One of the organizations that BEAM supports is King’s College. Here is the backstory of King’s College. The inspiration to help support King’s and the northern churches stems back to Ed and Jewell Blomberg.
Ed and Jewell who had a desire to serve as missionaries ever since they were married in August of 1952 in Oklahoma. The moved to Nebraska in January 1953 to work as missionaries for the American Sunday School Union
In 1957, they joined the Gospel Missionary Union (GMU) and moved to Belize. Here they teamed with Gordon and Joyce Lee and Ed and Erna Sheil from Canada. The Lees and Sheils had been working in Belize since 1955 under GMU. GMU had purchased 20 acres of land originally known as Carol Farms.
Ed and Jewell’s love for the people of Belize grew and it soon became their lifelong to reach the people for Christ and develop a strong Christian influence in northern Belize. One of the ways of doing this was by starting a Bible Institute. Working with the Lees and Sheils, they began to help clear the land and develop the land GMU had purchased. Little had been done by the previous landowner
Ed’s first task was to install a gate to the property.
The Bible Institute was established in 1958 at Carol Farms; however, there was a need in the area for a residential Christian high school, so in 1962 King’s College was established and dedicated.
The Bible Institute and high school ran side by side until 1965, when the Bible Institute was phased out and King’s College became 100% a residential high school program.
Life was rugged in those days. A typical house was made with sticks and a thatched roof. A stove consisted of a hearth, cement oven or open fire. Jewell became one of the first cooks for the Bible Institute.
Thatched Roof Jewell by the hearth
Walking was the mode of transportation, and Ed carried a pump pipe organ 1/2 mile for a church service.
In 1958, Ed Blomberg, the Lees and Shields built the existing boys’ and girls’ dorms. At this time, Ed also started a church at Maskall and New Hope.
During the years of 1958 – 1964, Jewell taught at many different schools. One of the schools had no roads leading all the way to it. Jewell had to cross a river about eight iles north of Belize City using a dory that Ed built. Because of the difficulty in getting to this location to teach, Jewell stayed in a small single room house during the week.
In 1959, Ed built the original chapel at Carol Farms/King’s. (This is now the break/refreshment area, library and computer facility.) That same year, he helped build a house in Orange Walk near the Chapel school. The house was later sold.
In 1960, Ed and Jewell were asked to care for a one-week old baby girl of a local man whose wife had died. The man needed to go back to Mexico. The Blombergs raised LeAnn as their own. In 1961, Ed built a home for his family and a school in a village now called New Hope.
In 1965, Ed and his family went to the Rio Grande Bible Institute in Texas to study Spanish instead of going on furlough. When they came back to Belize in 1966, Ed built a house in San Antonio out of sticks and lived there three and a half years. One of the first churches they established was in Chan Pine Ridge and a little later, the Yo Creek church. In 1968/69 Ed moved to Orange Walk to the Orange Walk Chapel Church. While there, they helped plan the churches at Trinidad and San Estevan. In 1970, Ed and Jewell decided to expand their family and adopted a newborn baby boy, Victor, who needed a home. They lived in Orange Walk until 1978.
Ed was instrumental in unifying all the churches in 1980 under a common conservative Bible-based organization called the United Evangelical Churches of Belize (UECB).
In 1980, Ed helped build a new chapel at King’s. (Now used as the dining hall.) From 1978 to 1984, Ed returned to the United States several times due to health issues associated with his time in the military. Thinking his reoccurring problems were from his old war wound, they decided to remain in the States. Later it was discovered that his health issues were caused from Dengue fever. After treatment for the Dengue fever, Ed and Jewell returned to Belize many times throughout the following years to nurture and encourage the churches and Christians in their work.
One of Ed’s final tasks before moving back to the States permanently, was to make sure that all GMU properties were transferred to the UECB in 1984. All GMU support ended in 2005.
In 1996 the Ogema Baptist Church (OBC) began efforts to continue the work in Belize to carry on Ed and Jewell’s hard work. A mission team traveled to Belize to help repair and build many of the buildings at King’s College and in 2001 the mission outreach in Belize expanded to help with building construction projects at one or two of the eight churches in the northern UECB each year. In 2008, this mission outreach began providing Bible studies for laymen and pastors throughout the northern UECB. With these ambitious goals, more funds and personnel were needed to help support these efforts. Hence, BEAM was formed in 2016.
BEAM’s founders, Gene Grapa, Jody Isaacson, and Nick Blomberg, are all members of OBC where Ed Blomberg grew up and was a member. OBC has been sending representatives to Belize since 1996. Gene Grapa has been willing to make the yearly mission trip from Ogema to Belize each year since that time and continues to do so.
There is much more work needed to be done in Belize to help build the church of God and to spread the gospel. The founders of BEAM would like to invite you to help partner with this outreach by providing funds or labor. Donations can be made through PayPal or by mailing a check payable to BEAM, Inc., W5378 Hillcrest Road, Phillips, WI 54555.