Update on our Trip
Our team of 30 is having an amazing time in Belize so far. 26 of the 30 arrived Saturday, did some team orientation, met with our Belizean friends who are guiding us. On Sunday the team went to church and then spent time walking around the community, praying with people and inviting kids to VBS and youth night. Our other 4 arrived Sunday evening (after some flight issues) and were very quickly caught up! We hosted a youth group night with worship, a devotion, games, and s'mores around the campfire!
Monday Tuesday and Wednesday mornings we hosted VBS for the community using the VBS curriculum and crafts packed by kids during St. Luke's VBS! The kids had a great time with one writing us a note that said, "I hope this never ends. I hope you come back." In the afternoons we did some work around the church including painting, moving dirt, and cleaning. We also did some work out in the community like packing and delivering meals to families in need, repairing the roof of a women's house that was destroyed by a hurricane, and work on the floor of another family's home that was also destroyed by a hurricane. Of course we had some fun as well playing soccer and basketball at a local park, visiting a Mayan Site to learn about that history culture, and at the end of the week will get to do some snorkeling to see the beauty of Belize's nature.
The team are great at serving, leading, connecting, and being flexible! I'm immensely proud of them and thankful for all the prayers lifting us up.
One of our work projects had us repairing the home of a woman named Ms. Phylis who was probably in her 60s or 70s. A small group of our team went there to repair her roof that was destroyed by a hurricane so that it would no longer leak. The team had some downtime while waiting and decided to go above and beyond. They helped clean her house, do dishes, and do chores she hasn't been able to complete due to mobility issues. While that was going on, one student Allie sat and talked with Phylis for hours, listening to her story that she wanted to share. She has had a really tough journey in life. Originally from Belize, she was working and living in the US. After her son was killed in Belize, she returned home and through a series of events lost almost everything. She had a stroke and lost almost all mobility and eye-sight. During Covid, she lost a family member while she was giving birth. She felt so seen, loved, and blessed by conversation with Allie that she gave her a handmade bowl in the shape of a heart that her grandson had made out of wood from the nation tree. She said Allie had warmed her heart and so she wanted to give her the heart bowl. This is just one story of the many ways our team is making life changing connections and memories alongside the local community of Burrell Boom, Belize.
Travis Bannon, Interim Director of Youth Ministry