Friday, March 13, 2015

Today was our final day with the girls at Y.E.S. (Youth Enhancement Services).  We took them on a field trip to Banana Bank where we got to enjoy time with them through horseback riding and swimming. It has been an amazing week seeing the changes in them Tuesday through today. It has been beautiful to see them blossom as Christ in us was revealed during a great bonding time of fellowship and singing throughout the car ride to the resort. The friendships and the trust that has been born between the girls and our team has grown and has made us into a unified family.

In the same way, we got to socialize with the girls while we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Banana Bank. Salad, rice, and yet again, chicken (something very popular here) brought us together with laughs and enjoyment. Afterwards we finished up our time there with some Marco-Polo in the pool and splish-splashing!

As closure came today, we could see the impact we had made on their lives as hugs were given, pictures were taken, and tears were falling.

We know this isn't goodbye, but a "see you again."

Tomorrow morning we head out to St. George's Caye to spend some time processing this week and how we have experienced God at work in and through us.  Continue to pray for the team as we spend this final time together.  

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Today was an amazing day at YES (Youth Enhancement Services).  It was wonderful to be able to see the girls open up as relationships build and barriers begin to break down.

We began our day with praise and worship. On Wednesday, Lisa shared with the girls the story of Mary, mother of Jesus. She did an incredible job highlighting Mary's struggles with loneliness, tough circumstances and how to handle struggles. She gave a passionate invitation for the girls to receive the gift of salvation.  On Thursday, Laura shared on the woman at the well and how we are all seen as the same in Jesus eyes. The highlight of the morning was when she shared a part of her faith story encouraging each of the girls that each one of us can identify in some way with this woman.

Following the devotion time, the team passed out Bibles to each one of the girls and spent one on one time in prayer over the Bible and for them. You could definitely see how the Holy Spirit interceded and one girl made the step of accepting Christ into her heart today.

In the arts and crafts, Mimi, Isobel, Gayle and Michelle finished helping the girls sew all of their bags and the girls were so excited to be able to put their Bibles inside them to take home. While Colton, Hailey, Ann Marie and Oghosa painted t-shirts for the girls to wear on our field trip to Banana Bank tomorrow.

Zachery , Johnathan and Caroline worked diligently in the scorching heat to just about complete the chicken coop for the YES school. They have named themselves the official "COOP GROUP".

We are looking forward to a great day on our field trip to Banana Bank tomorrow!

Please pray over the following:

On Friday 3/13 – pray for the team, the girls and the staff at YES as we travel to Banana Bank for a field trip. The girls will have an opportunity to swim or perhaps even ride a horse. Pray for continued friendships between the team and the girls and staff. During this time away from school, pray that they will feel God’s presence in the fun day.  Pray that they will enjoy the day and not feel weighed down by their current troubles.

P.S.  We will add pictures as Wifi and time allows!  Keep checking back for more updates.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Today was our first day at Youth Enhancement Services (YES).  It was so wonderful to see familiar faces and reconnect with the staff and some of the returning girls! 

Each day we begin with a time of praise and worship followed by a devotion.  This week we are focusing the devotion time on sharing the stories of three women in the Bible: Eve, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the Woman at the Well.  This morning Isobel told the story of Eve.  Following her storytelling we broke into small groups and discussed Eve's decision and how it ultimately changed the world. 

Following the worship and devotion time with girls we began two of the projects for the week.  Mimi is leading the sewing project and the girls are learning to make small book bag.  These bags are the perfect size to hold and carry their very own Bible, which will be a gift at the end of the week. 

Colton lead the canvas painting activity which allowed the girls a time of creativity and fellowship. 

Our construction project for this week is to build a chicken coup.  Today we got the plot laid out and the frames constructed.

Tomorrow we return to YES and Lisa will be leading the devotion story on Mary the Mother of Jesus.

On Wednesday 3/11 – pray for fair weather so we can have the second annual kickball game!!  Pray for continued health for the team and deepening relationships with the staff of YES.  Pray that the sewing activity is going well and that the girls are encouraged by their ability to complete their own bags.

Also include a special prayer for Amybell, one of the YES students.  We learned this morning that she was shot last night and is in critical condition.    

Monday, March 9, 2015

We had a great time with the youth leaders from Pickstock church today!  They brought about 20 young people out to 8 Mile ranging in age from 5-18 years old.  It was amazing to see these young people lead the group in games, worship, Scripture reenactment and inviting neighborhood kids to join.  And all of this while dodging bouts of rain and weather that prevented kite making.  Even so, we were all moved by the passion and excitement each of these children displayed. Many of us were able to connect with the children through conversation, fun activities and worship. God is moving and working in 8 MILE and it was very clear today.

Lisa with children from Pickstock Church

Jonathan with children from Pickstock Church

Isobel with children from Pickstock Church

Dancing with the Pickstock church young people in 8 Mile
 Tomorrow we head to Youth Enhancement Services!  We are excited to reconnect with the girls we met last year and meet the new students attending the school.  Please keep the following in your prayers:

On Tuesday 3/10 – pray for open minds and hearts with the girls at Youth Enhancement Services (YES), pray that we will make meaningful friendships and share God’s love with the youth. Pray for the team that will be leading the girls in a study of Women in the Bible.  Pray for barriers to be lowered and free and open communication between the groups.  Pray for the team as they begin construction of the chicken coups.

We have some great pictures and will continue try to add them as WiFi signal allows!
We made it to Belize!!

Yesterday turned out to be a little more eventful than we expected.  Our connecting flight out of Houston was delayed two hours due to mechanical issues.  We landed in Belize a little after 5 PM, which meant it was no longer possible to make it to church in time.  So we got settled in at Old Belize, our lodging for the week, had dinner and a brief worship time with our team before calling it a day.

Today we are meeting with some youth leaders from Pickstock church for a day of outreach activities in the community known as 8 Mile (or Western Paradise).  Pickstock is a kids church in Belize City and it's attendees are all children and youth from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city.  This church of children and youth has been praying over and lead to begin reaching out to another community, Western Paradise (we know it as 8 Mile).  The connections here are all God orchestrated as The Word at Work has been focusing on  the 8 Mile community for a couple of years and has been praying over leadership that can establish a church in the area.  And now Pickstock and their pastor Phillipa are doing just that!  They began going door to door in 8 Mile in early February and have since outgrown two buildings for church attendance!

You may specifically pray for the following –
On Monday 3/9 – strength and perseverance as we support an event in the neighborhood at 8 Mile with children; pray we are able to share God’s love with the children
Also pray that the rain will lapse between 10AM 1PM so the activities can actually happen!  It is raining now as I type!

Check in again later today for more updates.  Lord willing we will try to post something each day.