Friday, July 6, 2012

A few pics that correspond with the blog

The guys work project

Real Belizian food



painting the rebar

prayer walking


the awesome kids!

Kevin Richard

Davy talking to the young guys

I love how attentive they are on the pic

Alicia Sieed and I

Manwell and I



cutest little kids ever!

Davy and Manuala

Manuala and I

Playing Futbol
our crab chasing on Caye Caulker

Singing on the rooftop
Our Amazing group! All 31 of us
Caye Caulker
 Love the buildings!

Belize-Day 5 & 6 & 7

Day 5&6 (Saturday & Sunday)
  Our last day... The hardest day of all... :/ We woke up at 6 and packed up everything and put it all on the bus. We cleaned out all the rooms. We had to practice our skit before breakfast. The skit for the day was the crucifiction. The most important skit yet. This was for all the marbols. By 8 everyone was headed for our last meal at the pastors house. The cooks gave all the girls homemade seasoning that they put on their chicken. AMAZING stuff. :) Bible school started at nine that day since it was Sunday. We started out singing and then everyone moved to the school yard where we had crafts, games and snacks. I stayed with Manuala and Rivaldo's group the entire time. I had a blast! I got to hand out beads for salvation message bracelets and play flying dutchmen. I received many goodbye presents that I will forever cherish. After all the groups went through the stations we had the play. It went fantastic up until James (who was playing Jesus) was about to say "father forgive them." A snake came literally out of nowhere and caused an uproar which was quickly squelched when Jason promptly squished it! The play was still a success. So many kids were there and even the big bad guys showed up on their bikes and before we left I got an opportunity to talk to some of them. When the invitation was given Manuala accepted Christ as her Saviour! YAY :):):) Then everyone joined hands and sang We've got the Power. Let me tell you that was one big circle! Then seemingly before it had even started it was over! Goodbyes were hurried because we had to make the water taxi in time. Sieed and Manwell didn't come. That was really hard because they had promised they would. At 10:45 we were rolling out. It was all I could do to keep from tearing up. We ate lunch on the bus needless to say i wasn't very hungry but I ate it all because I knew I would need the energy for the rest of the day. The guys soon cheered us up by singing any song we requested if they knew it.  Admittedly, they were pretty good! We did catch the water taxi to Caye Caulker on time thankfully and it was about a 45 min ride out there. The hotel that we stayed at was 2 min walk from the beach and it was pure luxury! Beds, AC, running water, etc. apparently Thirst Missions has the hotel booked for 2 months! We quickly changed for snorkeling and went and got sized up for our gear. The boat ride out to the barrier reef was amazing! Ok before this trip I was terrified of the ocean! So to jump out of the boat was a big thing but man did i have a blast once I did! Apparently this is the 2nd greatest barrier reef in the world! I saw so many fish and beautiful coral and the best yet was I swan with sharks!! They were literally like inches away. Us girls only saw 2 while the guys apparently swam with like 15. We also swam with sting rays. Awesome creatures. They would swim right under you. We even go to touch them! They are gooey. :) After cleaning up we ate supper at a buffet called Happy Crab or something like that. Then it was off to explore the island (which is relatively small but absolutely beautiful), chase crabs, shop for souvenirs, almost get lost, break soda bottles while trying to open them, and discuss whether laundry mat and laundromat were the same thing and whether it was one word or two! At 8:30 we went on the roof of our hotel and sang songs and shared how we saw God work in each member of the group that week. It lasted like 2 hours but it was worth every second. All in all it was a hard/great/amazing day. 

  The next morning we went to catch the water taxi at 9 but it didnt come till 9:45 so we took pictures, talked and some of the guys swam. We actually ended up missing our flight so its costing us $7500 since we had to transfer flights. More fundraisers! We waited like 3 hours and caught the next flight at 2:30 and arrived in Miami at 4:30 Belize time, 6:30 our time. we had a 4 hour layover there and caught our flight home at 10:45. We arrived at Reagan, dc about 1:30 am Tuesday morning, got our stuff and went home! I didn't reach home till about 4 am. So there ya go our awesome week! 

