After a nice, but short night’s rest, all of us woke up at about 7 a.m., ready for a full day. We had breakfast and our daily devotions, and then loaded the bus with the water bins and lunch. Breakfast was beans and eggs. Last preparations for the day included applying bug repellant and sunscreen. All of us had matching blue shirts for VBS, as well as a change of clothes for the afternoon construction project. Then, we all boarded the bus.
The bus ride to BCCC took about half an hour. Ground transportation in Belize is extremely speedy compared to back in the States, as a trip of the same distance in California would probably take one hour or more. We expected to get there five to ten minutes late, but instead arrived fifteen minutes early at 8:45 a.m. We were all nervous for the first day of VBS.
VBS started out with the crew leaders meeting their groups and bringing them upstairs for worship and singing, which were led by Steve and Matt. The main songs had hand motions, and the four crew leaders were called to the front to demonstrate these. Unfortunately, we were extremely unprepared and didn’t know any of them, but we managed to put it together on the spot. It was a fun experience because we could act like children for a few minutes, pretending we were airplanes.
The kids I was in charge of were the oldest there, ranging from age 11 to 12. Our first activity was watching the movie, of which was followed by a discussion. I had talked to a few of them casually, introducing myself and giving high-fives, but this discussion was my first moderated conversation with these kids, so I was nervous. Halfway through, I ran out of things to say and had to read from Uncle Ed’s script.
The different VBS groups rotated stations, which included the games, crafts, movie, and bible story. During our game time, we worked together as a team to use a parachute to score a beach ball into a hula hoop. The daily craft was covering a roll of candy so that it looked like a space ship. The video and Bible story were the first in a series teaching the theme message of trusting in God.
The moment that made my day was toward the end of today’s VBS, before we sang the closing song with all of the other groups. I was trying my best to fit in with the kids and be funny, but one girl told me, “You’re not funny.” I became self-conscious, but I was laughing more.
After VBS and lunch, we drove over to the youth hostel, where we began construction of a cement bridge and a shady hut for the youth there. Both were built for their safety. The weather was not as hot as I had pictured before the trip; the sun only came out two times, but otherwise it was hidden by the clouds. There was also a nice breeze, so the work was not as miserable.
We came back to the mission base, where most of us stayed for dinner, but a few went to the river and swam. After dinner, we had a break until 7:30, where we had debriefing and sharing time.