Today was our second full day of ministry in Belize. We spent the morning at BCCC for VBS, and the afternoon at the Youth Hostel for the construction of our thatch hut.
The overall consensus for the team was that our second day of VBS went much smoother than our first. Steve and I were leaders for the ‘Up and Away, Sing and Play’ and the ‘Fly Away Finale’ sessions of our ‘Fly’ VBS program – we were essentially a combination of emcees and worship leaders for the beginning and ending worship sessions of our VBS schedule. As an introverted and not-very-outgoing person, this role was not comfortable for me. However, I could really see God working and making it easier to emcee and lead, by exciting the kids and letting their hearts be ready for singing and worshiping Him during our VBS worship sessions. The kids were exceptionally excited to sing and dance when we were leading our camp theme song – ‘Fly’.
The thatch hut construction also went on quite smoothly. We spent the afternoon working with a number of youth hostel kids to level the pillars/poles of the thatch hut, and flatten the ground to prepare for creating a concrete foundation. While we had a little bit of technical difficulties, we were able to complete our goal for the day – pouring concrete to fix the pillars of the thatch hut in place, and preparing a base with which we could use for pouring concrete flooring. We managed to finish just before a storm hit. Praise God.
The main story for me today was not centered around either of these two events today, however. My thoughts and prayers were mostly centered around a boy who joined our VBS program today, one day late. The boy’s name was Derrick. If you read my Belize blog post from last year, you would find the name familiar because I blogged about the same boy last year. I met him for the first time during last year’s short VBS program, and my interactions with him were rather short and uneventful because he was a pretty quiet boy (he’s still pretty quiet). What I remember about him last year was that he was always asking me for things – candy, money, and any type of memento that I could give him. When I interacted with him today, there was little that was different. He acknowledged me today because he remembered me, and during the middle of the day, he sat next to me and asked me what I was going to get him because his birthday just passed. He suggested that I buy him a Gameboy, which I politely declined. He then decided that he would settle for a remote-controlled boat, which I also declined. I tried to tell him that neither of those things would be enough for him. I wanted to let him know that having material possessions wouldn’t ever be enough. I wasn’t able to convey that message very strongly though… and even if I could, I doubt he would understand. Maybe it would be because he lives in an orphanage with his 2 younger brothers very close to BCCC. Maybe it would be because he’s just 13 years old – what 13 year-old doesn’t want new toys? Maybe it would be because he’s never grown up with much, and he’s had to share everything he’s ever had. I’m still going to look out for him during the next few days of VBS and I’m going to try to talk to him again, hoping I can convey to him the message that only God will be enough for him. I don’t know what part I’ll play in his story (if any at all), but I’m praying that God will continue to violently pursue him. He’s a frequent participant of VBS programs at BCCC, and I’m praying that one of these times, God will reach out and pierce Derrick’s heart with truths that he can never let go. And I’m praying that one of these days, Derrick would be able to understand that he doesn’t have to go to others to find joys in material possessions. Rather, that he would understand that he can go to God at any time and find living water that forever quenches his thirst.