Washing cars for Belize

Published 9:55 pm Thursday, July 17, 2014

Ten members of a Suffolk church will travel to the Central American country of Belize next month to build a home for a family in need.

The home will cost $6,000, and the Open Door Church members plan several fundraisers throughout the next few weeks to raise the money.

“They’re very excited,” said Brianne Ihlenburg, who is not going but is managing the fundraisers. Her son and brother are among those going, she said. “They’re looking forward to being able to minister to people.”

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The team will work with Oasis Ministry led by Pastor Ron Braaten, who moved to Belize about 20 years ago after being a youth pastor in New York, N.Y.

The house built by the crew from Open Door Church will be No. 77 for the ministry, Ihlenburg said. Braaten also has adopted several children from Belize in addition to his own children and will do any project to help the Belize people, Ihlenburg said.

“Even if it’s something as small as a bed, he will hand-make a bed,” she said.

A team from the church also visited Belize in 2006 and built a home for abused girls, she said.

The team will have two car washes this Saturday and next Saturday. This week, they will be at the Tractor Supply Co. store at 3000 Pruden Blvd. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Next week, they will wash cars at O’Reilly Auto Parts, 1507 Holland Road, also from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations will be accepted for the car wash.

A spirit night at Chick-fil-A on North Main Street is planned for July 30. Coupons will enable patrons to give a percentage of their purchase to the cause.

At each car wash and at Chick-fil-A, a raffle will be held for a free one-night stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. Tickets are $5 each.

The church also plans a bake sale, but the time and place are yet to be determined, Ihlenburg said.

Mailed donations to the church are also welcome at 816 Kings Fork Road, Suffolk, VA 23434. Mark “Belize” in the memo line.

For more information on the fundraisers, call the church at 934-2671. For more information on Oasis Ministry, visit www.oasisministrybelize.com.