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Sunday, October 9, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 9

The morning programs went well and we arrived at the airport after lunch. We found out by surprise that our flight to Houston has been delayed because of bad weather in Houston. It has been 2.5 hour past our departure time. The plane is flying here from Houston at this point, and should arrive in half an hour or so. It looks like we will miss our connection flight at Houston. Please pray for us for a smooth arrangement to come home soon. Quite a few of us need to work tomorrow.

Pastor Patrick

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 8

We were glad to have a chance to tour around Belize City today. It gave us a better perspective of the city and the needs of the people. We learned that the unemployment rate of Belize is 40% and crimes are increasing. The country is struggling and people do not feel safe.

The dinner with church coworkers was nice and we had some good discussions with church leaders about what we did and some future ministry ideas. Tomorrow morning will be our last ministries before we return home. Henry will be preaching and Pastor Yin will be teaching Sunday school. Please pray for them and our return trip in the afternoon. See you all very soon and thank you for all your prayers!

Pastor Patrick

Friday, October 7, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 7

Today is the last day for our medical and dental service programs at the Chinese church. We thanked God for six more new believers. The evening question and answer session also went well with many meaningful exchanges. We are all so grateful to God for using us to bring the gospel to many, and to care for their physical needs in very tangible ways. May all glory go to our Lord Jesus Christ!

We will have a chance to tour around the city tomorrow and to rest a little bit. We have invited the church coworkers to dinner and then do some evaluations for our programs this time, and also future possibilities. Please pray for us that we can have a safe and fruitful day tomorrow! Thanks again for all your prayers!

Pastor Patrick

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 6

Today is a slow day for the medical and dental services. It was a welcome break for us because many of us are getting tired. I had time to work on my message for the evangelistic meeting in the evening. The evening meeting was well attended. Even the youths came to attend the meeting despite today being a regular school day. I guessed they liked to hear what I had to say about "Pursuing our dreams in life." Silvia gave her conversion testimony at the meeting. Helen helped to translate my Cantonese message into English, while Mindy sat with some people to translate it into Mandarin. We originally decided to use Cantonese only. The translation made the sermon longer than our plan. We praised God for helping about 6 people to commit their lives to follow Jesus Christ! Thank you so much for all your prayers!

Pastor Patrick

October Belize Medical STM Day 5

Today is the highlight of our medical mission trip. We (Dr. Kevin Chan, Dr. Mindy Gao, Silvia Cen, Henry Lo, Fred Shyr and I) went to Unity Presbyterian Primary School located off the Western Highway of Downtown Belize City.

We arrived at 8:40am and the entire student body (approximately 200 children) greeted us in the School Church. They filled the entire church. Pastor Benson and his wife who is the Principal of the school led the entire school to welcome us. The real heart-warming event took place when all the students sent their representatives to hand us their cards of appreciation. We must have received hundreds of cards thanking Lord’s Grace Christian Church. After they handed over the cards, each child gave us hugs to
show their love and appreciation. We will bring the cards home so everyone will see them.

After the welcome ceremony, Dr. Gao did a presentation to the kids urging them to brush their teeth carefully as to prevent general health issues. After the 20 minute presentation, we presented our church’s donation for their sports uniform program. Now, they have the funds to provide uniforms for their basketball and other sports programs.

We then went to the Unity Presbyterian Outreach Center. We split up the room into 2 stations: one for dental and one for medical. I assisted Dr. Huang with dental examinations and we must have passed out 120 dental self-care kits. Most of the children are experiencing poor dental care because many of them have cavities and lacked regular dental care. A few parents from the neighborhood were taking
their children to our clinic and we could communicate to the parents immediately about their children’s dental hygiene.

Silvia assisted Dr. Chan in examining over 150 students. Most of them are in good health except one case of heart mummer and 2 cases of malnutrition.

From 2pm on, Dr. Chan, Silvia and Henry returned to the school for the afternoon examinations. When they arrived at the school, some of the children were outpouring their appreciations for our visit in the morning; they were running to the car and hugged everyone on the team long and hard. Silvia was touched by the outpouring of their appreciation as one of her special moments for this mission trip.

Our team examined 21 people in the afternoon, including 5 staff members, 14 parents and 2 children from the school.

Overall, we just appreciate God in control of all things so that we could provide the basic medical and dental services for the needy children in Belize. Thanks for Brother Shyr’s hard work behind the scenes to arrange with the school. Praise God that the weather was sunny so the examinations for all these kids went smoothly.

-Michael Chao

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 4

We had a slow morning for people coming for free medical and dental services, and so we did some visitation. More people came in the afternoon and we ended up with 27 patients for the day. Kevin and a few of us went to the stores in the afternoon to provide home medical care and we were received warmly. Henry also led a store owner to Christ. The evening workshop offered by Mindy on oral care was helpful to us even though we have less attendees. Janet also gave her conversion testimony. Please pray for the team going to the school tomorrow. By the way, we thank God for keeping all of us healthy and in excellent spirit.

-Pastor Patrick

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 3

Sharing from Francis Chui:
I saw a Cantonese speaking woman on late Saturday evening, the first night after we arrived at Belize City. She came to seek consultation about an intensely itchy rash, as she was about to leave Belize the next Monday to visit her daughter at San Jose, California. In addition to diagnosing what might be causing the skin rash and prescribing an ointment to relieve the itching, I was able to know a bit about her life experience in Belize City. She and her husband used to operate a store in the city and financially was doing very well until the misfortune that the store was robbed. During the robbery, the husband was hit in the head by a hard object and sustained head injury which left him in a persistent vegetative state. They spent essentially their entire life savings seeking medical care that might improve his poor neurological outcome. But the end result was not much of an improvement. She was forced to look for jobs in order to survive. she now works in a very dusty and humid warehouse where she often has to squeeze her body through very crowded storage space to look for inventory items. I was very touched by her experiences and wanted to share them on this blog.

Updates from Pastor Patrick
It was a long day for us, leaving the hotel at 7:45am and returning at 10pm. We provided free medical and dental services from 9:30am to 4:00pm. We had a total of 15 people coming for the services. Praise God that two people accepted Christ during their time with us. A few of us also went to check out the Christian school that we would be serving on Wednesday. They have a total of 200+ students, and we plan to provide the students some screening in the morning, and then serve the school staff and parents in the afternoon. Please pray for Mindy, Kevin, Silvia and Michael who will be serving there on Wednesday. Kevin gave a CPR and food choking relief class to the youths and some parents. Many of the church youths did come even though they have to go to school early tomorrow. Michael gave his testimony and I gave a brief introduction of the gospel message. Pastor Timothy Yin closed the meeting with an altar call and a benediction. The young people really enjoyed the meeting. Please pray for the final preparation of my evangelistic message on Thursday night. Thanks!

Day Two Update!

For those who were able to catch the quick prayer request we made earlier today, I would like to report that we had a very meaningful evening. I'm particularly inspired by the enthusiasm of A Ching (the Cantonese speaking church member) who invited so many of her non-believing friends to come to her house to meet with us. She & a few of her girl friends had to make 2 rounds of cooking, first, for the 11 of us & then for her group of friends who came later after 9pm because they all could only come after they closed their shops. I was really touched by her servant attitude. After dinner, all of us were able to engage in separate conversations with all of them. We all had very good sharing time. Henry was able to lead one of the guys to accept Jesus. PTL!

Please continue to pray for us as we'll begin our free clinic tomorrow from 9:30am to 5pm. Our evening workshop will be led by Kevin Chan whom will teach First Aid to the youths.

Helen Hui

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Belize Medical STM Day 2

Pastor Patrick did fine with his mandarin interpretation this morning even though
he was not very confident about it. We like to ask for prayer support tonight at 9pm
Belize time (1 hour ahead of your time). We are invited to a dinner gathering
at sister A-Ching's home to meet a group of seekers. We are expected to share
the gospel with them because the seekers knew the purpose of our visit from US.
Please pray for all of us so we will be able to communicate the gospel clearly and
effectively, and for all the seekers to be willing to receive the gospel. We appreciate
all your prayers!

