(Sorry this was late, I was sick and wasn't able to post at all- Jon Hsu)
Hello faithful readers and welcome to the day 6 blog post! Even though all of us were still a little tired from finishing the basketball court yesterday, we were all really excited for today’s schedule. Our plan was to first put on a block party at Pickstock, a downtown slum in Belize in the morning and then do VBS for the kids at Liberty Orphanage.
Before we went to Pickstock, the team was warned about how dangerous and run-down the area was, but when we got there it didn’t seem too bad. We decided to run the block party at an apartment complex that David Craver, the missionary we partnered with, previously did ministry at. Immediately when we arrived all the kids came flooding out of the doorways and after 5 minutes, the whole block was covered with kids of all ages playing with us. We played basketball, soccer, Frisbee, and football with the boys, while the girls made crafts, blew bubbles, and got their nails and faces painted. It was such a beautiful sight seeing everyone having a blast with the kids and really bonding with them. Even from the first couple minutes of playing with the kids, it was obvious that they relished the attention and the chance to play with some new toys and friends. It was so encouraging to see each of our team members playing with a group of kids and just loving on them. Some of us also got the chance to pull some kids aside and have one-on-one conversations about the gospel and pray for them, but since many of them were very young we’re not sure how much they understood. For example, after sharing we would ask the kids to repeat or summarize what they just heard and sometimes they had a hard time doing so. Please pray that the seeds were planted today would bear fruit and that the kids would come to know Christ. We also had a water balloon fight, which lasted about 3 minutes as all the kids threw all their balloons at once. It was pretty awesome to see 30 kids throwing water balloons right and left at each other! I’ve never heard so much laughing and screaming in my life before!
We ended our time there by passing out gifts to each of the kids, which was the most chaotic experience ever! I was asked to hand out the gifts, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Once the kids caught on that I was passing out toys, all of them started surrounding me and begging for one. They were grabbing at the bag, tugging at my shirt, shouting in my face—basically doing anything to get my attention. These kids owned nothing and even a small toy was something to cherish. It was so humbling to see their intense desperation for just a simple toy that was worth no more than a few dollars. As I was thinking about this experience later that night, God revealed to me that for all these kids, their desperation for these toys reflected their spiritual condition as well: they were absolutely spiritually empty-handed, and needed God much more than they needed those toys. It was such a sad fact to realize, but at the same time that was the exact reason why we were there: to share with them that Christ had come to die to fill all their needs, from physical to spiritual.
After lunch we moved to the orphanage where we put on a short skit for the kids about the story of Noah and how it shows that following God’s plan is always the best—especially his plan of salvation. Once that was done, we made crafts with the kids and played sports with them as well for the rest of the afternoon. We also had a chance to share with many of the kids there about the gospel so please pray for those seeds that were planted as well. At the end we asked the orphanage director how we could pray for her and she said that things were very financially difficlut for them and that they had to cut back staff in order to make ends meet. Please pray that they would receive the funding they need so that they can love on these kids as they deserve.
So in summary here are our Prayer Requests:
1. Please God to water the gospel seeds that were planted today in the kids that heard the gospel. Please ask the Lord to open the hearts of these children that they may truly believe.
2. Please pray for the orphanage that they may receive the funding they need to run the place.
3. Since we are in the last half of our trip now, please pray that the lord would give us energy to finish the trip strong and continue to capitalize on opportunities to share with the Beliazians!
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and see you guys in a few days!