Hey guys! We have an extra special treat for you all back home: We have a blogging TEAM for you! YAAAAAYYY!!!!! This is Adam, Ivana, Karis, Jessie, Andrew, and Austin reporting in!
Sorry for not posting yesterday, but we got a little sidetracked. To sum up the day in a few words, God really blessed us with a day of rest. We were planning to hold a block party at Pickstock, but the rain had flooded the streets, so we couldn't have it. But when God closes one door, He opens up another. Despite being only a few days into our trip, we were all suuuuuuuuuuper exhausted. We were so grateful for the time of rest we got (on the Sabbath :D).
This morning, after we were able to rest, we had breakfast and our morning devotionals. We talked about the passage in Acts about Philip and the eunuch. We focused on how Philip really listened to the eunuch and met his needs as he was. We then prayed for God to open up our hearts and our ears to the needs of the people in Belize.
After our devotional time, we all went to the Youth Hostel, where we finished priming the wall from the other day. We had a fun lunch, and then split up into two teams: one to stay at the Youth Hostel to sketch the outlines for the classroom and the mural, and another team to go to Pickstock to prime the canvas that we were painting.
After lunch, the Youth Hostel team and the kids who participated in the design team split into two groups in order to sketch the outlines for the classroom and cafeteria mural. The cafeteria mural has animals and trees floating above the clouds and the doors have a rising sun. While in the classroom, many of the Youth Hostel kids offered up different positive words which were placed all over the classroom. Everyone was very encouraged when the Belize kids offered their skills. Some felt a little uncomfortable because they felt they didn't have much to add, but they chipped in by tracing over the pencil sketches with Sharpies and adding grass and other little funsies (ninja stars?) to the wall.
It was cool that how we got to know some of the youth as we worked with them. While we were working a lot of youth wandered by and seemed to take interest in what we were doing, particularly in the classroom. We hadn't really expected the classroom to be a place where the youth would want to hang out. Hopefully, with added personal touches to the classroom now, it will be a place they’ll be even more excited and encouraged to be in and learn.
While Ivana, Jessie, Andrew, and the rest of the Youth Hostel team were doing their thing, Austin, Karis, Adam, and the rest of the team went to Pickstock. Pickstock is one of the most impoverished areas of Belize City. Now, because of all the rain the past few days, we were 2 days behind on this project, so David, our missions coordinator, was very anxious to get the job done quickly. The artist that we’re working with can only come to sketch the design the next day, so we really needed to get the priming done. David warned us that he was in “drill sergeant” mode, and he apologized in advance for being so tough.
We lugged a bunch of painting supplies from the bus over to the area that we were painting. As soon as we got there, we saw a bunch of kids gathered around who wanted to help. Right when we set down the supplies, the kids began to run over and grab the paintbrushes. They immediately began painting with us. David was a little late in telling us that he didn't want the kids to be painting, so we had to take away all of their paint brushes and tell them to just watch.
Adam immediately saw that the kids were disappointed that they could not join us in painting, so he decided to entertain them by playing games with them. Adam shared with us that he really saw a reflection of how God works in answering prayer. He sees our desires and our wants, especially when we’re really excited, but sometimes He has something better in store. David eventually let them just paint another section of the yard, and they had so much more fun with it than painting the wall. The joy that resounded through the place just made everything so effortless and joyful.
While Adam was entertaining the kids, Austin and the rest of the team were experiencing David’s wrath. In response, Austin started to paint faster than he should have been. While he did get most of the paint on the wall, he may have gotten some of the pain(t) on others. But even though it was messy, it still got the job done quickly, and also earned him David’s praise (that quickly disappeared :P).
During Austin’s frenzy, Karis was experiencing some unexpected joys from the kindness of the kids. As Karis had the misfortune of getting paint in her eye (*cough* AUSTIN *cough*), she had to blindly walk to the faucet to rinse off. A little boy saw her and noticed how painted she was. He said that her arm was really dirty and started to scrub her hand. It was just so amazing to see how generous and kind these kids were.
Overall, today was a very tiring day for both teams. Tomorrow will be even more tiring. We’ll be waking up earlier tomorrow to leave and get even more work done! Please pray for the teams continued safety, unity, and energy, as we will need plenty of all of that. Thanks for all of your support and prayers, and we’ll continue to be in touch! J
This is Adam, Austin, Karis, Ivana, Jessie, and Andrew signing off. Be blessed! <3 next="" o:p="" time="" until="">3>