On Jan 24th, I wrote about our visit to San Pablo, and rather than rehash the entire story, I’ll just link you to the post—if you have not read it, I strongly encourage you to at least skim to over to get the full magnitude of which will follow!
We visited San Pablo last week and met with the Chairman (Mr Ishim) The PTA President (Mr Makine) and the principle (Mr Acal) and we were quite blunt as we assessed their situation (through our eyes). In a nutshell, we saw pride, control, and the inability to work together as the root of the majority of their problems. After nearly 2 hours of conversation, we thought that there was some resolution and understanding that sometimes only outsiders can bring to the table. To get the ball rolling, the principle agreed to approach Catholic Management and ask them for a signed letter of permission allowing us to do physical work on their building. Going back to the 1/24 blog—that was a huge step! And yes, the next day, the management agreed to draft and sign the letter!
On the village leadership side of things, the Chairman and PTA President agreed to “allow” the partnership to continue in such a way that Sowing Seeds in Belize would work directly with the principle, and the Alcalde (who was not present) gave his blessing for the partnership to move forward, and not only move forward, but they agreed to stand back and allow it to happen for the benefit of their children!
That agreement and resolution will allow us to bring some of the young men that we are working with through Mr Cab in San Antonio and work to make the roof water tight, a few hammers, a little flashing, and some roofing tar should get them through for the next few years. A days work and a couple hundred dollars that will greatly enhance the education for their children! All made possible because the leadership has finally agreed to work together…
On Wed Feb 7th, we brought a team to the village—Pastor Keith from Tyrone, Pastor Jim from Altoona, Lori and her team from Truthquest Ministries, and a team from Texas joined us as the principal and his students led a community meeting talking about the immediate needs as well as the long term hopes and dreams for their small education system. Wednesday evening as we revisited the day, the 2 pastors knew God was calling them to support our work in San Pablo! Thanks to them and their churches, we now have funding for a new thatched roof classroom and even electricity to the classroom!! This new classroom will allow the youngest children to move out of the health clinic—remember, the Dept of Health would not share spaces so they had pulled out of the village! Today, they are able to look forward to a new schoolroom as well as the return of the monthly health clinic!
Regarding the banana fields that I spoke of in the last blog—another banana company has come in and will be planting a more disease resistant variety and has agreed to hire all of the workers back to work the fields! It’ll be another few months with no work, but there is hope on the horizon as they work to replant and care for the young plants!
And the 12 mile road that takes 50 minutes to traverse? The EU has come along side of the government of Belize to pave the roads to 5 remote communities and San Pablo is one of them!! The road should be paved within the next year! Just imagine what that alone will do for the village and the families…
Good things are happening here, and we move forward knowing that He is in control and in His time, the people of San Pablo will have the certainty of a better tomorrow!