in her knees and arms. She needed a ramp to get out of her house and we also were able to give her a motorized wheelchair. Her daughters, Desiree and Haley and son, Leon, were thankful that we could help their mom. The family was also blessed to receive a Bible, scripture blanket and a wooden cross. When Ms Laverne commented she could not read the Bible do to her poor sight, her daughter excitedly offered to read to her capping off the day with a great reminder that God provides in big and small ways.