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Thursday, May 10, 2012

One body, many parts 1 comment

Our Team:

I Corinthians 12: 4-6.  There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

Today was a great day for reflection. We had lots of time to think while traveling to San Pedro Island and back.  Our devotions were very fitting for our last night together as we considered how we have come together as a group over the past ten days, how we each bring to the team different gifts, and how we join the body of Christ with our fellow Christians here in Belize. There is much for us to process about our trip yet over the next several weeks and months. Be sure to check in with us from time to time to find out how this trip has changed us!

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Be Imitators of Christ 2 comments

We won! We won!

That is what we heard as the softball team returned from their game this morning. Some of our team members were there to cheer them on. This is the first year that the students have sports and phys. ed. buillt into their curriculum and they are loving it.  Way to go, Unity!

The mud flinging continues, and the first coat of plaster is now on two classrooms. This plaster was mixed by hand, or shovel to be precise. And with today's heat and humidity, no one complained when the hose sprayed more than the walls!

The students held a special assembly in our honour, in order to express thanks and to show appreciation. Principal Betson used this event to affirm the value of each student, to share God's love deliberately, and to teach the students social values and etiquette. A complete education, all based on the examples found in Scripture. We see imitators of Christ at work in Belize. This evening we shared how the children and the teachers have blessed us during our time here. 

We received hand made cards from the students and we were hugged by virtually every student in the school today. wow.

(Special hello to the Hordyks - cant wait to see Peyton!)


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I can do all things 6 comments

..through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Today, our team divided into different areas of service. Tim met with the Pastors of the countrys Presbyterian churches operating the local preschools and elementary schools. He heard moving presentations and personal testimonies, and discussed the needs and priorities of schools so that future assistance can be lined up.  

Several team members assisted the students and teachers in the classrooms, and I was the substitute teacher for Standard 3 (gr 5) classroom this afternoon.

The rest of the team continued work in the new classrooms, mixing up the mortar, flinging in at the block wall (a learned skill!)  smoothing it out, and of course, continuing the clean up.

We all met back at the Betsons, where the Pastor had prepared a special barbequed dinner, complete with heart shaped decorations on the salads in honour of Dick and Betty`s anniversary. The chicken was great, but the recipe for the bbq sauce is carefully guarded.

(A special greeting to the Bootsma families back home. Looking forward to seeing you soon - in 4 sleeps!)


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Monday, May 7, 2012

He leads me beside quiet waters 2 comments

Since the team worked all day Saturday, staying late to see the concrete pour completed, they were treated to a special day in the Jaguar Park today. There they hiked up trails and rode down the mountain river in rubber tubes, entering and exploring vast caves along the way. A perfect way to escape the 95 degree heat of the day!

I had the honour of spending the day in a grade two classroom, assisting the teacher there. It is amazing to see the universality of children and education across the countries.  (Did you know that students need to answer in complete sentences here too?) Kids are the same everywhere: some are quiet, some are quick, some are wiggly, and some are struggling. The community consists of many immigrants from other parts of Belize or nearby countries, so some students are ESL, just learning English as their second language.  Large classes (29!) and varied learning needs require lots of patience and energy – and God has blessed this class with Miss Vernon. The best part of the day was listening to the children recite Scripture verses from memory – written on the tablets of their hearts - so beautiful. I am so happy to support Christian education in this place; building a school is so much more than constructing the building.








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