Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update on Moises

The following e-mail just came from Belize with an update on Moises:

"Things are settling down here in Belize for me, so let me catch you up on Moises.
He made it into Amarillo Texas before the winter storm hit.
His mother had difficulty with her visa but he was able to travel with Dr. Eck, his Physician.
His mother was able to be reunited with him yesterday evening.
I will follow up this letter with some photos and short videos.
The doctors there are very encouraged about his condition.
Moises himself, is having a blast. See in the photos his first encounter with snow.
While Moises was making a snowball in his room, Dr. Eck was outside playing in the snow, a new experience for him also.
The current plan is to help Moises gain weight before surgery. This may take three months. He needs to be at least 70% of normal body weight. Currently he is less than 50%
Part of the plan is to introduce nutrition through his lower intestines.
He is getting regular visits from local schoolchildren and a big welcome banner from them hangs on his wall, see photos.
They tell me he charms everyone who enters his room. He gets out of bed quite a bit. My wife tells me the hospital has large electric cars which he enjoys driving down the hallways and a nurse runs along behind him holding his IV bag. I myself will be seeing him back in the US on Wednesday. Please continue with us in prayer, and again thanks for all your support for this miracle child."

Tim Tam in Belize.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Recap of Our Last Day of Work in Belize

The first few days we were told that breakfast would be ready at 7, so we were downstairs and waiting by 6:55am every morning.  Well, by Thursday morning we had learned that when people said breakfast would be served at 7, that really meant 7:20-ish.  So on Thursday the four of us ladies wandered up to the roof to enjoy the cool morning breeze and sunrise.  All week long we had a "buddy system," so we decided to take buddy pictures while we had a few moments of free time. 

Jennifer and Stacy:

Sophie and Michelle:
After a delicious breakfast (this was what our normal breakfast was everyday),

 we all headed off to the Burial Grounds.  The first task was to unload a truck load of cinder blocks to finish off the floor of the school addition. 

And then, it was time to head our separate ways.  Scot and Jerry headed to the market.  Unlike in the States, where we can just go to Kroger on a weekly/monthly basis, people in Belize have to go to the market much more frequently to get fresh food as they need it.  So, Scot and Jerry went to the market to get our food for lunch and dinner. 

In case you still have a hard time picturing where we were every time we mention the Burial Grounds (the part of Belize City where we spent most of the time working, where Unity Presbyterian Church is located), here are a few more pictures.

In the background you can see the actual cemetery which the area is named for.  In the foreground you can see two of the houses where families live.  

A few more shots of the different houses.

Stacy, Michelle, Jennifer, and Sophie headed out to Belmopan to visit King's Children's Home.  Unlike the government run children's home we visited earlier in the week, this was a place full of hope.  Leonie, a former abuse survivor herself, felt moved to start a home for children from similar of upbringings.  She is a licenced social worker, and a strong Christian who runs her home on Christian values.  The children are up by 5am to have a time of devotionals and worship before school.  Leonie is licenced to have up to 45 children in the house at any one time, and right now there are 42 children from the ages of 0-18 living there. From the time the home first opened in 1985, over 600 children have lived there.   

We took quite a few pictures of the children, but Leonie asked us not to post any of them online.  We did take this picture of the philosophy of the home posted on the wall.

This home was run with love an compassion, and it had such a different atmosphere than the state run children's home in Belize City we visited earlier in the week.  The only problem is that the kids and Leonie are living in a very tight space.  This is a picture of the land that makes up the majority of their back yard.  
The good news is that Leonie has recently purchased 14 acres of land just outside the city limits of Belmopan.  The goal is to have a road built to that land by June, and to begin the construction on a volunteer village and the well (currently they are paying the equivalent of $1,000 US per day for water, and having a well would drastically reduce that cost).  It was so inspiring to hear Leonie's incredible vision for how this land can be used.

Following Leonie's, Michelle and Sophie were dropped off at the prison to join part of the Lubbock group there.  Stacy and Jennifer returned to the Burial Grounds where they continued to work on the school.  While they were there, the group presented Kenny with a house warming present.
We quickly learned the benefits of having brought our very own paramedics with us (none of us sustained major injuries on the trips, but it was still nice to have them around to help with cuts and bruises).
Originally we were told that cameras would not be allowed in the prisons, so Michelle and Sophie were surprised to find one of the women from Lubbock taking pictures when they arrived.  The women inmates were thrilled to have their picture taken, and were constantly asking to be in another picture.  These are just a few of the many pictures taken that day.

