Today I found some time to write. Not the way I would prefer—I accidentally stepped on a nail while helping to finish up the digging for the parking area. Fortunately it was a new nail, not a rusty one, and although it went through my shoe and pretty far into my foot, it looks like it’s healing nicely. But pray I’ll be able to get on (both of) my feet shortly!
Right now, the team is out doing VBS. This is our 8th LGCC summer team and my personal 6th summer STM. I have to say, thus far, this team has been one of our best. They have proven to be flexible, focused and self-sacrificing. Not only that, but they have a contagious energy and joy that has helped us integrate the BCCC youth, the Belize Camping Experience counselors and the Alabama team into our group and allowed us all to work together amazingly well. Our team of 24 has added on 8 BCCC youth, 25 BCE staff and 8 Alabamans in the last week and we have been like a family. The family of God is so big and diverse! When I look at all of us, we are Asian, Black, Latino and White. People are speaking to each other in Creole, English (sometimes with a Southern drawl), Cantonese, Mandarin and Spanish. There are people from the poorest parts of Belize City, the suburbs of Alabama, the Mennonite farming communities of northern Belize, and the wealth of Silicon Valley. Yet none of our differences matter. They are there, but the differences cannot overcome the unity we have in Christ.
The true beauty of this unity is that, put into action, there is almost nothing that can stop us as the body of Christ from making a huge impact on the community around us. Because we’ve worked together this week, because we’ve cared for each other selflessly, because no one needs to be obsessed about him or herself knowing there are 50 other people watching out for him/her, we can serve through heat, bug bites, constant schedule changes, Belize time (which is even later than Chinese time), all discomfort and tiredness, to complete the mission God gave us when He called each one to join this team.
Today we finished the construction a day early. Much of the credit goes to the Alabama team, who had a lot more expertise than we do in the kind of carpentry, landscaping and painting projects we worked on this week. They were truly a God-send. But everybody worked hard to get the work completed and tomorrow we’ll get a bit of a break. Then one more day of VBS and a full day off on Saturday, when we’ll go cave-tubing and to visit the Quan farm for a day of swimming in the river. Already, this trip is almost over!
I want to thank you personally for your prayers, your financial support, your trust in us taking your kids on this mission trip. I think each one has grown by being a part of this team. I have seen tremendous acts of compassion, toughness, encouragement, and love from each person on this team as they’ve lived, worked and played together. And they’ve made memories that will last them a lifetime and beyond. Please keep praying for us as we endeavor to finish well!