Search This Blog

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dia Seis: 7/14/16 with Jessie Lwi

Hello! This is Jessie blogging today while everyone is gone for the night zoo. So far this trip has been really great for me! The girls had the hardest time waking this morning so far, but we all still managed to crawl out. Apparently since our debrief meeting ran a little late, everyone took awhile to settle back down and went to bed bit later last night. But everyone still made it to breakfast…sleepily! For breakfast we had fried jacks and beans. The food has been really great the last few days, I’m so thankful for our chef, Nela!!… I actually had a really good conversation with her today about her family and where she is from. She is typically pretty quiet and shy-like, but she got so excited to tell me about her family. She even opened up her Facebook and showed me pictured of them and their trips to Mexico to visit more family.
We jumped right into construction after breakfast since the Raymond was pretty antsy to get a move on. Raymond is the man in charge of all the construction…also a relative of Nela! Construction today was mostly just sanding down a kitchen cabinet they made and a bunch of other pieces for wood that I actually am not too sure what they are going to be used for. I’m sure there were other chores that we finished today, but I had been outside just sanding the whole time so I’m not exactly sure what. After awhile we started playing pop music and would sing along together as we worked :D .  
By 12:00 we had lunch and then headed over to the park to do VBS. I’ve been working with the 11 year olds and up girls. We spent our time together going over the story of an angel leading Peter out of prison, and even made a poster of the whole story. My girls knew the story pretty well but were still really into the activity. If you’ve read about Derrick in previous blogs (he hangs out with us everyday and has a family of 13 siblings), my group of girls consisted mostly of his sisters and cousins.  Only three girls have been coming every day: Jiselle (Derrick’s sister), Kristy (their cousin), and Daisy (Qing Ping’s little sister/ youth of BCCC). I’ve been able to bond with these girls a lot, and it has been especially amazing for me to see these three girls bond with each other! All of them are taller than me and for some reason really like to pick me up… But we also love to hug each other too!!

Prayer Requests:

1. Pastor Dave has got the sniffles >:C… pray for them to go away, especially because he has a sermon to give on Sunday here!
2. Many other counsels at VBS we work with are also coming down with sniffles, but they got more camps to do.
3. Energy and good rest since everyone came back from the night zoo late.
4. The kids and our last day of VBS with them.

5.  Construction gets finished!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Dia Cinco: 7/13/16 with Julia Song and Caleb Cheng

Today was the day we would share our testimonies in VBS to the kids of Belize. We woke up early this morning and began our construction work. A couple of us worked on sanding some wooden boards that would be repurposed while others fixed up holes with putty. Big furniture was moved downstairs and we were able to make a lot of progress in a short amount of time. After two hours of hard backbreaking construction work, Derrick (a local friend) climbed a tall coconut tree and brought us a dozen coconuts to drink. He expertly cut them with a machete and it was - oh so refreshing. Before lunch we helped set up tents for the VBS before BCE arrived and while we were waiting for lunch. For lunch Auntie Edith made us a lot of good food. You should have been there.

At VBS, we told the Gospel story with the (wordless) color book that we trained to use. The counselors also shared their personal testimonies, moving several kids to accept Christ. It was a touching moment for many of us. The girls in Julia’s group  (ages six, seven, and eight) combined with the other girl groups of the same age. All the girls listened very intently to Julia and Zarin’s testimonies. After a prayer, when asked about whether they have accepted Christ in their hearts, the girls all raised their hands that they have Jesus in their lives. Regardless of whether they accepted Christ or raised their hands because their friends did, they seemed to have listened to our stories and know that Jesus is always present and answers our prayers. We have two more days to find out what happened in their hearts.

Today was also the day for water games. Campers ran with a soaked sponge over their head and squeezed all the excess on their counselors’ heads. We both, along with many other counselors, got drenched from head to toe. The campers were ecstatic, getting their teachers completely soaked.

We had a wonderful abundance of food for dinner, including nachos, star fruit, rice and beans, stewed chicken, (“nice Belizean food” Derrick’s words) yum… After dinner we gathered together with most everyone and played a game and a half of Mafia. Caleb was a wonderful, excellent, magnanimous GM in the game. While M. Dave Huang, Uncle Joe and Uncle Craig attended the BCCC prayer meeting.  We cut short the game because we all wanted to make a PMT run.