-Helen Hui

October Belize Medical STM Day 1

We arrived at church 3am this morning. Two brothers and one sister were willing to get up so early to use three cars to take us to the airport. One small accident happened at the airport that a sister slightly scrapped her elbow and leg. Praise God that the injury was minor. Please continue to pray for us for good health and God’s protection.

We met up with our 11th teammate smoothly at Houston airport – Pastor Timothy Yin. We arrived at Belize on time. Even though the custom gave us some small trouble with the medicines we bring in, it was finally resolved without much problem. We thank God for letting us arrive safely and smoothly at Belize.

We settled in at a hotel within walking distance to the Chinese church that we are going to partner with. We were treated later with a very nice dinner at the best Chinese restaurant by the pastor, his wife and sister A-Ching .

Tomorrow will begin our ministries at the church. Henry Lo will teach Sunday school. Pastor Yin will preach. Silvia will lead the praise time. I, Pastor Patrick, will be worship chairman, translator, and will lead Holy Communion. Please pray for all the coworkers, and especially me for my rusty mandarin.

We praise God for bringing us here. May His will be accomplished!

-Pastor Patrick Auyeung

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Ten (Priscilla Shen)

I am writing this reflection from the comfort of my home in beautiful, mosquito-free San Jose, California. First, I have to say praise the Lord for bringing all thirty-five members of our team through the entire short term missions trip and (for most of us) back home. This was my third year on the Belize STM, and my most prominent thought about this STM is every year is different.

The biggest reason for that is the team. Each year the team that goes to Belize is different, and that has a significant impact on the nature of the trip. This year's team was the biggest we have had so far, and I think that gave us all the opportunity to learn and grow a lot. The more people we have on our team and the more different our team members are, the more chance we have to learn about ourselves and grow in how we relate to others. Since my first experience with Belize, I have valued that about this trip. The nature of this STM brings together people from different life stages and different congregations, and I think that is one of the coolest, most beneficial parts of the trip. Every time I come back from Belize, and this year is no exception, I feel like I am returning with a bunch of new and deeper friendships. I love that about this missions trip. There really is something special about spending ten days working alongside each other for the purpose of the Kingdom.

The other reason for the uniqueness of this trip year to year is the tasks and projects we do. This year’s computer lab was very different from last year’s basketball court. Although both were construction projects, this lab required a lot more planning and organization as well as more skilled labor. I was extremely impressed with the team that spearheaded the project, especially since I had absolutely no idea at the start of the trip of how we were going to build a computer lab for the youth hostel. On Saturday, I was part of a small group from our team that finished work on the lab while the rest of our team visited Ladyville Orphanage, and I felt really privileged to help out then.

After last year’s experience with working on the basketball court, it was difficult to go to the youth hostel this year throughout the week and not know what to do. Last year, everyone could easily play a part in the work, and we all actively worked together all week long. This year, however, due to the limited space in the computer lab and the special skills/knowledge required for the work, I found myself feeling unhelpful and unproductive. That is why I felt so fortunate to be a part of that smaller team Saturday. Also, on Saturday our team had better access to the youth at the youth hostel. Lack of access had been a frustration for our team earlier in the week, so it was really neat and really encouraging to have that extra time with those youth.

Another encouraging moment occurred one night at dinner when I got to talk with David Craver, our missionary “host.” We talked about his ministry and his parents’ ministry among other things, and he mentioned to me how the trips he has done with our church have revived his passion for ministry. Earlier, the amount of work he had been doing had burnt him out, but working with LGCC, he told me, has actually been refreshing. In addition to that conversation, I was also really encouraged by another conversation I did not participate in but heard about. John Tsang told me one evening about how he got to talk to Moses, one of the guys David Craver had hired to help us with construction. Moses had a pretty moving testimony (ask John to hear more!) involving drugs among other things, and he now lives and works at a church while studying to become a preacher.

I always think it is such an encouraging reminder of God’s greater plan for and work in Belize when I hear about people like Moses, people in Belize who are being changed by and used by God to serve their community and country. I met someone else who is doing this when we broke into discussion groups after the worship service we led our first Sunday in Belize. I volunteered to lead a group, and a woman named Olive was in my group. She has worked at the youth hostel only since May, but she told me she really loves the kids and enjoys caring for them. As we discussed Craig’s message on Hebrews 4:14-16, Olive shared openly and often. I appreciated her honesty as she shared about the difficulty she has had since losing her two children in a car accident and about the daily struggles she has in trusting the Lord. It was clear that Olive is a true and diligent follower of God, and I thanked Him for providing such a faithful Christian mentor for the youth at the hostel.

It is humbling to be reminded that the Spirit’s work in Belize certainly is not limited to the time our team spends there and that we are only a small part of God’s plan for that beloved country. Overall, I think this STM was a very humbling experience for me. I rediscovered how much I take for granted, how fortunate I am, how dependent I am on God, and how much He has blessed me. I was taught how selfish and judgmental I can be, how weak I really am, and how prone I am to pride and temptation.

Honestly, I am a big fan of this STM, and I would encourage those of you reading this who are considering it to go to Belize (or any STM). The experience, I believe, is invaluable. However, I must warn you that if you agree to go, you are signing up for a lot. I have learned that on this trip I must be prepared to give up my comfort and my comfort zone. I have had to be willing to submit to and follow those in leadership positions. I have needed to accommodate various types of people and situations. I have had to be flexible and open. I must be ready to share the gospel, and most importantly, I must prayerfully seek leading from God, especially as to His purpose for me during my time in Belize.

This trip was a huge learning and growing experience for me, and I truthfully can say I thank God for taking me on and through this trip and for every single thing that happened on this trip. I had not been planning to go to Belize this year, but somehow God worked it out for me to go. He does everything for a reason, and all His reasons are good. I really liked and appreciated the devotionals Pastor Brian put together for our team which focused on 1 Peter. To conclude, I will leave you with a verse from one of those devotionals:

These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7

Day Ten (Matt Chang)

