January 7, 2016

What is your only comfort?

Barrie 2016 HANDS Team:

Today was hot.  We accomplished a lot today:  more wiring, we mixed concrete and poured the window sills, installed door frames and installed door frames.  We also had a lot of fun with the students during recess, class time, and soccer after school.  Did we mention it was hot?  It was not the most comfortable weather for working.  We were very grateful for any breeze or work in the shade.  You can be sure that we were looking forward to a shower when we returned to our lodgings.

Our showers in Belize are generally somewhere between lukewarm and very cold-not the most comfortable experience.  The toilets in our lodgings do not seem to have the most robust plumbing – and the school uses outhouses.  These are contrasts to some of the comforts of home that we reflected on during our devotions this evening.  We realized just how easy it was to consider our hosts to be poor because they do not have access to these comforts also.  It is equally easy-and dangerous-for us to consider ourselves superior to them because we have access to these comforts. 

Our passage this evening was from 1st Peter Chapter 1 where we read that material wealth is irrelevant to our salvation, but that our salvation is only achieved only through the sacrifice Jesus made.  We don't need our wealth and comfort for salvation, and the Belizeans we are working alongside also do not need our comforts for their salvation.

'Comfort' is loaded word for Christians of a Reformed background.  We are taught from the Heidelberg Catechism: our only comfort, in life and in death, is that we belong, body and soul, to our faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.  This is true for Canadians and Belizeans alike, for those with material wealth, and for those without.  In God’s eyes, we are equal.  Thinking about 'comfort' and Q&A 1 form the Heidelberg Catechism takes on a whole new meaning when we realize that we might not need some of the comforts we have so easily adapted to back home.  

There is nothing inherently sinful or wrong about the comforts we have at home, just so long as they do not take priority over wholeheartedly following Christ and His will for our lives.  You can bet that we are looking forward to nice warm showers back home, but we are all determined to do the work set out before us in Belize first.  Even though we may not always be the most comfortable, there is great joy in doing the work here!


Jan 7, 2016 at 11:00 pm

Thank you Steven for posting the blog. The internet is slow but your patience is appreciated.

Gerda and Henk
Jan 7, 2016 at 11:27 pm

Hello All,

Good to be able to catch up with you and that you are well. Interesting about learning about the Belize way of doing concrete work and their gracious way of teaching. Never too old to learn.

We think of you and keep you in our prayers for continued ability to do the work and safe keeping.


Gerda and Henk

Wilma Luth
Jan 8, 2016 at 12:54 am

It's so good to read about the work you're doing and all you've been experiencing and learning!

Jan 8, 2016 at 9:02 am

Thank you for the updates! Looks like a very good painting job - don't see too much on the floors :o) Thankful that even though its hot, your working out of the sun!

We will continue to pray for your safety and the opportunities that God has placed before you!

Jan 8, 2016 at 3:36 pm

It's so exciting to hear what you're learning! Thanks for sharing - it's essential for those of us not able to experience these triths first hand in this way!

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