Actually there was no PMT place open, so Caleb Y. ordered MT. Everyone else ordered assorted desserts, including Oreo Cheese Gelato (Julia and Jessie – actually tasted quite amazing). We bumped into Kevin (the MC and leader of the BCE/VBS) and his family at the Pandora’s Café, where we had hoped for pmt but cried in the end.  Our tears turned into joy after seeing him and his beautiful family. Uncle Joe, Uncle Joe and M. David Huang joined us after their prayer meeting. We held the first part of our debriefing in the café, then moved back to the church. Derrick kept scaring us on the way back with imitations of locusts and snakes, all in good fun. We finished the debriefing at the church, Uncle Joe told us about his visitations to local Chinese at their stores and then we worshiped until lights out. We are still writing this blog. It is really late Julia and I are tired.

Goodnight, sleep tight! Mosquitos may bite. ;-)

-       Julia and Caleb

Prayer Requests:
1.     Pray that our health stays good and not effected by our trip or environment.
2.     Safety while doing construction work, visitation and VBS.
3.     Pray for all the students who prayed to receive Christ today (between 6-10 from our team alone)
4.     Pray we will all accomplish all God has planned for us in our ministry and personal growth.

5.     That God will give us the energy and strength to finish our STM strong and unified.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Dia Cuatro: 7/12/16 with Minister David Huang

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


For a week leading up to Belize, I was hovering over weather reports. And the forecast for the whole mission trip was scattered showers and thunderstorms. Today was the first day it rained. And it seemed quite inconvenient as I was trying to shield my partner from the rain as he tried to lead a Bible study to eleven 5th and 6th grade boys from the neighborhood at a local park. We soon had to give up and take cover under the trees and then the shade tent. Soon I was hanging on to the poles of the shade tent with other Belize Camping Experience counselors to keep it from blowing away. But after the rain let up, we were able to complete the Bible study and enjoy some fun games in the park before dismissing the kids early because of the rain.

But reflecting on how things went, I believe God redeemed today when grumpiness and short fuses could have prevailed. Before the Belize Camping Experience in the afternoon, one of the contractors renovating the guest/pastor's home on the church premises complained that we sent him no helpers in the morning. It was because of a miscommunication that we thought he needed no helpers. But the overcast late afternoon was perfect for sanding wood and doing other tasks. After the rain, it was cool, overcast, shaded, and dehumidified. Plus, almost all of us the short term missions team was working together in the late afternoon just as almost all of us were going through the neighborhood to publicize today's children's park activities in the morning. This would not have happened if we were split up in the morning between construction and publicity. We did better working together because of the miscommunication and the rain.

I'll share one more experience that didn't happen today... hope that's ok. Yesterday, as I was preparing the sermon that I would deliver next Sunday at Belize church, I couldn't help but smile as I was working in a room where some where sharing, others were playing games, and all of us were fellowshipping. It was way better than working in a coffee shop. Personal space may be overrated. As I write this blog, people are deeply sharing and others are worshiping. But beyond bonding ourselves, I know we are building bridges between the locals, the churches, and our Lord Jesus. The churches here in Belize can use our encouragement and the people here are so open to checking out what Christians have to offer. Hope some of you come next year!

                                                                                                            In Christ Alone,

                                                                                                            David Huang

Prayer Requests:
1. That it doesn't rain tomorrow during VBS, so that the kids can concentrate on the program and the gospel.
2. The team sharing the Gospel (with the Wordless Books) and sharing our testimonies with the kids. Pray that the students will be well receptive to the testimonies as well as the gospel, that the team will share and connect well.
3. Pray that we will get good rest, have enough energy for VBS and be safe for tomorrow's construction work 
4. Protection of health and from spiritual attacks that have been happening to the team.
5. Continued harmony and unity in the team in the face of unexpected events.
6. A local Chinese couple being visited by part of the team. Pray for their growth.
7. Opportunities observed to meet and reach Chinese people in the marketplace.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Dia Tres: 7/11/16 with Samuel and Jonah

            Construction, mosquitoes and sandflies oh my!

Hello! This is Samuel Yang and Jonah Hanoj.

At 8:00 am, Uncle Craig commissioned two groups to go door to door, handing out flyers to raise awareness about the VBS. Diverting from the main road, my group split between people who wore blue (Jared, Wendy, and Jonah) and people who didn’t wear blue (Chi Ping, Minister David, and Samuel Yang) and each groups walked down the opposite side of the intersection.  In total, the group reached more than 40 people.  Overall, both groups found it quite strange how friendly and open the people were, because “neither of us could imagine in the US stopping a stranger from closing their car door to tell them about a VBS,” Minister David claimed. In direct parallel to Caleb Yang’s experience, Jonah managed to hold a two-minute conversation in Spanish with an exclusively Spanish speaking family.

