January 5, 2009 at 01:16 PM
We have arrived in Belize! Thank God for safety and easy travel!
After our departure from the airport, we hopped on the bus and headed for Corozal, while multi-tasking eating and trying not to get sick from Burt's driving. We unloaded our bags and settled into our hotel, ate our traditional Sunday supper, and drove to Santa Clara to meet all of our old friends again. We joined them in worship. Greg spoke, Steve played the guitar and led worship with Burton, and Jim gave the message. It was incredible to see Pastor Val again as he shared about how surprised he was to see so many familiar faces. And...the church was packed...I guess when word got out that we were arriving Sunday night, those in Santa Clara were just as excited about the reunion as we were. "Oh my goodness, you have gotten so big." "I have missed you" So many words were traded and before we knew it church was over and were were heading back to the hotel for our night meeting.
We are all so excited to start our ministry projects tomorrow morning and to see what God has in store for us throughout the week!
10 days of work in 1
by Tati Benson
January 6, 2009 at 08:29 AM
Wow, that is all to say. Today we went to two schools and worked a hard day of construction. Oh, and in addition we had a Vacation Bible school with about 100 kids…the first day!
We had the blessing of going to Pastor Val’s school of the Nazarene in the morning and was with the older children. They were able to each receive a backpack that the team provided. The students had the opportunity to then design on their bag with fabric markers. Some of the students decided to draw very intensely detailed toucans. My goodness those kids are talented. And there was a lesson taught about calling God through Jesus. Oh and lets not forget that there was a PE time! Games some of the kids have never played before.
So while all this was going on in the morning over in Corozal, the other half of the team was in Santa Clara working on the Parsonage and Sister Josephina’s house. A handful working at each, so much was accomplished! There is already the floor completed, and in addition a frame for the parsonage. And Sister Josephina has already a whole new wall and the other one is torn out…but was replaced by a blue tarp for now (we will finish that wall tomorrow).
As we all came together for lunch, the ladies are still so good to us providing only their best cooking that they have poured so much love into.
In the afternoon we had the opportunity to go to the Methodist School where we had 35 children! And my goodness, when those kids found out that they were going to get to design their own bag…with markers…that do not wash out…jaws were dropped! And one of the most precious sites was when we had our activities to do outside and all the kids were wearing their backpacks…unwilling to let them out of their site!
As we all came back to the church, the construction crew still working as hard as they possibly could, even as 100 kids decided flood the church for Vacation Bible School. As Vacation Bible School themed around the burning bush, kids had crafts, games and stories that blessed all their little hearts.
As we finished our day, it sure was a full one, as we came back to the city for supper and had our meeting.
It was an incredible first full day of ministry and to have so many additional locals come to help us when ever they possibly could during the day was just a testimony to the ministry that is happening, not only ministry physically with the construction, but ministry to the hearts. Oh…I cant forget….we are not taking requests to visit schools!
by Tati Benson
January 6, 2009 at 08:33 AM
Reunion Time! Church Sunday Night
Vacation Bible School
by Tati Benson
January 6, 2009 at 08:34 AM
The Burning Bush
by Tati Benson
January 6, 2009 at 08:35 AM
Church Sunday Night
Putting Up the Walls
by Tatianna Benson and Michael Korth
January 6, 2009 at 08:36 AM
Working on the Parsonage to Pastor Val's House
by Tati Benson
January 7, 2009 at 12:21 PM
If there are images in this attachment, they will not be displayed. Download the original attachment
As we woke this morning we were able to see the sunrise as we looked over the ocean. The beautiful colors of blue and red merged together into a wonderful kaleidoscope of orange and yellow. It is almost as though God painted a special picture –just for us.
We headed out to the Nazarene school this morning; we were greeted with warm smiles and gracious hugs. We ministered to the Standard 3 and 4 classes making bags, sharing Bible lessons, and playing games. In the meantime, the construction crew was hard at work at both construction sites. During the course of the day, it was such a blessing to share in the joy that Sister Marlanie and Sister Paulina felt as their homes were transformed. At Sister Paulina’s home, three entire walls were destroyed and reconstructed. At Sister Marlanie’s home, they completed all of the framing for the walls for the parsonage.
It would be a wonderful experience to be a bird in Santa Clara today. Over 100 bird houses were put together with hot glue. The school ministry team wants everyone to know that they were able to construct 98 more houses than the construction team in only one day!
Memories from last year came back as the team sat down for homemade lunch prepared by the women of the church. Blacker than tar and tastier than Campbell’s Select™, we were blessed to dine on authentic Chimole soup.
This afternoon as construction continued, the school team walked over to the school down the road to minister there. Once again the children the children were taken back after they were told to color all over a pristine, white, brand-new, freshly out of the bag backpack. But as they started to color, they realized that their bag was now their own. But the most precious site was the teacher sitting in the back of the room starring at her bag afraid to make a mark because she might ruin her new backpack. The team informed her that she could ponder it tonight and they would bring back the markers tomorrow. At this specific school, English is taught, but Spanish is the native tongue.
At VBS this afternoon, the children sang songs, made Tic-Tac-Toe fish crafts, and partook in relay racing outside in the courtyard. The children loved the variety of activities available to them and cherished the group’s preparation of handmade fish.
Tonight we all took part in a prayer service. Steven put together a band comprised of congregational youth and led music. Ray gave the message of the prodigal son. We were then blessed with a time of communal prayer in small groups. We were able to share our hearts with those we hardly know, in a different language, coming from different places, sharing the same faith in the same Lord. As a special delight, the congregation members treated us with encore performances of skits that they presented on New Year’s Eve.
It was a full day of ministry. As we rest tonight, we know that God will bless us with strength to continue in His plan through the rest of this week.
So Blessed. . .
January 9, 2009 at 01:04 PM
With a house destructed and reconstructed, another house doubled in size, hundreds of school children touched by the ministry offered in their classrooms, and hundreds more children attending Vacation Bible School all this week, it is hard to know what exactly to say. . .
It was such a blessing to work on Paulina’s house. She is an amazing woman with such a strong faith. She knows that God is taking care of her and her family. To finish the entire project in just a few short days was a blessing in itself, but to be able to bless her and her little girl with a home fit for any kind of weather is almost indescribable. The look of joy on her face daily as we meticulously renovated her home kept us working hard, and also reaffirmed that God had answered her prayers through us.
As Marlanie and the women of the church started to paint the inside walls for the parsonage while the walls were still out on the lawn, we realized that this project wasn’t just our project. We were reminded of this over and over again as men from the congregation came out to help day in and day out, some even taking off of work to help in any way they could with Pastor Val’s home. Nearly doubling the size of the house in five days was a major achievement, but was really the least of what we accomplished this week.
We will never forget the expressions on the hundreds of children’s faces as we came into their classrooms to make backpacks and play games this week, but the memory of their expressions when we told them “Jesus loves you –just the way you are. . .” will live on forever –and now so will they.
We were taught maybe the most important lesson in ministry and missions this week during Vacation Bible School. Children came seeking knowledge about their creator. Seeing the work that our group put forth in presenting the Gospel to them, and in such a fun way, made them want to come back for more and bring their friends and family. We were blessed with so many children at VBS this week!
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support this week!
Find out more about our trips to
Find out more about
our trips to