Belize-Day 5

Day 5 (Saturday) 
Today was a bit more relaxing. The guys had to wake up at 6 to pour the cement that didn't come till like 8:30 :) Flexibility is key. ;) A few of them learned how to sleep on church benches. Us girls woke up at around  8. Alicia and Marybeth woke Krista up by dog-piling on her. Quite amusing to watch actually. There was a nice breeze going all day although at times the skies would sprinkle a little rain here and there. Once again we were painting in the morning but to throw a twist on things we had to paint the rebar from the inside of the church so we had to reach through the wooden windows to the rebar. :) But we successfully got that finished up and a few of us got to watch some of the church men that had been helping pour cement jam out up front. This little church had a drum set, a keyboard, an electric guitar and a bass guitar and 2 huge speakers. And for some reason they loved turning the bass way up! I soon learned why the whole congregation sits in the way back of the church! As I sat there watching them i realized in less than 24 hours we will have left this small village of August Pine Ridge. I started to dread leaving! Relationships were just starting to form and become strong and we would just have to up and leave them with little chance of furthered communication since none of them have address. At least they have Pastor Fernandez and his church family. I sincerely pray that some of the kids with find hope and love there. After lunch we prayer walked again but this time there were no surprises! I wasn't in that day's play so it wasn't necessary for me to attend practice so packed up awhile and got a chance to talk with Kelly and Austin and practice my spanish on little Wendy and Angel. Bible school's skit for the day was Daniel in the Lions den with the theme of God protects. I got to introduce the Skits and then wandered around just taking pics and watching the kids. Afterwards The guys played one last game of Futbol with the kids. Needless to say we lost once again. But our guys played amazingly! We almost had them that time! We invited all the guys to come to the church service that night and especially to the last vbs on Sunday morning. We attended church that night. Apparently at the end of every month they have a time of testimonies. I sat right in front of the speakers. STUPID THING TO DO! But I had Wendy and Angel on either side of me so I lived. It was mostly Spanish singing. Someone would come up and say something like "I am thankful for the health God has given me" and then they would sing a song in espanol. At one point I looked out the side door and there Rivaldo was peering in and watching, when i waved at him to come in he shook his head. At the end of the service the church gave every last one of us a souvenir/gift. It really seems that the major love language down here is giving. Everyday I had something given to me whether it was a pack of spice or a set of earrings. I never knew what to expect. Then the  pastor asked whomever in the congregation who wanted us to come back to please raise their hand. Almost every hand went up and my heart broke! I wanna come back! When we headed back to our rooms I realized that some of the guys that had been playing futbol had sat outside the church and watched us the entire time. Jacob, one of the guys, told me he was gonna sleep there the entire night. :) We still didn't have water that night so a bunch of us learned how to take bucket showers! Then we packed up everything that we could. 

Belize-Day 4

Day 4 (Friday)
 I don't want to get used to this time change! I wake up at 5:30 not tired! Belize is 2 hours behind us. First thing this morning I attended a meeting to discuss the youth meeting that we were holding in the school yard tonight. Its something that was on the forefront of our minds! Its where we were hoping to really get to the hearts of these kids. Also there had been some guys on bikes that always seemed to be watching from a distance and our prayer was that they would have the courage and curiosity to come and listen to the guys' message. We called them the big bad guys to differentiate them from the guys our youth played futbol with although they were just big kids under all the walls they had put up. After the meeting Rivaldo, a kid that really connected with us, came and sat next to me and was looking through my bible and it was fun showing him the maps in the back of my bible and explaining to him where Jesus was born and all that. For construction that day we painted the re-bar surrounding the windows with black oil based paint and painted their Sunday school room white. Some of the guys helped with that while the others continued to work on the building outback of the church. Marcy, Galen and Marybeth over the construction time actually had the opportunity to take a little girl, Wendy, who was having problems with fainting to get her blood work done. The family had just moved here from Belize and didn't know any English so communication was a little hard. We got to babysit Wendy's little brother Angel while they went which was interesting and fun. At one point I found him tracing bible verses we had written on a chalk board. After lunch we went prayer walking around the village in groups of 4. My group consisted of Ian, Ryan and Kirby. The prayer walk was very eye opening because we got to see more of the town and people. At one point the guys were all kinda in front of me but all of a sudden I felt myself being grabbed from behind! I screamed and jumped like 3 feet! It was a little girl that apparently had been going to bible school although I didn't remember her. Ryan and Kirby jumped a bit too but Ian saw it coming and just watched the show. They had a good laugh at that one! Shortly after returning to the school we began practicing for our skit Jericho which was a little bit more complex that the others ones and plus we were all a bit tired but we conquered it! While waiting for bible school we played an epic game of duck duck goose! We had so many kids we played another game of duck duck goose inside the other game! :) Then it was time for BIBLE SCHOOL!! Like I said the play was Jericho and the theme of the day was God is Powerful. The kids loved it! Afterward again a select few kids would stick around to hang out with us and I became una mona (monkey) and then a monster and was chasing the kids around which ended in again another photo shoot! The youth night was a hit! It started actually unofficially at 4:30 when ours guys started playing yet another game of futbol and volleyball with the guys. At around 6:30 our guys started speaking. James started off with a parkour demonstration and then went into a talk about the difference between happiness and Joy and how drugs wont bring joy. Davy talked about following Jesus and not the world. Jordan and Jon also talked along the same line as Davy. Dalen had a hardcore talk on purity and respecting girls not using them. When one of the guys would start talking about something really essential the pigs would start snorting really loud or a truck would start or something else distracting would happen as if Satan didn't want this meeting to happen or didn't want the guys to hear the message! Well they heard it! Praise God! Another praise was that the big bad guys came over!! James and Jon had the opportunity to really talk to some of them about hardcore stuff. They even joined us for games afterward! Volleyball, Team freeze tag and some of the kids tried James' Skateboard. Manwell even tried the skateboard! I let some of the kids take pics with camera and once again a photo shoot broke out and they learned how bright flash is in the dark! I had to walk Manuela home again since it was dark and I told her to pick a guy to go with us and she picked Davy and every since she then she adores him. For Supper we had hot-dogs for everybody which all the kids loved! After all the kids went home except Rivaldo of course (he don't leave until we are all in bed!) we had our meeting. It was a really good meeting. We got in a big circle in the church and held hands and each thanked God for something from the week. Then outa the blue Derek and I were pulled up front infront of everyone and Avir (Our leader for the trip) brings out this huge birthday cake!  I shouldn't have been surprised! When we all got ready for bed we learned how to rough it. We were dirty from our heads to our toes and the water wasn't working! Baha Got to love it!