Belize STM Day 10 – July 24, 2011

Today was the last day of LGCC’s Belize 2011 missions trip, and it definitely took a lot of God’s grace, power, mercy and love to bring our team safely to this day. God showed his grace to our team by shepherding us safely to Belize, despite the threat of missing both of our flights and the complications of bringing a lot of electrical equipment through customs when we arrived in Belize. God displayed his mighty power over the weather by holding the rain when we were working hard to set up the computer lab at the Youth Hostel, and He also showed us his mercy by sending rain at times to quell the scorching heat of the Belizean sun. Finally, God displayed his love to the Belizean youth, by giving us the ability to care for them through block parties at Pickstock and San Pedro, through VBS at the Chinese Church in Belize City, through our visitation at the children’s orphanage and through our Sunday Service and interactions with the youth at the Youth Hostel.
During our last day in Belize, the only ministry agenda item we had was to host Sunday school and a worship service at the Chinese Christian Church in Belize City before heading off to the airport to go home. The Chinese ministry team had the entire service planned already, so most of the team didn’t have much to do except to attend Sunday school and the following worship service.
I spent the majority of my morning hanging out with a 13-year old Belizean boy named Derek, who I had met earlier in the week during VBS. Marvin, who was our bus driver for the week, first introduced me to Derek at the end of Monday’s session and asked if Derek could participate in our program. I introduced myself to Derek, and told him to come by on Tuesday morning so he could join us during the second day of VBS. He showed up at the church bright and early the next morning and was assigned to my small group of 11, 12 and 13-year olds, so I got the opportunity to spend a little more time with him. Getting to know Derek wasn’t too hard, but he was rather quiet – he would respond to questions and make short comments, but he wasn’t very talkative in general. I looked for opportunities to share the Gospel with him, but he didn’t seem particularly interested in learning more about God. He like hanging around me though, so I made sure to pay attention to him and look out for him during the VBS session. As we were about to leave the Chinese Church for the Youth Hostel on Tuesday, Derek asked me to give him something before I left. I wanted to give him my bible, but he already had one at home… so I settled for giving him two packs of Hi-Chew candies. He seemed pretty pleased. As our bus drove away, he kept waving at me and at the rest of the team until the bus was no longer in his line of sight.
My interactions with him today were not too different from earlier in the week. I greeted him and shook his hand when I saw him, and he told me that he thoroughly enjoyed the candies I gave him on Tuesday. I walked with him upstairs to the sanctuary, and we sat down together in the last row of the center aisle. He doesn’t read very well, so he could only clap along during worship, and it was hard for him to pay attention during the scripture readings and during the message. He started to fall asleep during the sermon, so I made him a few crafts out of paper to keep him amused – one of which was a paper crane, and another was a paper heart with a Belizean penny at its center. He seemed to like the money, because he proceeded to tell me just how valuable American currency was in Belize. What surprised me the most was that when offering time was announced, Derek did not hesitate to put the penny in the money basket, while it took me a second or two to decide to put my $5BZ bill into the basket because I was starting to run out of cash for use during the trip. It really reminded me of the parable of the two coins that Jesus told in Luke 21, with Derek being the poor widow who put her two coins into the basket and was recognized by Jesus. As we were about to leave for the airport, Derek once again asked me to give him something, so I took off my ‘Smile because Jesus loves you’ bracelet, and put it around his wrist. I asked him if he knew who Jesus was, and he told me that he did. As the bus drove off, he was once again waving at me from the outside, until I couldn’t see him any longer.
My experience in Belize was pretty different from the experience of many of my fellow teammates, and different from what was shared in most of these blog posts. I have no powerful stories to tell, nor descriptions of God-led, heart-felt personal conversations with Belizean youth. Instead, I have half-stories – stories that have a rising action, but no climax and no resolution – not unlike the experiences with Derek that I shared. I spoke to many kids over the 10 days, but most of them were either unresponsive, couldn’t speak English very well, or just walked away when they got bored of the conversation. I didn’t find many opportunities to pray with any of the kids I interacted with, or ask if they wanted to accept Jesus Christ into their hearts. Instead, I spent my time explaining the gospel to kids who would listen, and trying to live out the gospel with my actions for the kids who didn’t care to listen. I didn’t get to pray with the kids, but I realized that I could pray for them on my own. Through my time in Belize, God reminded me that He is the one that is doing the work, that He is writing amazing stories for each and every one of the children I talked to, and that His timing is perfect (and mine is not). I didn’t have any amazing and awesome personal moments or intimate moments with team members, but I realized that short-term missions are about doing God’s work, and not about my own feelings of fulfillment. My time in Belize feels largely unresolved and incomplete, and I’m fairly convinced that it’s because the story of Matt Chang in Belize is unfinished, and in fact, has only just begun. I’m committed to going to Belize next year, and I’m praying that if it is God’s will, He would give me a bigger glimpse of the stories He’s writing for some of the youth I had the pleasure of interacting with this year, as well as the story He’s writing for the country of Belize in general.
If any of you have a heart for Belize, for youth, for short term missions, or even just for experiencing some of God’s magnificent story-writing, I encourage you to considering joining me and being part of LGCC’s Belize STM team for 2012. Sure, Belize is hot, humid and mosquito-ridden (which is very visible from the red, swollen patches of skin that each of the Belize STM 2011 team members have), but it’s a beautiful place and more importantly, it’s a place that God loves. I can assure you that if you decide to go, you will see a glimpse of God’s magnificence and His glory, and that you will be able to play an integral part in telling God’s love story to Belize.

- Matt Chang
Prayer Requests:
- Salvation from the many mosquito bites/heat rashes the Belize STM 2011 team has received during our 10 day stay in Belize!!
- That David Craver’s planned internet ministry with the Youth Hostel kids would be able to come into fruition because of the efforts LGCC’s team has put into the computer lab. Please pray that the youth would be exposed to the gospel because of their access to the internet, and that the faith of the kids who have already accepted Christ would be sustained and renewed through David Craver’s continued ministry with the hostel.
- That the Chinese Christian Church of Belize would be able to follow up with the kids we interacted with through our VBS program, and that the church’s own weeklong VBS program in August would be fruitful and would be a great instrument for displaying God’s love for the children of Belize City.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Eight (Nicky Lee)

Belize, Island of San Pedro 7/22/2011
Hey my name is Nicky Lee. I don’t technically go to the church, but I was part of the youth group since middle school and was one of its student leaders in high school. Anyways, that’s enough back ground info.
I woke up that morning late. The snorkeling group had already left and the remainder had already headed off to tour the island. This left me and my best friend David Ing with nothing to do. However, that is when we are at our best =).
We took a walk down the beach, headed for their central park. David brought along the guitar and we planned to just worship together. Along the way we advertised to families that we saw, that our team was hosting a block party that day at 4pm. Not many people knew what that was so we just told them we were having a bunch of arts and crafts and games. Why not get ahead of the game right?
Right when we got to the park God blessed us. As soon as David pulled out his guitar, two local brothers (Lewis and Ronan) came running towards us shouting “You are the guys from yesterday!” referring to the block party we threw the day before. Cuuuuuute I thought. As if things couldn’t get better, the kids brought along their friends and other kids joined us as well. So what did we do? We held a mini 2 man VBS right in the middle of central park.
We started first with songs, David playing guitar and me dancing like a buffoon to “This little light of mine”, “Every Move I make” and more. We then switched to improve drama, where David again played the guitar and did impromptu dialogue while I, guess what? Danced like a fool XD. It’s okay haha. I enjoy it and so do the kids =).
The last part warmed both of our hearts when they asked to see the Noah skit again. They even began retelling us the story, reciting key humor scenes as well as telling us the main message perfectly. This was the perfect start to a great day.
Unfortunately this is when things started to go sour ><. At the start of the block party everything was going well. Kids were having fun and I was hanging out with Lewis and Ronan again. This started getting sour when I was playing with Ronan on the jungle gym, both of us climbing and tangling ourselves in the bars of metal, when a random stranger struck up a conversation with me. Normally this would have been a good thing, but a few things made it difficult to put my whole into the conversation.
1. I was spread eagle in the middle of the jungle gym holding on for dear life
2. Ronan was climbing on my back at the same time
3. I was trying to keep said child from falling off my back
4. I was trying to keep me from falling
It didn’t help that the guy started talking about how we were spreading lies and stuff like that. God bless Valencia who saw my predicament and called Edwin over to help take over the conversation.
Alright here is the stupid part. Right before the jungle gym incident, it started to rain so I brought my bag inside a canopy where all the kids were. That was mistake one. Mistake two was that I asked no one to guard it. And Mistake three, was that I left my wallet in there. You can obviously see where this is going.
Now back to the present time where I just safely returned Ronan and myself to the ground and was about to reinsert myself into the conversation, when Nicole (the hotel owner’s daughter from the mainland that we befriended) asked for her water bottle which was guess where? Yeah, in my bag. And where was the bag when I said “Sure no problem?” Yeah, it was nowhere to be found. Yup… Big problem…
First thought was Crap I’m just an idiot. Luckily my second thought was a shred of hope when a few kids saw what happened and led me to an abandoned boat where I found my bag and wallet. Luckily, my id and insurance cards were untouched. Unlucky for me the people took almost 100$ US in cash aaaaand… my debit card. Palm Forehead* Palm Forehead*
The kids said they knew the kids who took my bag so a few of our guys (Matt Ing and Kevin Ko I believe) trailed them, while Jon Hsu, took me to the hotel to cancel my card. Meanwhile I am thinking. Oh crap, I’m the paralyzed man in the skit, what are they going to do? According to accounts from other team members, my fears were realized and the skit did not happen. Everything seemed to fall apart after that. Things got a lot more chaotic than the day before with very little direction and very rowdy kids. The sudden rain storm didn’t help either.
David had to sing song after song since both Matt and I were gone (Matt was Jesus in the skit), because there was no skit, and the rest of the program pretty much got trashed. Plus the team had sent many different search parties on my behalf <3, causing further disorganization and separation (distance-wise) within the group. So many potential hearts lost, all due to me leaving my bag somewhere easy to be snatched away.
However, Satan did not win this day. Despite all of disappointment, frustration, and messiness of the situation, God brought it all together in the end.
Let’s start with me. For one I got my debit card and some cash back =). The girl who took it, her name is Diana fessed up when Kevin asked her about it (her older brother saw her do it and showed Kevin and Matt where they were). Unfortunately, I didn’t get the rest of my cash back because her accomplices turned on her when she confessed and scattered. (See Matt Ing’s post for more details)
Another blessing was that I honestly felt no anger or frustration towards the children who stole from me. Rather, I was able to immediately forgive them. A lot of it was due to the fact that my team showed me so much love, by one holding the block party together when everything went south, and by sending so many different people to find out what happened to my money and to comfort me. The loving and unified atmosphere smothered me, and I could feel nothing but joy that the church had my back.
Diana’s Life was also touched by God. According to Matt, when he forgave her on my behalf (I didn’t have the chance to do it in person), it was apparent, that that was the first time she experienced true forgiveness. Eventually she even apologized. Matt also informed me that the three accomplices were hostile to her, and I immediately was struck with the urge to go over and protect her and tell her myself that she was forgiven. If Matt hadn’t forgiven her for, I would have went out that night and forgiven her myself. I was going to do it anyway, but after wise council from Uncle Craig to think it over, I felt God telling me “Trust me. I got this. Just pray.”
That night I got a team together and we prayed our hearts out for protection over Diana and for God to chase the hearts of the boys who got away. And you know what? God moved that night.
So in short here was our list of victories in no particular order:
1. Diana experienced true forgiveness
2. I experienced love
3. We ended the day still standing and Unified
4. The spirit was moving
5. I got the important stuff back
So yes things could have gone much smoother and much more edifying but you know what? It was a sign. A sign that Satan did not like what we were doing here in Belize. A sign that Satan wanted to divide us and conquer us. A sign that Satan wanted to break us. But, no. Got proved to be greater than that, and no matter how hard Satan tried that day to bring us down, we stood strong and hearts were touched that day. He showed us that midst the storm we could stand arms held high, rain and wind beating at our body and hearts and still sing “If our God is for us what could stand against?”
Yeah so thanks for tuning in and supporting us from afar. Knowing that we have people praying for us and truly caring about what happens out on the frontlines means so much to us. So thank you, and thank God for being God. =)
I wish you all the best!
With a grateful heart
Nicky Lee