The main sewing project we worked on with the women was boxer shorts.  It was a simple project that would teach them the fundamentals of sewing.  This is a woman named Michelle with her almost finished shorts.
A side project was painting quilt squares.  We asked the women to paint images of what made them happy on quilt squares (and then the Lubbock group will sew the majority of the squares together in a quilt and auction it off to raise money for future Belize mission trips).  Right before we left the prison on Wednesday, the women asked us for extra squares.  During the night they painted the following:

(B.C.P. = Belize Central Prison)
We were all very touched at their thoughtfulness and hard work.

In addition to painting and sewing, we spent much of our time at the prison chatting with the woman, learning more about their stories.  

You might have noticed in some of the last few pictures that a few of the women from our team had braids in our hair.... Many tourists pay for their hair to be braided when they go to Belize, or other tropical locations.  We have woman and youth at the children's home and prison volunteer to do it for us.

That last night we had a BBQ of chicken and tapir.  This was the crew that cooked dinner (with Kenny in the background).
Before dinner we played soccer with the boys of Belize.  After dinner, however, the boys entertained themselves by climbing on Scot and Jerry.

Michelle brought some relief by bringing bags of candy (though it disappeared in a matter of seconds).
The next morning was our last morning together as an entire group.  In case you are curious why there is a seventh person in this picture, that is Beth.  She works for the Word at Work.  She was with us in Belize all week and was a tremendous gift and blessing to our team.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good News From Belize - An Update on Moises

Our FPCA team safely arrived in Texas this past weekend after a wonderful last few days in Belize.  Over the next few days we will post more pictures from the last part of our trip, but tonight we wanted to share good news we just received.  You might remember us asking for prayers for a 7 year old boy named Moises.  Moises had been run over by a truck on Jan 8.  No one has expected him to live this long, especially considering he hasn't been getting any nutrition since the accident.  But the good news is that on Friday, Moises will be transported by plane to the United States where he will be able to receive the medical treatment he needs - what an answer to prayer!   The email we received from Tim Tam, the missionary in Belize, is below:

"Tears of joy shower down today all over Belize City and beyond.
It started with me today when my wife called and gave me the word that Baptist Saint Anthony Hospital in Amarillo Texas has agreed to receive Moises as their patient. It took me a while to stop crying so I could begin to share the good news with others. Our God once again hears the prayers of his children and brings hope to the hopeless. For the past several days I have been fused to the phone and my computer. A network of caring people, friends connecting with friends all over the United States nonstop, thousands of emails, everyone striving to secure help for this little guy who refused to die. I lost track of the number of hospitals and medical facilities who were contacted and are considering our case. Even now many are in the midst of a decision process, waiting for boards and committees to cast their vote. But now, help has arrived and we must act while there’s still time.
Perhaps on Thursday, at least by Friday, a private jet will arrive in Belize to transport Moises, his mother and his Dr. to Texas even faster than a commercial airline. BSA Hospital in Amarillo is fully equipped to handle the case. If however the possibility surfaces for one of the major children’s hospitals to take the case, BSA will be happy to redirect the patient to wherever he can receive the best care.
Early this evening I went to the hospital with Jackie and Marta Woods to share the good news with Moises and his mother. Unbelievable joy has pushed away all the sorrow in their rooms. And Moises is showing new energy and great improvement. Only days before, one of the nurses from Accolade Home Health Care ( secured the TPN that was desperately needed to get nutrition into his body. Cars from distant cities drove through the night to hand off the medicine to a mission team from boulder Colorado bound for Belize who then rushed it to the hospital at the moment they arrived. The results were almost immediate. Tonight we noticed that the sores on his scalp and arms were now healing. There is new life in his eyes. But here is what blew my mind…… Perhaps you remember from the last alert we sent out that Moises spoke of a Angelic visitations, a man dressed in white who was helping him. Here we had come to the hospital to tell them they were about to go to the United States, and his mother shared that he already knew it. She awoke in the night to find Moises sitting in the chair next to the bed. He has not been out of his bed for many weeks. The "man who had been helping him" told him that he needed to get ready to go. Moises got out of bed while his mother slept. He bathed himself with wet wipes and put lotion on his skin. He put Vaseline in his hair and combed it and then sat in the chair ready to go. She didn’t know what to think of it other than that she was glad he was gaining strength and, though it little bit shaky, was able to walk around.

