Pleasant Hill U.B. Church Missions Trip
Belize, Central America
January 16-26, 2006

A group of 11 individuals left Pleasant Hill U.B. Church in Greencastle at 3:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan 16, 2006 for a 10 day mission trip with Here’s Hope Ministries to Belize, Central America. The team included Rev. Les Kauffman, Ann Kauffman, Angie Grove, Dave Churchman, Amy Churchman, Raeann Ebersole, Brandon Burkett, Doug Burkett, Wayne Kessinger, Charlie Burkett, and Tony Burkett. The team was greeted at the airport in Belize by Bob Eberly and Nelson Dice, who had just returned from a week’s trip to Honduras, and by Rodger and Carolyn Shuman, Directors of Hosanna House.

Pleasant Hill U.B. Church Missions Team

The weather in Belize for the beginning few days of the trip was sunny and warm; however, it started to rain on Thursday, Jan. 19th and continued for 7 days, until Wednesday, Jan. 25th, which caused flooding throughout many parts of the area. Even some of the schools had to close due to flooding.

Flooding along Hummingbird Highway

Despite the rain, the team was able to accomplish a lot of work at the site. The men were busy digging footers for the wall around the rear yard at Hosanna House. They were also able to lay a lot of the block for the wall. This wall will provide a safe and secure area for the children to enjoy outside activities.

Wayne Kessinger,Dave Churchman, Brandon Burkett,
Nelson Dice, Tony Burkett & Charlie Burkett working on the wall.

Our team was fortunate to have a plumber along on this trip. With Doug Burkett’s lead, some of the men installed a large propane tank for Hosanna House and ran hot water lines and gas lines throughout the home. Thanks to this work, the girls in the home now have hot showers! In addition, Hosanna House now has a working gas clothes dryer, and several gas ovens. Doug was also able to complete other small plumbing repairs for the home.

Doug Burkett installing water
heater for Hosanna House.

In addition to working on the wall and plumbing, the men also replaced the brakes on the missions van, built some shelving for the men’s dorm area and for Hosanna House, poured a concrete pad for the newly installed fuel tank, worked on the concrete block machine, and planted potatoes. The men were hoping to start digging the footers for the new church; however, they were unable to accomplish that task due to all of the rain. They were however, able to cut the rebar supports that will be needed in the wall columns for the church. Rev. Les Kauffman was also able to show off his barber skills by giving Rodger a haircut while we were there.

Rev. Les Kauffman giving Rodger a haircut

Dave Churchman, Charlie Burkett, Wayne Kessinger
and Tony Burkett cutting seed potatoes to plant.

The ladies from the work team had the opportunity to help at St. Augustine School
in Middlesex for several days during this mission trip. We worked with all of the children from the school and our main focus was assisting the students with reading. This was a great opportunity for us; however, it was also very challenging because many of the children did not speak English well and many did not have reading books or other educational materials. We borrowed reading books and other materials from Hosanna House which was a great help in ministering to the children. The children touched our hearts and we are looking forward to working with the children again if given the opportunity on future mission trips.

Angie Grove and Raeann Ebersole with
students from St. Augustine School.

Ann Kauffman & Amy Churchman with
students from St. Augustine School.

In addition to cooking the meals for the work team, the ladies also assisted Carolyn in the home with cleaning, organizing, and sorting through donated items. We also spent time with the girls in Hosanna House and assisted them with homework. We were very appreciative to Gladys Brambly who showed us how to make some new food dishes while we were there. We have already made some of the new dishes for our families since we have returned home. The entire team also enjoyed the great cooking that Lerma, the cook for Hosanna House, shared with us. We especially enjoyed the pies!!!

We were not able to do much sight-seeing during this trip because of the rain; however, we were able to enjoy a couple of meals by the ocean in Dangriga. We also took a drive on Sunday afternoon and saw part of Hopkins, which is beach area south of Dangriga; however, this drive was also cut short by the rain. The afternoon before our trip home, the rain finally subsided, so Bob took us through a small Mayan village in Armenia where we were able to meet some of the Mayans and purchase some of their home-made baskets and jewelry. Some of the team members were able to go through one of the Mayan homes and it turned into a very emotional and eye opening experience for them. That evening, we had dinner together in a nice restaurant in Belmopan, the capital of Belize.

We were very thankful for the protection and guidance from God during this trip. Rev. Les Kauffman now has a new “respect” for scorpions after one stung him several times before bed one evening. The ladies also got through a scary experience of having a tarantula in their sleeping quarters. We know that God will not give us anymore than we can handle and God saw us through and made this a very memorable experience for the entire team.

We encourage everyone to be a part of missions, either through prayer, monetary support, or by being a part of a work team. It truly is a life changing experience. We are truly blessed and there are so people throughout many parts of the world who need to hear God’s word and to feel His love. God has called us to be his disciples and to love and care for those in need. Belize is a country in need, but there are so many wonderful changes happening through the work of Here’s Hope Ministries. Please continue to pray for this work and all of the people involved through this ministry.