Day Nine (Valentia Shen)

Belize STM- Day 9 July 23, 2011

After our second night in San Pedro Island, we all woke up to get our own breakfast and explore the island a little more before leaving. Then we piled back into the boat which took us back to the humidity and mosquitoes of Belize City. And of course, our first stop was Brodie’s, where some bought drinks and some bought snacks. Upon arrival of our hotel back in the city, we washed up, settled back into our rooms, and ate a delicious lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Quickly after, our group divided. About seven members of our team headed back to the youth hostel to finish the set-up and painting of the computer lab. During that time, the other group set out for the Ladyville orphanage. At the orphanage, things were much different than they were last year. For one, this year we played and hung out with the kids in the school house. And most notably, there were a little over half the number of kids this year than there were last year. It started bitter sweet because most of the kids I had remembered from last year were no longer at the orphanage, which was sad because they weren’t there to hang out with but good because they had been adopted. Soon after, I recognized some of the girls from the year before and they remembered me! It was definitely encouraging to know that we made enough impact for them to remember us from last year. For most of the time, we had the chance to hang out and bond with the kids through books, crafts, and balloon animals.
The kids at the orphanage are really open and affectionate which makes it easier to get to know them and speak to them about the Gospel. While attempting to help make balloon animals, I personally was able to witness this. One of the kids I had remembered from last year’s visit came up to me as I was making a balloon “hat.” His name was Tyrell and he noticed my wristband, (which I had bought at a Christian store as a tool to share the Gospel) and it was something he wanted to have for his own. I asked him if he knew what the symbols meant and he answered no so I proceeded to share with him each meaning. The down arrow meant that God sent Jesus down to earth for a purpose. The cross showed how Jesus died for the sins of you and me to give us an opportunity to be saved. The tomb displayed that Jesus was buried. The up arrow signified Jesus’ resurrection and how He then ascended into Heaven. The last down arrow tells us that someday Jesus will return for all those who believe in Him and take them to Heaven with Him. And in order to be in Heaven with God, we have to trust in the Lord with all our heart. Once I was done explaining, I asked Tyrell if he could repeat the meanings back to me. After him sharing correctly each meaning back to me, he asked me a question. “How come there are bad people saying God will return soon?” (something along those lines). I answered him saying that the Bible tells us: only God knows when Jesus will return and that we can never know for sure—only God can. Then after chatting for a short time, I asked him simple questions. Do you believe Jesus died for your sins? Do you trust in Him? Have you asked him into your heart? “Yes, yes, yes.” I smiled, took off the wristband, and handed it to him. Then I prayed for Tyrell. I prayed that he would grow in his walk with God and that God will use him to further His kingdom. I prayed that Tyrell would know God is always there for him and loves him more than he can ever know. I prayed for joy in his life. After prayer, it was the cutest thing. Tyrell smiled big and said thank you. I told him to take good care of my wristband and that the next time I see him, I wanted to see the wristband on his arm. I also told him to use the wristband to share with others. A little later, Edwin told me Tyrell had done a good job—he had explained the whole wristband to Edwin. For me, that was a confirmation. God has big plans for Tyrell’s life, I know it.
Then after everyone having a good time of getting to know and connecting with the kids, we moved into a mini VBS where we sang songs, performed a skit, and played somewhat organized games. Outside, we ran around with the kids and just enjoyed spending time together. Soon it was time to go. We collected our things, our people, and said our goodbyes.
The group from the orphanage then headed for the youth hostel. We wanted to help finish up the computer lab and do some last bonding with the youth there. Today we had great opportunities to talk and really get to know the youth. For the past few days the youth hadn’t been around so we never really had the chance to really bond with them. But today was good, the guys and girls were there to hang out with.
I went to chill with the girls who were talking and playing some volleyball. We didn’t have that much time with them so Isabel and I planned on having some time to circle up and pray with them before we left. Before we knew it, the youth girls started to hug us and say goodbye. We were confused and wished to have more time. Then we asked if we could pray with and for them, and they accepted our offer. We all gathered together with the girls and circled up. I asked if anyone had any prayer requests and Liona, a girl who was in my small group last Sunday, asked if they could pray for US. She wanted to pray for OUR safe trip back home. Another one of the girls ended up praying for our safe travel and thanking God for our visit. Then I prayed for the girls there: for them to know God’s love, God’s presence in their lives, and God’s plan for each and every one of them. It was amazing to have the opportunity to come together in unity with all the girls and really pray for them. It’s one thing to talk and bond with the youth, but to have the chance to connect spiritually with the girls was unbeliezeable. It was such a blessing from God.
During our prayer circle, one of the youth girls and a couple from our team were talking to each other. They were all saddened by the fact we’re going home tomorrow and won’t have the chance to talk to each other anymore like they have this past week. Some tears were shed, but in the end just to have any time with them at all is a blessing. After our circle, I walked over to the other girls to check up on all of them. I prayed for comfort from God to be upon them. I also prayed that they would have joy in their lives and peace in their hearts. Today was definitely a great day of bonding among our team and with the people of Belize.
After getting back to the hotel, we ate our last dinner here which was quite delicious. At the beginning of our debrief meetings, we start with worship. It was an interesting experience helping lead worship in Belize. There was definitely a sense of pressure, but in the end, I’m glad I did it. It gave me the opportunity to use what God has given me in order to glorify His name.
In the words of Uncle Craig, “Nothing that has happened here was on accident.” Though there were bumps, bruises, and bites along the way, we were sent here with a purpose, not just accidently. God ordained us to come here for His glorification. All we can ask for is that God continually works in and through us.

