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Dec 11, 2015

Flood Victim Kayla Stevens Receives New Home from Good Samaritans

In October when Belize City was inundated by floodwaters impoverished zones in the south-side took the hardest hit. In some cases homes held together by little more than faith collapsed. One such case was that of mother of three Kayla Stevens. Her home on Neal Penn road literally fell apart, and somehow Kayla fell between the cracks in the mad political rush to offer flood assistance. But what a difference two months can make. Tonight Mike Rudon visited Kayla and got his early dose of the joy of Christmas. Here’s that story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Kayla Stevens and her three children were asleep in her small wooden shack when it collapsed into the floodwaters. As humble as it was, it was home to the family, destroyed by incessant rain and rising water which covered most of Southside Belize City. Kayla’s story and desperate cry for help made it into the news.


Emilio Zabaneh, Good Samaritan

“I heard a plea for flood victims in Belize City and I heard Kayla saying my whole house just fell apart. The way she said it jsut appealed to me to come and find her and see who these three little girls are because, you know, I have three little girls at home with me as well. When I saw them, I said I had to help them how I can. The house had no walls; everything had just fallen apart and the water was covering the couch…everything was spoilt. So I decided to appeal to my friends to see how we could help.”


Ron Braten

Pastor Ron Braten, Oasis Ministries

“He called me and he said did you see the news about a lady named Kayla whose house crashed during that flood. I said yeah it’s horrible and he said I gotta do something. We should find her. About a week later he said I found her and I’m gonna help her. You build houses. Send me a picture of what you do and how much it costs and we will raise the money through Facebook and friends of Emilio and the ministry and the churches that we know. And they said pull it together and finally, this is the day.”


The rest, as they say, is history, and certainly a Christmas miracle.. This is the view from Kayla’s new two-bedroom, spacious upstairs home, complete with windows, doors and even a small verandah. Amazingly, what you see here was built in two days. Master builder and Pastor Ron Braten and his team got started at around eleven on Thursday. By four today they’ll be handing over the keys to the new homeowner.


Kayla Stevens

Kayla Stevens, New Homeowner

“Well when I look pon it, I mi kidna done give up until a morning, I got a phone call from this man Mister Zabaneh and he really opened up back my heart and make I become strong again. I mi really give up because I mi gone fi some help and dah like I neva mi di get no kinda help. The only assistance I mi di get dah really from mi family, but like I said, they have their families too. So I really mi di give up until Mister Zabaneh came along.”


Emilio Zabaneh

Emilio Zabaneh

“I’m thankful that a lot of people joined me—some of them don’t want to say who they are—but we are very grateful for their donation, some gave a lot of money. The project you are looking at is about sixteen thousand dollars. We got stove, we got some beds coming; we got divisions going in. A donor gave us the bathroom and somebody gave us a kitchen sink. A lot more to be done but we are just thankful for all the help we got.”


Pastor Ron Braten

“This is our ninety-second house that we’ve built for families like this that are in really hard situations. This is ninety-two and I got one more…Christmas week, another one’s going in. But our call is to help people and God’s given us that vision to…I was a builder before I came into ministry as a pastor and I use both to help people like Kayla.”


The opening of this new door signals the opening of a new chapter in the life of this family, a miracle when they needed it most.


Kayla Stevens

“I feel so wonderful; my kids deh keep smiling. They keep coming to the backdoor and saying, “Mom is that our house?” I’m like, “Yeah that’s your house.” And every time I get a phone call, they are like, “Mommy, is that Mister Zabaneh calling?” it’s like they don’t forget his name. So I am really thankful for him.”


Mike Rudon

“Two days, two days…”


Kayla Stevens

“Yes sir. In two days I got a two bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, a hall and a veranda I can sit on.”


When we left today Kayla was getting ready to head to the store with Emilio to purchase a Christmas tree to place in their new home. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Master builder Pastor Ron Braten built most of the parts of the home to exact specifications before they arrived on site…which is how it was able to be assembled in just two days. 

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