Pastor Ron Braaten along with his wife Linda, are the Board Directors for Oasis Ministry. The organization which is located in Unitedville, has been in Belize for the past fourteen years. Nine years ago, it started building homes for families in need across the country of Belize and yesterday, Oasis Ministry started building its 69th home for a family of ten. Plus news travelled to the village of Buena Vista and spoke with Braaten who told us about their new project.
Pastor Ron Bratten – Oasis Ministries:
When I travel and I meet people from my church and I see the living conditions of some people, my heart goes out to them and I just want them to have a decent clean house. It’s very simple. I don’t put electric or plumbing in it,. but it’s a clean dry place. The house that we’re replacing is pretty bad, and a mud floor when it rains. I felt bad for this family, just about three weeks ago when I met them. I said, let’s pray right now. It was a Spanish family. So we began to pray and ask God to provide. The man of the house raised his hand, and was asking God for a house. Within a few days between a good businessman here in Belize and good friends I have in the us, I was able to raise the money. All the young people off from school, all my high school kids from the church are here, and younger, and they wanted to be part of the team. So I have no outside team. It’s my own people from church, and those involved in our youth ministry for a while. They’re here to serve and it’s a blessing to be able to let them bless another Belizean. It’s just wonderful.
Customarily, Pastor Ron would bring in a team from the US to construct the home after the finances has been raised. This time around though, the youths from his church decided to use their Easter break and build the home. Plus news spoke with Melvin Esquivel a 17 year old who attends Cayo Christian Academy.
Melvin Esquivel – Oasis Ministries:
My dad is a builder and I’m taking his footsteps and everything. I’m going behind him. The way I see him, how he serves people, and builds houses for them. That really shocked me and I was like, well what’s my purpose here in this world. God says we were sent to be servants for him. Easter is about giving, like how God, he was crucified for us. People take Easter lightly. People think when you take Easter break, they think it’s to party or Easter [egg] hunts. But for me, Easter is a whole different thing. [At] Easter my focus is just about Jesus. Jesus, what is your purpose, and what do you want me to do? So I took my Easter break to bless a family with a home. My heart is filled with joy to see that I am doing God’s purpose and his will for me.
Material for the three bedroom home came at a cost of approximately $12,000 dollars Belize while the labour is being provided free of cost. Rushelly Henry says that it’s a learning experience for her.
It’s a process of learning and getting to know your Maths as well, to measure with the tapes and everything else, and how to nail most of all. I’m enjoying myself. With God in the midst, everything is OK. It’s a joy just to know that God is working in people’s lives.
Gregorio Garcia, whose to be the recipient says that he’s grateful for the home.
Yes, it will help me. My house over there is too small. The walls are not good at my other home. It’s rotten, and I have been praying to God for another home, and now I’m seeing it being built. I don’t have the money to build a house, so I asked Pastor Ron to help me with a home. I give thanks to God for touching Pastor Ron’s heart to help me build a home.
Pastor Ron also tells us that it’s not only about giving a family a home but it’s also about expressing God’s love in a tangible way.
Pastor Ron Bratten – Oasis Ministries:
We want to express the love of Jesus. That’s also the reason why I’m here in Belize is to share Christ, to preach the Gospel. I’ve seen so many who trust in the Lord because the Lord provided for them. They’re in all the churches or my church. I’ve seen them turn their hearts towards God and I always say, it’s not me that you thank, it’s the Lord. God provides for his people. Those who ask Him receive. So what we do is in the name of Jesus. We want to make sure that we minister to the families spiritually, not just with a home. This is a big part of showing Christ’s love. As James said, I can tell you about my faith, but I’m going to show you my faith by what I do. So our young people from the church are doing what Jesus would do. I could teach all these kids Acts 20:35, it’s more blessed to give than to receive, Jesus said. They’re learning today. They’re loving what they’re doing, and when they see that family on Thursday get the keys, and tears down their cheeks, they’re gonna go, Yes Jesus was right. It’s more blessed to give.
The house is expected to be completed by today and keys for the house were handed over to Gregorio and his family.