-Valentia Shen

Prayer Requests:
• Sunday service at the Chinese church
• Smooth airport experience (being on time, security, customs, etc.)
• Safe travel back

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day Eight (Island Ministry)

Today was our second day in San Pedro and was supposed to be the least eventful day of our entire trip. There was snorkeling (or sleeping in) in the morning and we technically had the afternoon off. Thankfully, God had other plans.
Those of us who signed up for snorkeling left at 8:00AM for the docks and were soon on our way to explore the world’s second largest coral reef. The guides were friendly and helpful and showed us all kinds of fish including jacks, barracudas and groupers. Tim and I separated from the group to chase down a sea turtle we have thus named Harvey. Afterwards they took us all to shark infested waters where we all got to swim with nurse sharks and rays. The wingspan of the rays flirted with about 5 feet and was scarily impressive.
Apparently a good majority of the team felt that the best way to spend their afternoon off would be to have another block party on the nearby basketball courts. So at around 4:00 PM we all managed to gather once again at the courts and begin arts, crafts, and other performance arts so that we could reach out to the children of San Pedro. Sadly, this is when disaster struck.
By the time I reluctantly arose from my sea breeze siesta, Nicky, one of the more popular team members among the children, had gone missing because his bag had been stolen by some of the kids. I won’t go into the specifics of what happened and when, partly because I can’t say for sure. What we do know is that his wallet was emptied and his credit cards were taken.
Eventually, four specific children were isolated as prime suspects and witnesses by Kevin Ko and having been fed up with the chaos and lack of initiative I charged in to resolve the issue, justice and vengeance in mind. However, the situation quickly became more complex and I was forced to make a decision which I can only pray was correct. (Or rather pray that God could use no matter how much I screw things up).
There were a number of children involved in the crime but the one young lady who actually bought something with the money she received was being accused of masterminding the entire ordeal. She was the only child who admitted she had taken something and returned was money she did not use. The sun was quickly setting and a storm wind began to blow meaning we needed to get this children home. At this point I was presented with a choice: administer justice to the children who were trying to get away with what they had done or reward the one honest child with forgiveness.
The boys who claimed she was the culprit spent most of this time threatening the young lady and calling her horrible things that no grade schooler should know about. They vanished quickly, however, once the authorities were mentioned to straighten this entire mess out. Seeing as how I had no real idea how guilty any of the suspects were I related to the young lady that what she did was wrong but what made it worse is that Nicky would have bought her those snacks in a heartbeat. Even if it wasn’t her idea or she wasn’t alone, what she did was a betrayal of the very people trying to love her. I wanted to make it crystal clear that what she did was wrong, ungrateful, and completely forgiven.
Few tasks proved more difficult than convincing that child that I wasn’t accusing her of anything. That I know she did something wrong but didn’t care about it nearly as much as I cared about her. It pained me to see how alien this idea was to her. Still, after it became clear that we cared about and would protect her no matter what she did, the reality of God’s love began to sink into her heart. She even managed a meek apology as we drove her home.
Diana, the young lady, essentially had no real home to be taken to. Her mother would be out drinking all night with a “friend” her father and step father had both left and her older brother would rather leave her in the rain than invite her in. After driving her home and devising a way to break into her own locked house she initiated the conversation for the first time.
“Why did you come here?”
“To tell you that God loves you. No matter what you do, God and God’s people, will always love you”
I cautiously hoped for some sort of reaction and was instead met with the same pensive silence that filled the majority of our conversation. She tossed me a look as if trying to figure me out then quietly turned away and went home.
That night, after dinner and a rather serendipitous fixing of our busted little golf cart we held a prayer meeting headed by Nicky. His heart broke for the little girl who stole from him and he urged us all to pray protection over her and growth of love in her heart. We prayed for revival and that this might be the humble beginning to an amazing testimony someday.
At the beginning of this trip we were each asked what we thought our role was on this trip. As I as a last minute addition to the trip I figured my role would mostly be manual labor or dead weight depending on how my back held up. Today I realized why I was here on this trip. Why it had to be me. Why it had to be someone who viewed Nicky as a brother. Why it had to be someone who could take off from the VBS to chase down a girl who needed forgiveness. How God placed all the pieces together to plant a seed in this one girl’s heart.
If you’re reading this blog I implore you to pray for little Diana. Pray that the humble amount of God’s love we managed to show her would grow and redeem her and her broken community. My father (biological not heavenly) says that this incident happened as much for us and it did for her. I’d like to believe that too. What I do know for sure is that there’s one more little girl in Belize who knows that God loves her. And for now, that’s enough for me.

-Matthew Ing
Prayer Requests
1. Orphanage ministry
2. Youth Hostel Kids so that we can connect to them more.
3. Safety in Belize and when we head home.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Day Seven (Island Block Party)

Today we went back to the Youth Hostel. Many of us went to join the
kids in the soccer fields, but I primarily hung around in the computer
lab. We put the finishing touches on the dry walls. This included
sanding down the putty with the wet sponges and applying a final coat
of putty. Painting is to follow on Saturday. At the end of the
morning, Ms. Martinez, the head teacher, presented us with an I think
hand-made thank you gift that should arrive in LGCC next week.

After lunch, we took a one hour boat ride to San Pedro. After settling
down, we had another block party. This time, a few of us walked
through the neighborhood, hollering at kids to come. It was great to
see the kids run out from their homes, asking when the party would
take place. We of course said right now, and many quickly finished up
what they were doing and came. The block party was again tiring, but a
true blessing. Arts and crafts, face painting, and ball playing. The
skit team also did their Noah skit from VBS earlier this week. Since
it was their second run, everything was really smooth. Praise God.
Many of the kids were quietly and attentively watching.

It's late now and I'm tired. But again, another fulfilling and
rewarding day with too many things to thank God for.

Galatians 2:20. First part of the verse is quite spiritual and
understandable. The second part of the verse is about living in the
body/flesh. Never really understood/experienced what that meant until
this STM. Living by faith in the body is very practical when you have
mosquitoes hunting you every moment and six other guys challenging you
for bathroom time. At those moments, Christ really shines forth.

-Victor Wu

Dear Belize blog faithful readers,
Greetings from San Pedro! I am writing you from a very comfortable hotel on the island, however we are still very much on the Belize short term mission. Praise God for everything He has brought us through. He was there to support us through difficult challenges, rejoice in those challenges overcome and protect and guide us along the way.
This morning, I was part of a smaller team that left at 8am to go first to the youth hostel to set up computers, clear the computer lab, touch up the drywall and prepare for painting. I learned that several team members stayed up late configuring computers and upgrading software. This included Jon
Hsu who stayed late at the church to wait for a download to complete. The rest if the team packed their bags, loaded up the bus and we all met up at the youth hostel. Besides the work on the computer lab, we were blessed by a short rain shower, and some of us got to see the youth hostel boys play in a soccer match or play basketball with a few of the boys and a few girls got their finger nails painted. We also received some scones from the youth hostel kitchen where quite good. Finally, we were surprised by the head lady to present us with gifts of appreciation and a card signed by the youth hostel kids. While the computer lab is not completely done - we've made tremendous progress from how it originally was, and we cant wait to show you the pictures.
This afternoon, we also got on a boat to bring the while team to San Pedro. We are so blessed to stay in a nice hotel and enjoy everything God provides. We checked in an then got ready for our first day if block party and VBS on the island. After grouping together for prayer and organization we started playing and sharing with youth around us at the basketball court. I had the opportunity to share the gospel and pray with 3 Belizian children. 2 girls who live on the Island and a boy who lives on the main land. They shared about how they do go to church but haven't accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. I was able to lead them in a prayer where they repeated after me and I was able to pray for them. We also enjoyed playing games, making crafts, watching a Noah's ark skit and sending the kids off with a toy/gift. I'm thankful that so many kids came out to the block party and look forward to tomorrow afternoon's party as well.
Finally, I am thankful for the opportunities to spend time with other members in this this missions trip and get to know them better. I've had good conversations of thoughts about the mission trip and had the opportunity to encourage each other. This is one aspect of mission trips that is someone's overlooked but I'm glad people are aware and are open.
-Edwin Lai

