March 12, 2014

It's hard to believe our trip has come to an end.

Waterdown Family HANDS Team:

We are in the last leg of our journey home now.  We're hoping we can reach Toronto before midnight because if we don't we will have to land in Detroit and stay the night there with no suitcases!  Let's hope for the best.

I'd like to share with you the events of the last few days. 
Monday was a regular work day for us.  It was a holiday for the students but a number of students, parents, board members and alumni of the school came to help for the day.  It is such a pleasure to work alongside the Belzians and hear about their lives and have the opportunity to share a bit about our lives in Canada. With some, we can also hear about their faith life.  Naomi, one of the students, shared how she just couldn't  understand how
anyone could believe that we evolved from monkeys. All you had to do was look around to know that wasn't true.  Gladimer, a younger student, happily chatted with the boys. His big grin was infectious.

Because it was a holiday we were able to paint some of the classrooms which gave them a
much needed lift. There was also a lot of mixing concrete and the pouring of the concrete for the shot-put platform.

We finished work early on Tuesday as we had a farewell assembly planned.  Andrea and Sara had spent some time preparing a 'Canada Trivia' game along with a slide show of pictures and videos of Canada. The students did very well with the quiz and seemed to enjoy the pictures especially the ones showing all the snow. We sang some songs together
in English and Spanish. It is very touching to hear the voices of all the students and our new friends rising together in songs of praise to God.  Moments like these give us a glimpse of how big God and His church is.

After the quiz and pictures we taught the students the song 'Love Jive' in a two part round, accompanied by Zachary on his djembe drum.  We also performed the English and French
version of our national anthem.  Dave finished up our part of the assembly by reading our theme text of Colossians 3:12-14 which tells us to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and to above all put on love. Just before Dave closed in prayer, Rebecca sang the Michael Card song that puts the blessing "The Lord bless you and keep you, The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace" to song. Her sweet voice and beautiful words resulted in some major applause!  That will be a moment she won't soon forget.

Before we were dismissed, Ms Carman said a few words of thanks that were touching and
heartfelt. She emphasized that God created us to serve and that our team was a beautiful example of that. We also received lots of homemade thank you cards from the students. As we left the building the whole student body, staff and team gathered together for a group photo with a huge banner that read "Thank you. Gracias". Lots of goodbyes and hugs were exchanged and more pictures were taken. It was a wonderful way to end our time at
Cornerstone!

I had a conversation with Ms Carman after the assembly that really summed up why
Cornerstone is important and needs to be supported. In an earlier blog post, we mentioned that Cornerstone was a school that accepted students that other schools didn't want and that there were quite a few students with academic and behavioural challenges. Ms.  Carman has taught in many other schools and said that this has been her toughest job yet but it's also where her heart is the fullest. It is where she feels she is doing the most good and making a difference for kids who might never have the opportunity to advance themselves with a better education and to have the opportunity to hear about God. This is
why Edudeo's partnership with Cornerstone is so important and why our team hopes to continue to provide them with funds to finish all the painting.

Our last supper meal in Belize was hosted by the Zantingh family. We could reflect on our week, ask more questions and enjoy fellowship with each other. Again, we felt privileged to be invited into someone's home and were appreciative of their hospitality. At breakfast this morning we did our final devotional together and asked the kids to put their hands up if  they'd like to come back or do another mission trip together. All 9 hands eagerly shot up.  The Lord willing, we're hoping this will not be our last Edudeo trip!!!!

It's hard to believe our trip has come to an end.   We are so very thankful for this  opportunity to serve and to be served. We were told that we were a blessing to the Cornerstone community and we certainly felt blessed by them.  God is good and His work and gathering of His church humbles us!  We enjoyed this service opportunity and would highly recommend this type of trip for other families!

Sara and Andrea

Comments:

Klaas
Mar 13, 2014 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for sharing your experiences and feelings with us all.I am sure there are many like myself who were reminded of our own times on the mission field and felt the presence of God amongst the people we worked with. You have blessed us with your stories. A safe and happy return.

Albert
Mar 14, 2014 at 7:34 pm

Enjoyed the blog. I hope that your trip to Belize will change your lives forever. POSITIVELY OF COURSE. God is certainly good.

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