Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 FPCA Belize March Trip Pictures

It's been a month since our Belize team returned from our week long mission trip, and we've finally been able to sort through the almost 2,000 pictures that were taken during out time there (don't worry we're not posting all 2,000!). We wanted to take a moment and share some of the pictures and stories with you, starting with early Saturday morning, March 13th when we left from DFW airport.

It was early for a Saturday morning when our trip began- we met at the airport at 6:15 am. But, we were excited and ready to go!

We had a short layover in Houston, just enough time to eat an early lunch, and then before we knew it we were in Belize!

Our work week didn't officially begin until Saturday. The church service we would be attending was not until Sunday evening, so we had Sunday morning free. There were several different choices of activities and part of our group went to go see Moises. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Moises story, he is truly a living and walking miracle. Last year in March when our team was in Belize, one night during dinner, Tim Tam of the Word at Work announced that there was a young boy named Moises who was in the hospital and asked if anyone wanted to go with him to meet and pray for him.

Sophie agreed and went with Tim, and what they saw was a little boy struggling to live. Moises had been injured in the early part of January. He had fallen out of his stepfather's logging truck, and had been crushed by one of the logs, leaving him with massive internal injuries. Pieces of his intestines were missing, what was of his intestines were no longer attached to his other major organs, and during his last operation, the surgeons hadn't been able to close him up, so his abdomen was completely exposed. His only hope of survival was to go to the States for medical treatment.

The team began to pray and make connect with doctors and hospitals in the States. And within two weeks Moises was being transported to Amarillo, TX for medical treatment. The short version of a very long story is that Moises is now back in Belize, a normal, healthy boy.

For those team members who had met him in 2009 and who visited him in Amarillo it was an amazing gift to be able to see him in Belize.

Scot captured him reciting Psalm 1 on video.

This is Beth of the Word at Work holding Lisa, Moises' newest little sister (she is named Lisa after Tim Tam's wife).

Moises showing off his scar.

Part of our team with Moises.

Moises, his mom, and all of his brothers and sisters.

We had taken the whole family to get ice cream. And when we got back, we had a few minutes to play. Scot and Jerry took out an American football and introduced Moises and his brothers to the sport.

That evening we went to worship at Trinity Church. It was the same church where we ate dinner every night. And Pastor Ruth, the only pastor at the church, is also on staff at Youth Enhancement Services, where we spent most of our time during the week.

Monday morning our work week began. The majority of us went to Youth Enhancement Services in Lord's Bank (right out side of Belize City). The Lord's Bank campus of Youth Enhancement Services is a school for 20-25 girls who for whatever reason can't keep up in traditional schools. Most of them come from broken homes. Some live in children's homes. Many come from abusive situations.

This first picture shows two of their classroom/office buildings. Our job was to paint the one of the left and double the size of the one on the right.

We also spent time with the girls of YES, working with them on their crafts, getting to know them.

The first thing we did everyone morning was open the day with a devotional.

And then it was time to get to work....

This is Pastor Ruth, the pastor of Trinity church. And she comes to work with the girls of YES every Monday and Thursday. But, because we were there, she was there every day. In this picture, Sophie is presenting her with a new capacitor for a sewing machine. The week before the capacitor in one of her sewing machines had burned out and she had been carrying the old one around in her purse hoping for a miracle and that she would be able to find a new one. Thanks to Bill and Sue Perry from FPCA, a new one was purchased in Texas and brought to Belize. Pastor Ruth was so excited to see it!

Monday afternoon, part of the group left YES to go help with several other projects - so we loaded into one of our 15 passenger vans to head out towards Belmopan.

We dropped off part of the group at Kings Children's Home (one of the only Christian orphanages in the country of Belize), so they could have time loving on the kids.

The rest of the group headed to unload a container. West Texas A&M had donated close to 400 desks to be used by the children of Belize. To see the story of the donation go here:
We had the privilege of getting to unload the desks on this end. It was a tiring assignment, but actually a lot of fun!

As I was describing our Monday's activities I mentioned that most of us went to YES. Scot and Jerry, however, had gone to BERT (Belize Emergency Response Team). Monday they did a training for the people at BERT and Tuesday they were able to work alongside of the people of BERT and do a training for people in the community.

