Bay Roberts woman's mission to aid

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

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

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.

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, 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-the-counter 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.

“The 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 its one that keeps her going back.

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

Organizations: Arms of Jesus Children

Geographic location: Guatemala, Bay Roberts, Newfoundland

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