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Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 8 0 comments

Our Team:

We are nearing the end and everyone is getting tired. We had a very hot day and still a lot of concrete work to be done. We also handed out the school supplies today and the children were very excited and very thankful. It was a great time connecting with the students and teachers and seeing the joy on their faces when they received their supplies.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 9 0 comments

It was another great day in Belize. Everyone has remained healthy and accident free. Peter is doing well but he is finding that he gets tired more easily. Today we had a very large rain storm in Orange Walk and it got so loud on the third floor from the rain pelting on the metal roof that at some points you couldn't hear each other talk. We had to stop all work at that point and wait until the rain subsided which took about an hour or so. After the rain finished we really pushed to get the floor finished on the third floor and we were actually able to start painting the walls.


The floor was finished and a first coat of primer was put on in the auditorium. On Thursdays the school has a chapel meeting for about an hour and the children requested that it be held in the third floor auditorium so we worked especially hard to get it done so it could dry overnight. We have to get there early on Thursday to clean up the auditorium and remove all of the building material and move chairs up so they can have their chapel.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 10 0 comments

 Our last day was an emotional day. In the morning we had an assembly in the new auditorium where the children put on a program of singing, some dancing and some worship songs. We also got to play a part as Bev leads us in some children's worship songs. After we cut the ribbon and we were also presented with some plaques to commemorate our trip. After the assembly we got back to work to help complete a floor for another classroom, the one that Bev and Michelle had been removing tiles the week before. After lunch we cleaned up our work areas and then we had a soccer game in the field next to the school. It was a fantastic day and it was great to see their smiling faces and to hear how appreciative they were for all that had been accomplished.

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Friday, April 20, 2012

Paul Says It Best 2 comments

This will be my final blog entry made while still in Belize but surely not my last words on this experience - "Paul's First Missionary Journey" as it were.

So what am I returning home with? Well it would appear to be a pretty descent chest cold for sure but fortunately that only developed after the work was completed last night. However that's by far the least of it.
Do I have some souviners for family? Sure. Do I have lots of pictures and video footage? Obviously. A suitcase full of well worn work clothes, a few sore muscles that I didn't know I had, a closer relationships with my teammates? Yes to all of these.

And what about the work itself - do I have a feeling of satisfaction of leaving things a little bit better than the way we found them? Yes, it certainly is satisfying to see that as a rag-tag team of various ages and skills we were able to cross all the tasks off of our To Do list and even sneak in bonus work on one classroom yesterday before we left the school for the final time  - at least for this visit to Belize and New Life Presbyterian School.

However, what I'll really be taking home from Belize is me - 10 days older and with a wealth of data to process about what I have seen and heard. The most important memories will be of the people. Ruth and Mario are people who shy away from any personal praise and always give glory to God first and foremost. Regardless, their single mindedness of mission and purpose has made a powerful impact on my view of my own faith in Jesus Christ and relationship with him. Several times over the course of our stay, several have commented about how they are living their faith and mission each day and every hour of their lives. They work tirelessly for the children and the school and then served us delicious meal after meal after meal, many of them in their own home. Can I say the same of my focus on the mission that God has given me as I look at my 10-12 hour-a-day at the office, Blackberry driven life in Canada? The answer is clearly no.

These two are representative of the people we met here like Pastor Leo and Emmanuel who we worked with closely each day. Always with a smile, an active practice of thankfulness and a ready "Motivation Check" witha response of "I've got it!!".  No matter what it was, no matter what tools may or may not be at hand, or obstacles to be faced.

Coming from Canada and having spent my whole life there, I know what I have been given in terms of how God has blessed me. However, now I have a better way of better understanding it and what I need to be doing with it. Ruth said it best as we talked a ew nights ago, and it's and old expression but one that has a proper context for me now. "od doesn't give me what I want. He gives me what I need."

So, with closing memories of our trip here being the inaurgural use of the 3rd floor autidtorium for their weekly chapel session (anybody who is against prayer in schools needed to be there!!!!) what I'm left with is application in my life of what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 which has been on my Facebook Info page for a long time, but now with new context:

"11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. "


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