August 21, 2013

Looking Back on Belize

Bramalea 2013 HANDS Team:

For Gloria and me, our HANDS trip to Belize in July was our first missions trip. Yes, we'd both served in various camps, programs and ministries at home, and we'd been to the Caribbean on vacation, but this trip was different than anything we've ever experienced. We weren't there for our own pleasure - dust, dirt, sweat, strain, exhaustion and doing without luxuries wouldn't attract many tourists. Even so, we received so much.

During our first week we not only spent the mornings on construction work, but assisted with a Vacation Bible School in the afternoons at the school. I found myself very thankful for such simple pleasures as washing away the morning's grime in a shower with no showerhead or warm water, and the chance to have a short rest before the program began, lying on a hard mahogany pew.

At the VBS, Gloria and I had the fun of teaching each days' memory verses. The children were very co-operative and respectful, and had a great time participating at each of the stations. Although they are poor, they came wearing their best clothes. Many of the kids memorized all of the verses. By the Friday we had 103 participating in the afternoon's events. During the celebration service on Sunday dozens of children came forward for the first time to commit themselves to following Christ.

We came with a like-minded group of Christians from our home church, to together meet some of the needs of those at New Life Christian School. As we worked side-by-side, we experienced a bond that takes so much longer to develop at home --- our perspectives on our lives in Canada, and on serving the Lord. were given a global context --- and we were able to do for our new friends in Belize what wouldn't have been done, if we hadn't been there. We found blessing by making ourselves available to bless others.

Don Martin


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