Community

Belize blessings

LAZARO AND Joel Cowo, the two youngest sons of the Cowo family, sleep in their new house even before it’s finished being built. Volunteers continued to work on the house, hammering away so the boys put on earplugs to sleep. - RYAN WIEBE
LAZARO AND Joel Cowo, the two youngest sons of the Cowo family, sleep in their new house even before it’s finished being built. Volunteers continued to work on the house, hammering away so the boys put on earplugs to sleep.
— image credit: RYAN WIEBE

EIGHT MEMBERS of the Rock Community Church returned from their trip to Belize to build a house for a family and put on a children’s program with stories to tell and photos to share about their journey and the people they met.

Pastor Mike Rosenau tells a bit about his experience and the Cowo family, who now has a safe house to live in, also sent their regards in a letter to the church.

“They’re beautiful people who live in very humble circumstances,” said Rosenau about the families in the towns of San Felipe and Blue Creek.

A photo of Rosenau and the eldest son of the family, who the team was to build a house for, Juan Cowo, above right, starts off the story of the team’s and family’s journey together.

“This shot was taken at about 6:30 p.m. on the day we arrived,” said Rosenau. “We had just driven from the Belize International Airport and were on our way to our hosts homes in Blue Creek. San Felipe is on the way to Blue Creek, and so I asked the driver to stop at the building site.

“When we drove in, Juan was working alone pushing a wheelbarrow. He had worked there every day, often by himself, to get the site ready for our builders. When we pulled in, I stepped out to greet him. We both recognized each other from pictures we had seen of each other over the last year as we were preparing to come down. As soon as we saw each other, we were both overcome with emotion and hugged each other. The day had finally come. It was actually going to happen, a home would be build on this very spot, and this young man and his family would be the ones receiving it.

The four-day children’s program kicked off with a roar, and 200 to 300 children from San Felipe – a massive 115’ x 60’ tent, pink parachutes, dozens of beach balls of sizes 34” to 80” diameter, crafts, games, visits by unusual super heroes, much laughter, music, puppets, and an unforgettable 2,000 balloon water fight that ended in a free-for-all where everyone one was soaked, moms with babies, old grammas, all the workers, and hundreds of children chasing and soaking everyone, said Rosenau.

The building team, now working smoothly and amping up their productivity, began putting in some evening hours to finish the house. The second to the last night when several of the workers had decided to work late into the night, two of the younger Cowo family children wanted to stay in their new house. The family pulled in a mattress and the kids fell asleep with ear plugs in their ears as the builders hammered around them.

“One of the builders said it was at that moment he realized that what they were really doing was building a safe and secure place for this family,” said Rosenau.

“This whole experience has been life-changing for our whole team. We have all come back with our eyes opened wide and our hearts deeply moved.  It really was remarkable,” said Rosenau.

In a thank-you letter to the Rock, the mother Esabel Cowo said, “I am the mother of six sons and one daughter. These are the children God gave me. As a woman, it was very hard to make our home attractive. I felt bad cooking and even when I got up in the morning and looked outside I couldn’t feel peaceful and secure. Now I am so happy about this new house. It is a safe place for my family. It is secure...You have all made us very happy. I thank all of you who gave and worked to make a beautiful home for us. It is such a large gift you have given. I thank God for this house.”

Eldest son Juan added, “My mother and father walk around this new home almost in disbelief saying, ‘Is it possible that this beautiful house is actually ours?’ We want to thank all of you from Terrace and from the Rock church who gave so much to give us this new home. It is hard to express how grateful we are to all of you. May God bless you for your generosity and willingness to help others.”

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