Belize-Day 3

Day 3 (Thursday)
Late, late, late :) That's how my morning started! Late to breakfast, late to get a shower and late to get on the bus to head to Lamanai! But the bus wouldn't start right away so I was fine. We had a two hour bus ride to Lamanai and like I always say the bus rides are half the fun! From Speaking in British Accent to taking pictures of Amish kids (i know shame on us ESPECIALLY since we live in Lancaster! :}) to watching the guys try to hang off the ceiling. If ya don't know what Lamanai is it is an ancient Mayan Indian site. Our guide Eddie was incredible and had a teasing side to him. He got us to believe that the howler monkeys were jaguars! Such gullible people we are! The ruins were amazing and so surreal. The really neat thing was we were allowed to climb the ruins and James was even doing some parkour on them (no surprise there). The biggest ruin we got to climb was over 100 feet tall and it was above the tree line so it was absolutely gorgeous! Then it was souvenir shopping we went! Belize money is 2 to our 1 So its like a 50% sale everywhere you go! The trip back was awesome although many people slept. ( I have no idea how!!) We only had a little time to prepare for vbs when we got back but even so It went Amazing! We ended up doing David and Goliath and the theme was God is Faithful. David and Goliath would have been the play I had written and this time we used a translator which worked amazingly!  The kids seemed to understand the message so much clearer! At one point I felt a phone being placed on my ear and it was ringing and dad answered! I got to talk to my daddy on my birthday! Afterwards some of the kids stuck around and we had a photo shoot and got to know the kids a little better. One of the kids even took me and Tim (us girls needed a guy with us at all times!) to her house and I got to meet a few of her family although her mom didn't know a lick of English so I had to communicate solely in Spanish. It was really eye-opening. The pastor told us he had been praying for someone like us to come for over a year which was really humbling realizing. After supper some of the guys went and played basketball and Marybeth Alicia and I went along to watch but soon we were surrounded by 9-14 year old guys. They were hysterical! First they were convinced we had boyfriends that we weren't telling them about and then explaining to us that when someone is suspicious you say "I smell a rat" but the whole time I thought there were saying "I smell arot" so I thought I was learning a new saying while they were proud of the american phrase they knew!! :) Sieed (a 14 year old kid we grew to love) said that Sunday (our last day there) would be a very sad day (awww that made my heart melt). As we left the basketball court and were walking home we heard the kids running after us. apparently we had forgotten like 3 of our water bottles and there were returning them. "See, See we are good kids" one of the guys told us. :) That night we had our nightly meeting where we would discuss the day and we each gave our highs and lows of the day which was really cool hearing each persons experience. Then off to bed we went! :)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Belize-Day 1 & 2

Day 1 & Day 2 (Tuesday &Wednesday) 
 On Tuesday we basically arrived, unpacked and attended the welcome service the church had for us.Today was awesome. I love the culture,the healthy and not splurging on junk food way of eating,the Spanish language, the people. I just wanna stay down here and serve he people and learn the language better. I have never Been so glad I took two years of Spanish in high school. I even am learning the like the constant heat and the excercise of playing with the kids while sweating away. I have also learned us in america care way to much about the way we look! Down there ya look the way ya look! And there is so much opportunity to play sports! And they seem so content. Not like the commercials portray them as siting around with sad faces. here is a real shocker I haven't missed my phone iPod or fb one bit!!! It's a simple life and I love it! Today for construction we picked up trash around the church, cleaned the church, while the guys worked on adding a second story on a building behind the church. The kids helped us picked up trash. It was a great way to get to know them. After a wonderful lunch cooked by some of the women from the village I played futbol with some of the girls which was rather interesting but very fun! At 3:30 we started vbs. we had 4 stations. Drama snack craft and sports. I was able to be the in the drama team. 4 of us had actually written the scripts we used. Today we did the 10 lepers which was hysterical. Especially James doing a belly drop in front of Ryan. Then at the beginning and end of each vbs we did music. I got to do motions which I adored. I got to look into every kids eyes and just grin at them and get them all excited! After bible school played volleyball with a 15 year old kid named Manwell while the guys played futbol with the native kids and the girls rested. We talked and played for like a half an hour. It was really interesting. Afterwards Alicia and I got to throw football with this kid named Kevin who was really good. :) that night we kinda ran the church service. Galen preached wih and interpreter and it was hilarious!! I loved how much Spanish I could understand! Great first day and last day of being 16. Ya know what I like sing 16 I don't wanna be 17 :)