Bay Roberts woman’s mis­sion to aid

Pamela Nor­man part of group head­ing to Gu­atemala to build houses, bring sup­plies

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The shelves in Pamela Nor­man’s Bay Roberts of­fice are full of var­i­ous real es­tate awards.

A real es­tate agent with Exit Realty on the Rock, Nor­man has won these awards since get­ting her start in the busi­ness in 2009.

Each tells a story and each one leads to the same place — Gu­atemala.

“My mis­sion work mo­ti­vates me in my busi­ness,” said Nor­man. “People al­ways ask me, ‘are you a mil­lion­aire yet?’ and I say, ‘no, but I’ve made a lot of people happy.’”

For the past five years Nor­man, a de­vout Angli­can, has been mak­ing the trek to the im­pov­er­ished Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­try, help­ing build vi­tal in­fra­struc­ture for the people there.

This year she leaves for her mis­sion work start­ing on May 31 and run­ning un­til June 7 as a part of a group go­ing with the Arms of Je­sus Chil­dren’s Mis­sion.

Com­prised of 15 people, Nor­man, along with her hus­band Eric and her team will be head­ing to Gu­atemala.

“Half of the team are re­turn­ing. Some of them for their fourth or fifth trip,” she said.

Gu­atemala is a coun­try made up of some 14 mil­lion people, more than half of them liv­ing in ru­ral parts of the coun­try. Ac­cord­ing to the web­site ru­ralpovery­por­tal.org, those who live in the ru­ral re­gions make up a large ma­jor­ity of the im­pov­er­ished.

Many of these people work for for­eign com­pa­nies in one of the many corn fields in Gu­atemala.

The group’s pri­mary work in the re­gion will be build­ing houses for the res­i­dents. These homes are com­prised of a con­crete board, sim­i­lar to gyp­sum board, bolted into a con­crete base poured into the ground. Once the board have been bolted, the group will then in­stall a tin roof and then paint the struc­ture.

“We’ll prob­a­bly build two houses in the morn­ing and two in the af­ter­noon,” said Nor­man.

Bring­ing gifts

How­ever, houses will not be the only things pro­vided to the people of Gu­atemala by the mis­sion­ary group. Each one of the mis­sion­ar­ies bring with them two hockey bags full of sup­plies. This in­cludes over-the­counter medicine and other es­sen­tial sup­plies.

“We have so much stuff and they have ab­so­lutely noth­ing,” said Nor­man.

Many of the sup­plies are do­nated by people in the com­mu­nity, while some of the medicine is sam­ples pro­vided by doc­tors.

Nor­man is al­ways as­ton­ished by the amount of do­na­tions the group re­ceives.

“New­found­land people are so gen­er­ous,” she said. “Gu­atemalans tell us that no one brings stuff like we do.”

Bring them shoes

One thing may be more im­por­tant than all the rest. That is some­thing people may take for granted ev­ery day and it’s some­thing we wear on our feet ev­ery day — shoes.

It is some­thing Nor­man notices both in her mis­sion work, but also as a spon­sor par­ent. She spon­sors sev­eral chil­dren in var­i­ous coun­tries. Not ev­ery child has a pair of shoes, and they are re­quired in or­der to at­tend school.

“When you spon­sor a child, you’re buy­ing them a pair of shoes and an ed­u­ca­tion,” said Nor­man.

She does the mis­sion­ary work to do good for oth­ers. It’s a call­ing she felt six years ago af­ter con­clud­ing her pre­vi­ous ca­reer and it’s one that keeps her go­ing back.

“Gu­atemalans and New­found­lan­ders are joined by the heart,” said Nor­man. “They need to know that we love them.”

Sub­mit­ted photo

Bay Roberts res­i­dent Pamela Nor­man (far right) will be trav­el­ling to Gu­atemala at the end of May with 15 other in­di­vid­u­als as a part of a mis­sion group. Here, she is shown with her son Paul (far left), along with spon­sor child Eve­lyn Saquil Paxan (cen­tre) and mem­bers of Eve­lyn’s fam­ily, brother Fer­nando (sec­ond from left), mother Ros­alie and sis­ter Jo­ce­lyn (sec­ond from right) in 2008.

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