On Tuesday, the rest of us returned to YES for another day of construction and working with the girls.

The building had been primed so now it was time to start painting.

I was very impressed with Mackenzie and some of the girls from Lubbock. We were working on putting up the scaffolding. But, instead of waiting, they just created their own...

There are a lot of things to adjust to when you're in another culture. And one of the things that Mackenzie and Hannah found particularly surprising was that milk didn't always come in a cartoon but came in a box (and was right next to the cereal!).

That night, our group went off apart from the Lubbock group and had dinner on our own. Usually at night we debriefed and worshipped as a big group (Arlington and Lubbock together). But for one night we decided to just have some Arlington time - was good to connect and to relax for a bit together).

We did have one special guest come with us that night, Yvette, the person in charge of BERT. It was great to hear more about what Scot and Jerry were doing since we didn't get to see them during the day.

By Wednesday you could tell there was definitely progress being made on the education classroom!

And we were having a great time in our morning devotions with the girls!

We did something special that morning - we started the day by praying for the girls and the staff of YES.

And then we had a "field day." The girls had been given permission to wear pants instead of their traditional uniforms, and so we spent the morning playing soccer and softball, and just running around having fun.

Scot and Jerry spent their day at the hospital and out on calls with the people of BERT.

It was time for us to put up walls on the education classroom!

Wednesday afternoon we went in a few separate directions. Sophie headed to the prison to work out a few details about the sewing ministry. Kelly, Suzie, Tony, and Mackenzie, and Tony went to help unload another container.

Some of the students who would be receiving the desks came to help unload and were so excited to see their new desks!

After they finished unloading the container they stopped by the Valley of Peace on the way home. There was a group from Amarillo at the Valley of Peace, and so they stopped by to see what they were working on.

While the four of them were at the Valley and Sophie was at the prison, Scot, Jerry, Michelle, and Jennifer, headed to the Burial Grounds to see where we had worked last year and visit some of the kids we had developed relationships with.

Wednesday night Sophie and two of the other youth leaders (Seth director from Westminster Pres in Lubbock and Mick the Youth Pastor from Hobbs, NM) from the trip had a unique opportunity. They were invited to go lead a youth workers training. It was a very successful event, and it was decided they would come back on Friday night, and do a more in depth four hour training for anyone who was interested.

On Thursday, Scot and Jerry joined us at YES. And they were very needed as Thursday was the day we were putting on the roof!

It was also the day we were helping (and learning how to) the girls make paper).

Also on Wednesday, Kelly, Suzie, and Michelle had the opportunity to travel out to the prison to be a part of a worship service in the rehabilitation unit. Unlike last year, there was never a time we were allowed to bring camera in to the prison.

One thing I have failed to mention is that in addition to building relationships with the girls at YES, we also developed relationships with many of the young kids who lived around the YES campus (especially the two kids who lived next door).

This is a picture (though not a very good one) of some of the group waiting for our nightly debrief/worship time to start. We spent some time singing, and then sharing about how we had seen God at work that day and week.

Friday, we once again went in a few different directions. Jerry and Scot headed back to BERT to lead a mass casualty training and to go out on calls. Sophie and Michelle headed to the YES to help finish things up on the classroom building. In this next picture you will see tin being loaded into a trailer. It was material that was taken off the old building that was no longer needed. We were able to donate that material to a widow who lived in Belize City to use for her house.

The rest of the group had the opportunity to take the girls on a field trip to Lamani. Though Belize is not a large country, many of the girls never have an opportunity to travel within the country.

At the end of the day, the building was complete (fully wired and ready to use!). Kenny Logan, the construction manager for the Word at Work was all smiles!

That night to thank us for our time, the women of the church made us a turkey feast - a true celebration in their culture!

Sophie, Mick, and Seth had their second youth leader training, and twice as many people showed up as they had anticipated!

It was an amazing evening of teaching, worship, fellowship, and small group sharing.

Also in the same building that night (and actually each night that week) was a sewing co-op. The idea was to teach basic sewing skills to women. And it brought people to the church who would otherwise never step foot inside a church.

Saturday we had some free time to relax and debrief as a group. Tony spoiled us by making pizza for us (though it took a little bit of time to find the right ingredients that would work).

It was a great team and a great trip. It was humbling to be a part of what God is doing in Belize!