VBS was the bulk of the afternoon.  Julia and Uncle Craig both said, “The day went faster than I expected it to be.” 55 kids showed up at this year’s vacation bible school, and contrary to last year, the ratio between counselors to kids were nearly 1:2.  The theme for this year’s VBS is “Unshackled”.  The kids were divided into groups by age; little chisels (3-5), chainbreakers (5-8), liberators (9-10), and freedom fighters (11+).  “The kids were quite well behaved; better than the kids at LGCC’s VBS”, the Yang brothers and Jessie said. Jonah had an exceptional bonding experience; at first he wanted to be a liberator-group counselor with Jared.  But while roles were being assigned, he felt called to be a chainbreaker-group counselor instead.  He immediately bonded with the three boys he was assigned to: Jason, Elijah, and Kumar.  He bonded so quickly that he was giving Elijah piggyback rides ten minutes into the VBS, and eventually gave out hugs freely and constantly.

After VBS we had a debriefing to debrief the entire day.

Thanks for all the prayers that you have been sending us! We appreciate the thought you have given us all!

Prayer Requests:
-Mr. Leung’s son Louis is going to find a job in the US.  Pray for his application process and so that he can find a job
-Pray that the counselor will work together.  Currently, the separation between the BCE group, LGCC group, and Mennonites/Belizean group is recognizable.

-Jonah Hanoj feels that his defensive nature is being town down as a result of the unshackled VBS.  An incident in specific caused him to feel as if his position and integrity as a counselor was being tested.  However, after talking to Uncle Craig and having personal reflection, he felt his defensive attitude chip away slowly.  Please pray!  This just might be the breakthrough.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Dia Dos: 7/10/16 with Mei

Day 2 – Sunday, July 10, 2016

            Our second day in Belize was pretty relaxing and full of worship and sermons. We got up to eat breakfast at 7:30 am and filled our empty stomachs with scrambled eggs, toast, cereal, and bananas. Afterwards, we got ready to head to Lakeside First Baptist Church – the lively church the Belize team visits every year. Just as I remember from last year, the worship was as spirited and energetic as ever. I actually got a bit of a headache because I was in the second row and the speakers were blasting right in front of my face. Anyway, Pastor Rocke delivered a message on how we have an obligation as Christians to reach out to people around the world. We weren’t the only visitors the church had – an American team from Kentucky was also visiting to evangelize and play sports. We got to talk to regulars as well as interact with other foreigners.
            After church in the morning, we headed back to headquarters to rest up until our next activity at two. We ate a light lunch of chicken noodle soup and either napped or played basketball outside. At two we headed upstairs for BCCC’s service. Members from BCE lead worship and Uncle Craig gave a sermon on being fruit-bearers. It was a nice surprise because the founder of BCCC visited with his wife and daughter from Alabama and told us the story of how the church was founded. Afterwards, we had a huge potluck dinner with everyone who attended service and got to talk to BCCC youth members as well as more BCE members and the Alabamans. After dinner we chilled and hung out with each other. BCCC and LGCC youth were doing silly things like arm-wrestling each other having thumb wars and doing push-up challenges. Once the BCCC youth left, everyone kinda went off and did their own thing – some were napping yet again others were jamming upstairs and still others were talking and preparing for vbs.
            At around eight we gathered together for a short nighttime worship and reflection time as well as planning for the next day. We sang Man of Sorrows, How He Loves, and Heart of Worship to set the mood for discussion. We went around in a circle sharing our individual experience and perspectives of the day. For example, Joe had gone on a walk on his own and was able to talk to local Chinese grocery store owners and ask them to come to BCCC and Pastor Dave and Uncle Craig had an eye-opening conversation with a BCE member Oshain who has a big heart for the people of Belize City and was sharing his concerns for the city and expressing feelings of discouragement because of the poor condition of the city.
            We would really appreciate it if you guys could pray for our health, protection from mosquito bites since we will be out in the park tomorrow (WHICH IS FILLED WITH MOSQUITOS AND SANDFLEAS AND ANTS), good sleep and good dreams, and high attendance rate at our vbs. It’s only ten pm but it’s bedtime! Goodnight~
                                                Peace and love,