Sun and Fun for the One
My Trip to Belize
Belize’s toasty climate lit up my winter this March as I, a 1-4 grade teacher at Northwoods Elementary School, joined Maplewood Academy students on a mission trip to this tiny tropical country. What a blessing! During my time in Belize, I learned a lot about provision, sure foundations, cleansing, love, and beauty.
Last fall, I decided I really would love to go on a mission trip. Having never gone before, why not now? When I heard the academy was going, I asked right away if I could tag along. I was told that they were actually looking for teachers to go down to Belize to hold training workshops for the Belizean teachers. Perfect!
When I found out the cost of the trip, I put it in God’s hands. One day, I received a statement for a bank account I didn’t even know I had. This covered half of the cost. Family and friends began sending me money for my trip, and before I knew it, I had the entire trip paid for from generous donations! God provides!
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
During our adventure in Belize, we helped set the foundation for a new Adventist school in Ladyville, Belize. As I bent steel rebar day after day, I realized the importance of our job to prepare the foundation for the new school. The steel rebar had to be cut in various sizes, bent in various ways, and tied together in various formations. Doing these tasks correctly was extremely important. We were setting the foundation. Without a solid foundation, we knew the school would collapse.
The Bible talks about foundations. God is our cornerstone, our foundation. If we have Him as our foundation, we will withstand the storms in our lives. He will keep us upright.
“My body and mind may waste away, but God remains the foundation of my life and my inheritance forever.” Psalm 73:26
As we worked on the school, the dusty soil clung to our feet. The first thing I did each day after work was wash my feet with a wet wipe. While I washed my feet, I thought about the disciples and how Jesus washed their dusty feet as well. What a humbling act. Our Creator wants to wash us, not only physically, but spiritually as well. He wants to cleanse us.
“He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit.” Titus 3:5
While in Belize, we met wonderful children that adored us the moment we set foot on their school’s soil. They loved so willingly and welcomed us with their smiles and hugs. As we arrived at the construction site each morning, the children would run to our bus, waiting for us to come out as if we were celebrities.
One student in particular was especially fond of me. When she heard my birthday was coming up that week, she told me she would bring me a gift. It was touching to see a child with so little want to give me one of her prized possessions.
Driving through the streets, one can see that many people in Belize have very little. Even so, they are willing to share. Shouldn’t we do the same?
“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.” 2 Corinthians 8:2-3
Besides working on the new school and interacting with the students, we held a Youth Rally, visited an orphanage, and presented a literacy workshop for the teachers. We were able to sightsee as well! Touring the Mayan Ruins, visiting a zoo, snorkeling over a coral reef, and strolling through the streets of San Pedro Island are just a few of the many memories I will never forget. The ties of friendship with the people of Belize and my companions from Maplewood Academy will always be precious to me. I thank our wonderful God for His beauty in creation, earth and man.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” Ecclesiastes 3:11
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