This is a semi-brief summary of our trip to Belize:
Nineteen of us went from The River to Belize Jan 6th -15th, 2010. We were able to frame, side and roof a kitchen for Toledo Christian Academy (see www.TCABelize.com) on an existing slab. We were able to DIG over 300 feet of ditches to provide water run-off so that roads on the TCA campus are not spoiled. Turned up a few critters (just tarantulas)! We were able to PAY all construction costs (over $4000) through financial gifts AND building those costs into the funds each person provided. Four people participated in medical work via a village clinic and also going to remote villages where medical help is scarce.
We established GREAT rapport with kids, teachers and staff at TCA (about 100 there total) through playing volleyball and soccer with the kids, conversations, etc. It was clear to them that we were there to serve and love them through our work and through God's love expressed.
We were able to carry tons of sands and 1000 cinder blocks up to the third floor (not a typo) of the LOL orphanage (see www.LOLMinistry.com). The temps the first day was in the 90's! While there, we had incredible worship and teaching and prayer together each day in the mornings and evenings. God visited many of us in very powerful and meaningful ways.
We had a lot of fun snorkeling in the Cayes: we swam with giant sea turtles, manta rays and had the experience of our lives.
We went caving at Blue Creek, an amazing system of caves that goes for DAYS with water running through.
I and a few others had a conversation with a witch-doctor who is an influential elder in a mayan village. he told us that he wants to confess his sins and give his life over to Jesus. I kid you not it about threw me off my rock! I told him, 'now is a fine time to do that' but he hesitated, telling us that he felt more comfortable doing that as a part of a three-day process. I understood later from another local Belizean who knows him, that this is because there are many in that village who practice such sorcery and 'bush magic' which also include animal sacrifices and other such rituals. So the elder's suggestion that this be more elaborate of a process was wise. I told him that when we're back we would like to work with him (with the support of other Belizean Christians) to walk through that process, if they don't walk through that beforehand. Please pray for him (Cervi) and his village at Blue Creek, and pray for us again as we return and see him first thing!
and much more ...
We gave a presentation on Sunday at The River about what God did and we had over 23 people sign up that day, interested in coming on the next trip (May 14-21 tentatively). On that trip we will be holding a soccer camp from 1-4pm (that is the high point of their soccer season in Belize, a very important national sport for them), providing $2500 US for a soccer FIELD, God-willing, providing at least 10 computers for a computer lab (with wireless internet/networking), among other things.
WE NEED MANY DIFFERENT GIFTS FROM JUST PLAIN SERVING (SNACKS, ETC) TO SPORTS, TO WORKING WITH KIDS, TO DOING ODD JOBS (LIGHT CONSTRUCTION) TO COMPUTERS ... SO IF YOU HAVE A GIFT WE CAN USE IT! CONSIDER COMING IN MAY!
Here is a link to LOTS of pictures: www.theriver.smugmug.com
Here is a link to a powerpoint slideshow (five minutes short): http://www.megaupload.com/?d=5BJJ5SXV
you have to wait for 40 seconds to download by clicking 'regular download' (under premium download)
Sola Dei Gloria