January 2, 2012

We have arrived

Barrie HANDS Team:

God is good!  We've made it safe and sound to Belize with a hearty welcome by Pastor Benson and his big hugs and contagious smile.

The day began at 2am with thirteen groggy team members collecting the their gear and stepping into a cold Simcoe night.  We drove down in two vehicles, and with thanks to our drivers Corrie and Jack we made it safe and sound to Pearson airport by 4. 

We're thankful the flights went well, having stopped in Atlanta before touching down in Belize City.  We left Ontario on the heels of a Canadian snow storm and arrived to a muggy tropical rainshower.  The flowers and palms are beautiful, owing to all the rain they get (as I write half of our team is caught in it - out on a long walk!) 

Sadly, one piece of luggage didn't make it here, but we're all pitching in to help Cor with what he's missing.  While he filled in forms at the airport we drove around the arrivals circle in the bus again and again because the persistent security gaurds kept hastling Pastor Benson out of one spot after another.  We had a good laugh because he kept trying to park in new places to avoid them - but a big yellow bus is hard to hide.  The irony was that not a single plane had arrived since us, making the need to enforce the 'rule' a real joke. 

When the luggage paperwork was done we enjoyed a tour of Belize City, including a stop for late lunch.  We  quickly noticed the differences in culture.  For some of us experiencing it for the first time, or the first time in while, it was helpful to talk it over together.  We stopped at the school we'll help to build, which is an amazing testimony to the grace of God!  It's beside the Presbyterian church, located in the center of a large swamp.  Many houses have sprung up through the lowland, and the need for a local school is clear. 

We met the Belizean contractors who have been working there.  It was exciting to see their progress and hear their plan for the work.  A major job will be bending and tying the re-bar for beams to support the second-story roof.  We'll have pictures to show in near future!

We wrapped up the day settling into Pastor Benson and Carolyn's home.  The men are in one room and the women in an adjacent one.  Rest assured, we'll appreciate our sleep tonight!


Sarah Smith
Jan 2, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Tom and I are so glad that you have arrived safely. We will be praying for the HANDS team during your time in Belize and we trust that God will use each of you as you work in His kingdom. Blessings to you all!

Jan 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Good news that you have all arrived safely. You made it out just in time as we shovel a good 15cm and more to come. Have a good night's rest.

Jan 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

WOW Do you know when to leave !!! We have had a foot of snow since 9.00 am !!! Thankful that you have all arrived safely !!

Jan 2, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Glad to hear you all arrived safely! Hoping and praying you have a restful night and a great first day tomorrow!

Jen, Rachel, Taya & Kayla
Jan 2, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Thankful to hear you arrived safely! We are praying for you and the work you will be doing there.

Jan 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Great to hear that your team arrived safely and departing ahead of our first snowstorm of the year!

We uphold your team in our prayers. Looking forward to seeing your progress.

Cheryl, Nikki & Sydney
Jan 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm

We too are glad to hear of your safe arrival and will continue to pray for safety on the worksite. Have a good sleep, sounds like you'll need it for your day ahead tomorrow!

Rennie, Tyler, Leah, Ryan, & Matthew
Jan 2, 2012 at 10:42 pm

We are glad to hear of your safe arrival and have been thinking about your progress all day. Enjoy the warm weather and we are praying for God to guide you as your serve his people.

David, Rachel, Jillian, and Ryan
Jan 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Glad to hear you all made it safely! We are praying that your first day of work will go without a hitch and that things will run smoothly. All the best, as you made a huge different in God's earthly home! :)

Pastor Mike, Jeanne, Kate, Jon and Alex
Jan 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

We are praying for you and the community you are serving in Belize. Keep the posts coming. It is great to see the porgress and read of your work.

John and Janis Van Dyke
Jan 5, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Glad to hear you arrived safely. May God bless your work in Belize, both on the school and in the hearts of the people.

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