Prayer requests:
Friday, Island block party from 4-6pm
Safety for everyone going on excursions and those staying in
Final completion or computer lab and for it's effective use after it is set up

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day Six (Computer Lab Success)

Belize STM July 20th 2011
We started off the sixth day of our trip with fellowship in prayer and sharing with one another. After eating a delicious breakfast, we reconvened downstairs as a team, where Edwin led us in morning prayer. We split into small groups and shared our thoughts and burdens on our hearts. This was an opportunity for our team to really relate to one another and support each other as a body.
Once we arrived at the youth hostel, we immediately resumed our work on the computer lab and school house. We had one team in the computer lab finishing the dry-wall, and then sanding down the putty. In the school house, another group organized the materials and began to paint the benches. After a brisk lunch break, we began to layer on the second coat of putty. While waiting for it to dry, we swept up the school house floors. After hours of planning and preparation, and through the grace of God, we lifted off. We finally had internet! Praise the Lord! Once we celebrated with refreshing papaya and banana milkshakes, we began to wash the porch of the school house, in preparation for the paint job. Soon after, we packed up and headed to our special reward.
The bus ride to cave tubing was both long and mosquito infested. But it was worth it. After we had changed and received our equipment, we began our mile-long trek upstream. At first, the rocks underfoot distracted us from the miracles surrounding us. But once we slowly discovered the environment we were in, our minds immediately forgot the “rocky situation” and we marveled at the display of God’s power around us. The breathtakingly beautiful scenery around us left us in awe of the Lord’s omnipotence. Once we reached our starting point, we went into the water and linked up in groups. We floated through humongous caves one after another and were astonished at the naturally intricate mineral formations. A couple groups even enjoyed splashing one another as we raced down the “rapids” and “waterfalls”. There were some moments when the shallow water required us to take extra precaution. However, a few of us did not understand the concept of “BUTTS UP!” and paid for the lack of comprehension with bumps and bruises from the rocks. Again, this was quite a “rocky situation”. Once we finished our tour, we spent the remaining time in the river. Some attempted to catch fish, some swam, and others LEAPED off cliffs after a few encouraging chants (don’t worry, it wasn’t THAT high). After we had played and relaxed to our hearts’ content, we headed back towards the base. Once we changed, “deeted up”, ate a few snacks, and “deeted up” again, we were back on the road headed for the NIGHT ZOO.
A group of seven left to go to the Chinese church for a prayer meeting, including Jon who was busy downloading software for the computer lab. Meanwhile, we embarked on a long journey to the Belize Zoo. Upon arrival, we split into two groups of fourteen. Then each group explored the zoo in different directions. That night, both groups encountered many exotic and unique animals. On our tour, we were able to see jaguars, pumas, harpy eagles, pigs, rattle snakes, howler monkeys, and crocodiles. Some of us were even allowed to feed carrots to Belize’s national animal, the tapir. After our tour ended, several brave souls chose to carry a boa constrictor on their shoulders while barrages of photos were taken. On the way back to our bus, we witnessed clear skies with a myriad of stars painting pictures in the night sky. Some of us were even lucky enough to take beautiful pictures of the stars!
Then we traveled back to our hotel, where we immediately ate a 10pm dinner of delicious chicken burritos. Soon after, we held a short debrief of today’s events and posed questions about the rest of the trip. Right after the meeting ended, most of us scurried back to our room and prepared to sleep. But not Jon Hsu. Ironically, he was “intentionally” left behind at the Chinese church while downloading software. Fortunately for him, he found his way back home to us! Then we all drifted into a deep sleep after the long day we had.
We still have all 35.
Prayer Requests:
• Safe travel to the island
• Finishing computer lab
• Finish painting
• Successful VBS and block party
• To have quality bonding time with the youth
-Valentia Shen and Isabel Auyeung

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UPDATE: Computer Lab wiring complete.

We have just made connection with the internet.

This blog is coming from the computer lab at the Youth Hostel in Belize.

There's a little more to do, still, but we are very happy to announce the first blog.

Belize STM team from LGCC

Day Five (More VBS and youth hostel)

STM 2011 7/19
Day Rundown:
1. Last day of VBS
2. Lunch! (On the bus... it was chaotic)
3. Worked on Computer lab
4. Worked some more on the lab
(Longer explanation of the day below)

Goodbyes are hard. And the older I get the more I realize they don’t get easier. (Wow… so dramatic)

Explanation: Today was the LAST DAY OF VBS!!! It’s sad because it’s only the second day. Yup. We had only two days with these kids D:
We were JUST starting to bond with these kids and now we have to leave. The day was speckled with abrupt and disappointed goodbyes. Few things are more depressing to me than an unresolved “goodbye”.
But it makes sense. Our main goal here isn’t to host VBS. Our mail vision for this mission trip was to bless the youth hostel by constructing a computer lab for them.
And the Belizean children have a Sunday school program on Saturday (that’s confusing) so they are still being nourished throughout the year.
They have God watching over them and holding their hand.
They have an almighty king who is more crazy about them than I could ever imagine.
They have a Father watching every breath that they take and every tear that they cry.
So I won’t be scared for them…. (but I will miss them).
Our job is to focus on what God wants us to do. Sometimes that means hosting VBS. Other times it means loving with our actions and giving hope to a hopeless community.
Today we loved/gave hope by pouring our sweat, blood, and MORE blood (stupid mosquitos…) into building a computer lab for the kids.
We installed insulation, dry wall, and even started to puddy the whole thing. (if you don’t know what this means don’t worry. I didn’t know what this meant 24 hours ago).

It took us pretty much the rest of the day to work on the house but the hours kind of flew by. Time flies when you have something worthy to work for.

And that’s pretty key I think. It’s so EASY for me to focus on the works and the fruits. It’s so easy for me to focus on the ministry and forget WHY I’m doing it!
I’m not building the lab for the wonderful, enjoyable experience of building a computer lab (woohoo….). And I’m not building it so that people can tell me how awesome and altruistic I am (but I wouldn’t complain if you did).
I’m doing this because I Love Jesus. And Jesus’s heart BREAKS for these people.
He sees them when they feel worthless. When they feel hopeless. When they feel ugly. When they feel broken. When they feel alone. He counts every tear they cry.
I bet He cries for them.
This thought put my heart in the right place.

So if you ever feel fatigued or stressed out by ministry, just take a breath. Remember why you’re doing what you are doing. And spend some time with God.
Let Him speak his words of truth over you and remind you who He is, who you are, and who you are in relationship to Him.
Take some time to sit at his feet like Mary, instead of running around all the time like Martha. (don’t worry, it’s okay if you rest sometimes…. The bible tells us to! :D)
I know it works for me! When I “make every effort” to enter into His rest, I know that it turns my labor into a labor of love.
Well anyway, pray for us as we finish up this computer lab. We’re also presently discussing whether or not we should return to the VBS church on Saturday so be praying about God’s guidance over that!
Thank you for your support! We Love you and we hope to see you soon!

David Ing

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Craig Ing Day Four.