At this point what needs to happen is....
-A massive offering-up of thanks to God for his mercy on this little one
-Continued prayer for god’s healing and protection
-Raising a little bit of money to help defray the fuel costs of our generous benefactor who dropped everything in order to make this happen

Thank you one and all,
Tim in Belize

Tim Tam
The Word at Work
1400 Wolflin Ave
Amarillo, Tx 79109
Office: 806-342-3600
Cell: 806-671-9673
Visit website"

This picture was taken just recently and shows Moises, his mother, and Tim Tam:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Great Day, Busy Day

This is going to be a rather short post because it was a busy day, a busy evening, and the night isn't over yet.

Scot and Jerry spent most of the day at the burial grounds continuing the mortar/cinder block work on the church.

Michelle, Stacy, Sophie, and Jennifer went out first to King's Children Home in Belmopan. This was a completely different experience than going to the state run children's home. The woman who owns the home is licenced to have up to 45 children in the home (there are 42 right now) and they all call her mom. Leone herself (the woman who runs the home) came from a background of abuse herself, and so takes in abused children. They are up daily by 5:00am to do devotionals and have a time of worship together. The children look out for one another, love one another, and the atmosphere of the home is completely different than it was at the other home in Belize City. They are in an extremely small space right now, but have recently purchased 14 acres so they can build a larger complex with more space for the kids to run and play. Leone is an amazing woman with an incredible vision and a huge heart.
After our time there, and a quick lunch, Jennifer and Stacy headed back to the burial grounds to help Scot and Jerry while Sophie and Michelle headed back to the prisons to continue working with the sewing ministry there. They actually let some of the women from WPC in Lubbock take a camera in today, but we will have to upload those pictures tomorrow when we have more time.
We ate dinner, a cookout, at the burial grounds, played soccer with some of the kids, and then came back here for worship, devos, and some meetings.
It's been a great day - God is good.

This is our team this morning, before we split up for the day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One thing we haven't mentioned in our previous postings is that we end every day together in a time of worship and sharing. We will sing, pray, and talk through our days. We usually meet out on the porch, and get to enjoy the cool night air as we worship - it's a great way to end each day.

Wednseday started with all of us assuming (except Jennifer who knew she would be working in one of the classrooms) we would spend our morning working at the burial grounds. Remember though that one of the key words in Belize is FLEXIBILITY, and so right from the start our plans changed. Scot was asked to head to Stella Mara's to take the special needs kids on a field trip where he would help teach swimming lessons.

Stacy, Sophie, Michelle, and Jerry stayed behind at the burial grounds to help lay cinder blocks and spread mortar.

Jennifer started her day in one of the classrooms to be a teacher's assistant.

She was only in the classroom for the first part of the day, however, because there was a preschool field trip to the fire house and they needed extra volunteers. They even came over to the work site where most of us were working to recruit extra volunteers. Jerry, being a fireman knew this would be a great adventure for him, and Michelle volunteered to go as well.

The little girl that Jerry ate lunch with yesterday is very attached to him. She spends time with him every opportunity she gets -she eats with him, sits with him on the bus, etc.

Of course, Jerry the fireman was the perfect person to demonstrate how to properly slide down the pole.

And he was also the perfect person to catch kids taking a tour through the cab.

Jennifer, Jerry, and Michelle made it back by lunch time, and once again we had a delicious homemade lunch.

After lunch Jerry stayed at the burial grounds to continue the cinder block/mortar work and even spent some time working on Kenny's house. Scot and Jerry also went over to meet the local ambulance crew. They have a very primitive, basic level medicial capabilities, ie they have no certified parimedics. Jerry and Scot were able to offer their expertise and talk them through certain situations.
Sophie, Stacy, Michelle, and Jennifer headed out to a local prison. We weren't allowed to take cameras inside (and in all honesty it just wasn't a good idea to take any valuable inside), but this is a quick shot we took of the outside of the prison as we were getting back in the vans at the end of the day).

The woman in the prison are learning howto sew. The basic idea is that if we equip them with a trade/skill, when they get out of prison they will have means of supporting themselves. We came with six working sewing machines, but there were over thirty women. When the women were waiting for a sewing machine to work on their projects we had other activities to work on. For the most part though, this gave us a chance to talk to them and hear their stories. It's hard to put into words all that we experienced in the prison today, but it was definitely a challenging, but fulfilling day and one that will be in our hearts for a very very long time.
And one last picture for you. This is our group last night after dinner. In a lot of ways this trip has been challenging, but our group is getting along very well and we are having a great time growing closer together and closer to God.