It’s the end of day one, and it feels like we’ve been in Belize for way more than 24 hours. We all agreed tonight that it feels like we left Saskatoon about a week ago. So much has happened in a just a couple of days.
Last night we enjoyed an awesome sleep in the jungle. (well… some of us enjoyed it, while others were a little freaked out by all the bug noises). During our team debrief tonight, so many of us talked about how amazing it was to wake up in the jungle this morning. There is nothing like the jungle first thing in the morning. It really is quite charming. Bright sunshine. Incredible trees. Amazing sounds. It smells awesome. When we arrived at the base last night it was already dark (the sun sets at about 6pm every night here). So this morning was a great surprise as we got up and took it all in.
We headed to the Children’s Home after breakfast to start our work project. This year our main focus is to build a volunteer house. It’s going to be a little one bedroom wooden house, designed for long term volunteers at KCH. It’s much needed right now, because there are a few families who are volunteering at the home and living dorm style with their whole family in one little room. So this morning we arrived to see that the house has already been started. They had the floor done, and were about to finish up one wall. We got to jump right in and secure the first wall, and continue building the other three. We also have some side projects, including digging holes for posts for a cement foundation for a second house. Digging may sound like no big deal, but in Belize it’s no joke. They don’t have dirt here, they have clay. And even moving one shovel full takes a lot of effort. It was great to watch the team tackle the jobs with so much joy. Tyson had a huge smile on his face as he dug a hole all morning. Whitney discovered that she loves to smash up cement with a sledge hammer. We worked until about 4, and got a good chunk of the house exterior finished.
And then… with great anticipation… we waited for the kids to come home from school. Almost all of them arrive home at the same time. It was unbelievably fun to introduce my Canadian friends to my Belizian friends. Like… funner than I could ever even put into words. There is just some magic that happens when we get to meet these kids. It is unlike any other experience that we’ve had. It is so fun, so much laughter, so much sweating, so much hugging, so much tag, so many piggy backs. It is chaotic and exhausting. It is perfect. It is like instantly I look up and see everyone on the team with a kid on their shoulders, running around and giggling (yes, our teenage boys were giggling… especially Brett). It is just the love of God transformed into tiny humans. To know and be loved by these kids is an incredible privilege. Even after only one day. We could come home tomorrow with lessons learned about life and love and what really matters.
We spent two solid hours playing and playing and playing until we nearly fell over, and then had an awesome meal of friend chicken, beans, and home made tortillas. We left home for the day, stopped at the store for some Pineapple Fanta and Takis, and headed home for the night.
Tomorrow we will do the same. Build a house. Play tag. Giggle. Sweat more than we ever have before.
Some prayer requests for the day…
-everyone is feeling great. No health problems so far. Thanks for the prayers, they are working. Keep it up!
-pray that we can truly serve with all of our strength tomorrow. We want so badly to be a blessing to the Kids Home. Pray that we can find new and better ways to continue to serve them and help them out in any way we can.
-as I was reflecting at our debrief tonight, I realized that i have not heard one single complaint out of the team. Literally not one. Praise God for such incredible young people who are loving each other and our friends in Belize so well.
With full hearts,
Miss Kristin and the team