My second trip to Belize seems very different already here on the third day of our trip. We have done more and lives have changed for eternity. For instance, on the second day at the Youth Hostel worship I had the privilege of speaking. Just as we started the worship service God sent a cooling shower as a real blessing. We didn’t know what to expect from these teens who have led rough lives, but soon everyone was clapping and enjoying a lively chorus let by our worship team. I really sensed God’s presence and guiding as I began to speak. I didn’t bore them and they seemed interested (yay answered prayer!!!) We broke up into small groups for discussion and Pastor Poon and I led a former Catholic teen to faith in Christ. PTL!!! Many small groups reported lively discussion. These teens responded to the Word of God. Later I met an electrician named “Moses” who’s testimony could make a great movie. We also spent time reaching out to the poor in the center of Belize. We held a block party where I got to pray for many people while face painting. What a blast!!!

Today has been a lot of physical, and Spiritual, challenge. VBS began in earnest and FOUR people received the Lord to day. It seems like we’ve just began. Praise God!!!! Now please continue to pray for us since sense a real Spiritual battle. Heat, fatigue, bug bites and Belizian constant change of plans is taking its toll. We really need prayer cover NOW!!! Thanks for your prayers.

Prayer Requests:
1. 4 new believers, especially Nicole (who we have spent a lot of time with since she is traveling with our group); God surrounds them with people to help them grow (especially people from church who will reach out to them)
2. second day of VBS
3. youth hostel: finish computer lab; thankful for strong Christians working at the hostel who can guide and teach the youth there

Day Four (VBS and more youth hostel)

Today, we started our first day of VBS at the Chinese church. The children had a great time learning about Noah and his ark, the flood and God’s promise to Noah through the symbol of a rainbow. We also enjoyed worshiping God through songs and dance. It was great meeting many of the children we saw in previous years. Having taught the youngest class 2 years ago, we probably saw the most growth in the children we knew. Many of the children grew so much in the Lord, some of the children were crying for their moms 2 years ago, and now, have become mature, active participants in class. There was one boy, who refused to talk or to be separated from his older brother two years ago; today, he initiated discussions about Noah’s Ark with his friends and willingly offered his chair to a friend who wanted to sit. How he actively participated in all the VBS activities testifies to how much he has grown in the last two years. Another boy who would not stop running around the church building during class time 2 years ago, would now engage in intelligent discussions with his fellow peers and teachers. Thank you Lord for this opportunity to get to know these children and to have the opportunity to see how much they have grown in the Lord in the last two years.
-Virginia Wu (Chu)
The Chinese team has been working together with the English team in the last two days going to Pickstock, the youth hostel, and VBS. But tonight, we did something different from the English team. I did a nutrition talk at the Chinese church, about 20 people attended. The talk went OK. Thanks for your prayers. There will be another workshop tomorrow by Jon Mo about creation and evolution. Pastor Poon will lead a prayer meeting on Wednesday night. Please continue to pray for the progress for the computer lab. We will probably be painting the walls tomorrow. Hope you all are doing well back home.
Pauline Auyueng
Prayer Requests:
1. For the kids from the VBS because we won’t be having anymore interaction with them for another year.
2. So that the computer lab finishes on time.
3. That we can connect to youth hostel kids more.

Jackie Chu Post for Day Two and Three


We visited the people at Pickstock. It is my first time mission and never been in here before. I didn’t know what I was going to see even though I heard from Pastor Brian that people are very poor there. It’s kind of mix feelings as the little kids can be very happy from just a little thing, like drawing with chalks on the ground, drawing on the construction papers with crayons, blowing bubbles. We did some origami, like airplanes and boats and they liked it.
Besides, I won’t forget the eye contacts I had with the kids. When I talked to them, I looked at their eyes; their eyes told me they appreciated our caring. One funny scenario was a little boy I think he is 5 and kept following John from Mandarin Congregation that he wanted to go to California. I asked him, “You need to ask your mom for yes or no.” He pointed to me that where his mom was, like if you want to ask, you can ask yourself and I am going to California anyway. He has his way no matter what you say. It’s sad though, even a 5 years old boy wants to leave his country.
When it was about time to say goodbye, a girl I didn’t have any interaction with her, she came to me and hugged me goodbye. I’d never forget what I experienced today.

Prayers request:
1. Please pray for their hearts to follow Jesus every day.
2. Pray for the kids to pray to God every day.
3. Pray for their parents to have guidance from God.


We visited youth hostel today. It is another experience I never had before and it’s totally different from what I experienced yesterday. As you know it is a youth hostel, those are youth and they are not little kids. They have their own story and experience. I heard a girl who stays there not because of doing something illegal and got caught. Actually, she called the police to take her there as she got abused from her family member.
We started to set up the computer lab today. I don’t know much about setting up the networking. All I could do today was taking the junk out of the room and watch the youth playing volley ball. Ethan (my son) told me that he made a friend there. He went to bathroom and there was no water from the sink, his friend from youth hostel got a cup with water for him to wash his hands. It’s very nice. I asked Ethan if he likes Belize or not and he answered me yes. It is because of the weather. He likes hot weather but not staying at the youth hostel.

Prayers requests:
1. Pray for the youth to follow and talk to God.
2. Pray for the work of setting up the computer lab successfully.
3. Pray for the youth to be motivated to learn more skills to prepare for the future once they can be out of the hostel.
4. Pray for the youth that they can see hope and future thru God.

More Coming, please bear with us as these are hard to get out due to internet connectivity.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day Three (Youth Hostel)

Everything turned out differently than what I had expected. Late in the morning, we had church at the youth hostel. Arriving there, the youth were all leaning against the porches waiting for us. To my surprise, they weren’t nearly as scary as I imagined them to be. During worship, most of the youth were engrossed in the new songs we taught them. Uncle Craig’s message felt really powerful toward everyone and most of the youth were really attentive. In the middle of his talk, his tooth fell out LOOOOL, but it didn’t stop him from delivering such a magnificent message. After, we broke up into six groups and had ice breaking games followed up with discussion. The ice breakers were successful, as everyone was able to learn each other’s names, which smoothly transitioned into the discussion. The youth were actually a lot more into the gospel and seeking God than I had thought. Apparently, every Monday and Friday, some of the youth gather together to do devotions or Bible study, very similar to what we do at youth group. All of them even had a dream of what they wanted to become in the future. As the discussion progressed, they started to open up and shared deep stories, as well as asking us interesting questions themselves. Lunch was PB&J sandwiches and other food which I don’t remember, because I tend to only remember what I eat. Shortly after lunch, we picked up volleyball games with the youth while other people began working on digging trenches for the computer lab. I felt that I should start helping them, and stop being “lazy” and playing volleyball with the youth, so I also whipped out a shovel to dig. Digging the long ditch connecting the houses was really tiring but felt really rewarding. Someone found a tarantula in one of the houses and it was SO SCARY because it was hairy and was crawling on the wall. Despite my trepidations for spiders, I still kept on digging. The ditch was impressive.

