July 4, 2013

It’s Happy Time!

Bramalea 2013 HANDS Team:

Just after we de-planed in Belize City and we walked out the door of the terminal building into the heat and brightness of the Belizean sun, I quickly saw the smile of a familiar face as Pastor Mario Ku was there to meet us – our trip had truly begun!

While it has taken me several days to start to put it all together, that happy smiling face was the first part of an emerging theme that seems to be permeating our time in Belize this year.

As we loaded our luggage into the bus and set out for the hour long trip up the Northern Highway to Orangewalk, I just happened to snap a picture out of the bus window of a Coca-Cola billboard that summed it all up quite nicely – “No passport needed to be happy – It’s happy time!”

It’s great to be able to return to Belize and to be re-united with Principal Ruth Ku and her husband Pastor Mario and their son Aziel and daughter Rumari. Our travel day on Sunday June 30th had started at 4:30 a.m. in the Toronto Airport and after a slight delay during our layover in Miami, it was now 4:30 p.m. local time and we were just nicely settled into our rooms at the hotel.  Shortly after that, we assembled under the little gazebo at the hotel which we again have adopted as our board room/fellowship hall/dining area. It’s called the “Terraza Feliz” which (according to Google Translate) means “Happy Terrace”!

One of our team members had volunteered to lead our study times in the evenings when we gather for times of singing, prayer and bible study. We are looking at the Beatitudes/Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. The first thing that we looked at was what the word “blessed” means. One of the team shared that they had once learned that it was “being happy in your soul”.  Another shared a quote that they had heard it described “To be satisfied as God is satisfied”.

To be happy, to be satisfied – isn’t that something that we all desire?

As we have returned to Belize this year, I was very quickly reminded about how much happiness I was surrounded by. The people that we come in contact with each day seem to have deep joy even though they don’t have all the things or opportunities that I think I need (or at least western society has conditioned me to believe that I do.)

The writing of Paul in Philippians 4: 11b-13 says:

“. . . 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.

 In the Vacation Bible School (VBS) program that we are helping to run we are teaching the kids about Moses and through his story imparting five simple but powerful truths: God loves me, God calls me, God saves me, God guides me and God cares for me. In a recent message I heard, the pastor reminded us that Jesus is the hero of every story in the bible and Paul tells us the secret of being content in every situation – “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

A co-worker at my office often passes by my door and sees me staring into my computer banging out another e-mail or working on some project or problem and obviously “the joy of Lord” is not showing on my face because she constantly reminds me “Smile Paul!.” That’s always a painful, yet helpful reminder for me that as a Christian, I need to work on my happy attitude all the time, everywhere I go. It shouldn’t be that hard!??

In remember being struck by the joy that I encountered in the people that I met when I first came to Belize last year, and I’m very grateful to be able to return this year to serve again with our team from Bramalea Baptist Church. Hopefully, I can do a better job of learning my lesson this year, so that as our time hear draws to a close and I return home, I can remember that God is with me all the time, wherever I go, so  “No passport needed to be happy”.

- Prepared by Paul Davidson

Comments:

Tim
EduDeo Staff
Jul 4, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Great reminder Paul. Well written! Thanks for serving and being a blessing at New Life again! Give my greeting to Ruth.

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