In the coming days, members from LakePoint Community Church in Oxford will set off to the small Central American country of Belize with the ambition of bringing help and hope to those they’ll encounter.
To support trips like this one, LakePoint is hosting a craft show on Nov. 10 that will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“There will be wooden signs, body care products, clothing, crocheted items,” said Tina Berryer, the show’s organizer. “I try and keep most of the show to the handmade items, I focus less on the multi-level marketing companies… A good two-thirds of the show is crafters. I think the public wants to see more craft-type businesses.”
The craft show will host over 60 booths and include a bake sale, raffles and a lunch of soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and chili that Berryer says will be “reasonably priced.” The entrance fee for adults is $3, and kids under the age of 12 can come for free.
“It’s going to be just like a little Panera Bread-type environment,” Berryer said. “You know, it’ll just be a place you want to come hang out and have a nice lunch for a reasonable price.”
The church uses the funds from this event to help pay for travel and food costs among a few other things for its mission trips.
The church has been to Belize’s Valley of Peace a number of times and also serves in New York most years. With the most recent trip being in Belize happening Oct. 13-20, those going look forward to serving the people they’ve gotten to know over the years and meeting new faces.
While in Belize, the LakePoint members pour cement floors in homes of those who have a dirt floor in their home, do odd jobs in Marla’s House of Hope, which helps girls and women who have been affected by abuse; comfort those in a hospice setting who are approaching the end of their lives and minister to inmates in Belize’s prison.
“A lot of people live on dirt,” the mission trip’s organizer, Pat Harshall, said. “The buildings (people live in) are not substantial, they may or may not have indoor plumbing. We can perhaps substantially improve their lives by putting a floor in their house. So over the last couple of years, our group has been focused on that.”
Harshall said the Belize mission trips, like many of the mission trips Christians around the world take, are mostly about building relationships and encouraging people through the words in the Bible.
“The focus on getting to know people and really sharing a little bit and, hopefully, learning a little bit about other people is really the crux of why we go,” Harshall said. “The rest of (our service there) is the window dressing. The real reason to go is relationships, and over time we’ve been able to establish great relationships.”
Both Harshall and Berryer encouraged community members to come out to the fund-raiser not just for what they say is a stellar craft show, but to support a cause that helps and encourages people around the globe.
“We really want the community to come support us, and we want to support the community,” Berryer said. “Really, this is just something we can offer.”