-Kevin Mo
Yesterday, we were told that we were going to play with little kids from the slums, armed with sidewalk chalk, crayons, construction paper, face paint, and sports. The fun and friendly connotation of that task definitely contrasted from today’s seemingly daunting task: to visit the youth hostel, full of native teenagers convicted of both petty and heavy crimes, and hold a Sunday worship service there.
David Ing asked Isabel and me to sing for the worship session, and I stood slightly nervously in front of a crowded room of intimidating faces, some uninviting, and others simply confused and unsure. We found out that we wouldn’t have a projector, so would be singing in front of a room that didn’t know the lyrics to sing along with us. Last minute, we changed our first song from “Lord I Lift Your Name on High,” to “Everyday,” so that we could incorporate dance moves to make it a more interactive and exciting experience. At first, the youth didn’t really imitate our dance moves, but eventually a few caught on and others followed. It ended up becoming a really loud room of jumping, dancing youth, even though they didn’t know the lyrics. Around the time when we started singing “Amazing Grace,” a small sprinkle of rain came down outside, almost like a little shower of blessing, as Uncle Craig put it in his message. While he spoke, the normally stuffy room was cooled by frequent breezes and gusts of wind, enough to blow the curtains up and around. It was kind of a beautiful moment, as quite a few youth really paid attention with eye contact and signs of interest, instead of slouching and looking bored as a few others did.
My discussion group had 4 team members and only 3 hostel members, but we had a great time. We played a name game by throwing “Iggy the Iguana,” a small stuffed toy, to each other, which resulted in a lot of laughter over mistakes and stray iguanas. Leona was significantly more talkative than Erica, but they both wanted to leave the hostel and go home. I think it’s a connection to the outside world they truly desire, so hopefully this computer lab will be a real blessing to them. Olive, a counselor, shared that two of her children were killed in the same accident five years ago. Olive already believed in Jesus and in living a godly life. Leona and Erica seemed to know a lot, but seemed more hesitant to profess any faith they might have. Please pray for the youth at the hostel, that they would truly live out the lives that they have constantly been told to live, and that they would become comfortable enough with us to open up.
So far I had been lucky to get only one mosquito bite, but I neglected to use mosquito spray and got six itchy, red mosquito bites. Fortunately, Mrs. Poon gave me some itch cream from Hong Kong which worked to finally bring the irritating swelling down. Please pray for all of us with skin sensitivities to sunburn, bug bites, and heat rash, as discomfort can be a frustrating, unceasing distraction from our work here in Belize.
We are starting to be able to count how long we’ve been working but the contrast of our new tan lines – whether from our tank tops, t-shirts, sunglasses, watches, shorts, or shoes. The truest and best encouragement comes from each other, as I can see the unity grow among our team. When tonight’s dinner was spicy fried chicken and soda, both of which I cannot handle, we swapped food and shared some vegetables. We help each other apply sunblock, share body wash, and swat flies and fan each other with our now-wrinkled devotion packets  And I know if we can bond this much within our team within two days, we should be able to bond just as much with the people of Belize in these ten days.
-Emily Cheng

Prayer Requests:
1. That VBS goes well
2. That Computer Lab finishes.
3. That we have an opportunity to connect to the youth hostel kids.
4. Pauline’s workshop on nutrition.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day Two of Belize 2011 (Pickstock)

Today it finally home that I am actually on a real short-term missions with 30+ members of my church (LGCC) and not just going on a retreat with them in some tropical conference center. N or is this similar to volunteering for some random NGO on the Caribbean.
It started with my daily devotions from yesterday which asked us to reflect on why God chose us for this trip….I suddenly realized that I didn’t know why God chose me for this trip. I only knew why I wanted to go on this missions trip to understand what does short-term missions feel like as a family…to my daughter on her first missions experience and to help her understand what a rarefied and privileged world we live in…in the San Francisco Peninsula area. How to remind ourselves to be grateful to God for all we have and to see the needs of people in spiritual and physical needs in Belize. I hadn’t spent enough time in prayer and contemplations before hand to understand to why God chosen me for this trip
I ‘m starting to understand in the course of devotion and today’s events that God wants to show me what He can do with us as a team of his believers and as individuals stretching beyond our usual comfort zones, circle of friends at church and in sharing the gospel in certain customary ways.
At the youth hostel, I was surprised at the friendliness of the youth and the acceptance by the hostel staff…after all this was a first visit by many of us here. I was still preoccupied with the logistics of digging 75 feet of trench to lay network cable connecting the classroom to the internet. I was more worried that our team wouldn’t have the strength and stamina to complete the trench in 1 afternoon…until I saw how big the basketball court that had been built by last year’s team…how far they had to carry their concrete and how many rocks they had to dig out before they could have a flat surface on which to lay the rebar and pour the concrete. This was a big reminder of how powerfully God had used last years team which had less than half the number of members as this year’s team. It is also last years Belize STM team that had built a good foundation for us to work on in terms of relating to the youth and the staff. If I pay attention and watch to see what God wants to show me and let me know where I fit in…rather than identifying for myself where my role should be in the ministry of this team.
Then at Pickstock, the slum area of Belize city where David brings us put on a block party, I find myself utterly unprepared. There’s no food (which totally violates my preconceived notion of a block party)…some of our team members bring suitcases full of toys and art & craft supplies; others bring a basketball, football and soccer ball. The whole event seems really ad hoc and unstructured…plus the people in the neighborhood seem to be watchful and maybe a bit suspicious…but soon as we gather in the front of the Pickstock church…we are surrounded by toddlers and small children who want to see what we’ve brought and whether they can play with them or take them to keep…then as we walk over to the basket ball court…older children and teens gather and are eager to shoot hoops and pass the ball back and forth with some of our teammates. But having problems with my left foot and never having played team sports regularly…I conclude that this is not how I’m going to reach out to any of the kids.
I wonder how the rest of the team will find ways to relate to the kids…I guess that we could just plant ourselves next to a kid and insistently tell them about the wordless book or gospel bracelet…unless they ran away. Pretty soon though I see a colored paper, crayons, face paints and hair clips and ornaments coming out of the suitcases we brought. I think, hmmm, I’ll help with face painting…but the kids I paint all look on with envy on Craig’s kids…they ask me to paint a star or a flower just like their friend’s or a maybe a dragon. A dragon?! What was I thinking of when I volunteered for this activity? I can barely do a decent snail, forget about a dragon…plus I’m about as fast as a snail in my painting…I’m too intent on drawing on their arms and faces to simultaneously chatter with them about their knowledge of God and his salvation plan for them. But having to clean my brush at the local water faucet I get a chance to talk to some of the kids filling up their families water bottles…to ask if they know about God…some of them tell me they go to church…that other church groups have come before to play with them. I don’t get to talk about the wordless book or bracelet…but I’m determined to pray for each kid I talk to whether they come for face painting or I meet them at the water faucet. And next time I look up; every single member of our team is really involved with this block party…whether playing ball, face painting, getting their hair done, giving piggy bag rides, teaching different origami patterns, drawing with crayons. They may be sitting down, standing up, running around but absolutely everyone is interacting with at least 1 or more kids…no one is uncertainly clustering with other team members….off by themselves. It’s amazing…everyone has jumped in and we finally have become a team…something that I doubted could happen quickly just last week at our last planning/training meeting. God is truly doing something amazing and awesome…and if I had anymore doubts…a kid who was disappointed in my artwork on his right arm the first time round…graciously extends his left arm and says to me “now you can do another star on this side.”

-Patti Lowe

Prayer Requests:
1. That the Youth Hostel kids get to know God better and the Sunday Service Tomorrow.
2. That the construction of the computer lab goes well.
3. That the VBS preparation goes smoothly and that the kids will be motivated and get to see God.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day One of 2011

And once again, the airport challenged us. As we arrived at the airport, we found out that the front desk had already opened up and we were already late. At 4 A.M in the morning, we were late, who would’ve thought. After minutes of confusion and several different instructions we finally had a front clerk dedicated to helping us and slowly we were helped and one by one, we proceeded to the security check point. However by the time the last three members of our team proceeded, we found out that the plane was already boarded and waiting for the last of its passengers. Us. Surprise, surprise. However the airport curse was not finished with us yet. When we arrived at Dallas, we found out that we would be landing at 11:55 and our plane was boarding at 11:50, that and we were in different terminals--different terminals in the Dallas Airport. However, as usual, God was on our side and He had answered our prayers because once we arrived at the gate, we were relieved to find that the flight was delayed, which gave us all enough time to get food and eat. We all successfully made it to the plane and then to Belize. That was when we realized that God has answered our prayers for the first time on this trip. After checking into our rooms and settling in, we all gathered for first team meeting in Belize. David Craver gave us a short testimony and an overview of the next ten days. Then we enjoyed dinner made by Stephanie and made a quick run to Brodie’s. Once coming back to the hotel, we enjoyed each other’s company during games and worship. After this not-as-eventful first day as last year, but still unique in its own stressful way, we have conquered our first day of the Belize STM and still look forward to the opportunities and events God has placed ahead of us. We thank God for His guidance over our trip.
35 on the trip. 35 alive.

Prayer Requests:
• VBS-
o Preparation
o Successful
• Computer Lab-
o Preparation
o Building