Sarteneja in Belize, March 18 to March 25, 2010
March 18, 2010 at 07:59 PM
After a long day of travel, we made it to Belize! The excitement kept most of us awake...even for the long plane ride! Judah made it on his first couple of flights just fine today! Who knew that after all that traveling, our day was just beginning!?! We all got together for a quick pic outside the airport, dropped our luggage off at the hotel and headed to a Children's Home where we raced around the building with the children, had our hair braided, played some basketball, and made pizza out of tree leaves. Brady did his object lesson using toothpaste and talked about how we speak to each other. We saw all kinds of new things today. Bits and pieces of Belize. We know we are in a new place. We know that God is doing big things. We are excited to see how God surprises us. Now, it's time to rest before we make the trek to Sarteneja tomorrow!
March 19, 2010 at 07:58 AM
We woke up to a bright sunny day in here in Belize and had a good night of rest! After a long day of traveling, rest was necessary...although...some of us did get good rest on the plane! We will be traveling up to Sarteneja today with the JOY team! We are excited to meet them! More later, but now it's devo time!
March 20, 2010 at 08:08 AM
We met the rest of our team and are excited to serve together! Ready-set-UNITED in Christ! Ready to serve!
March 20, 2010 at 08:17 AM
The road to Sarteneja was an interesting one to say the least! We had a couple hours of travel and then got to visit Santa Clara where we stretched our legs, kicked around a soccer ball, and had some relief. We had dinner shortly after that...yummy fajitas with some fantastic fellowship getting to know our new friends! Back on the bus...and ready for a fun ride! We were driving along on a super bumpy road when we came to a river. The road stopped. We watched as the trucks in front of us drove on to a ferry that looked like half of a bridge. A hand cranked cable was what made the ferry go from one side of the river to the other. Colton really wanted to crank the bus across. We got off the bus and walked on the ferry when it came back to pick us up. Some of the guys took turns cranking the ferry across the water. From what it looked like is was hard work. We landed on the other side, loaded up the bus, and continued on our way. We had to cross two rivers that way and it was an experience we will never forget!
Good Morning Sarteneja
March 20, 2010 at 08:22 AM
We arrived in Sarteneja after dark, so we settled into our guest houses, had our team meeting and a time of worship, and got ready for bed! We woke this morning to many different sounding birds, dogs, and the sound of the breeze through the trees. We got to see Sarteneja in the daylight for the first time. This is what we saw! Now, it's time for work! Painting the church this morning, doing VBS this afternoon, and having a Youth Service this evening! We are so psyched to start...
Bringing a little Brightness!
March 21, 2010 at 08:26 PM
We spent the morning yesterday at the church scraping (inside and outside), taping, laying down plastic, and finally painting the inside of the Sarteneja Nazarene Church! We were making sure to drink plenty of water while we were working so hard! We spent right around 4 hours working on this project and PRAISE GOD! we were able to bless the church with brightness! We finished the inside of the church! It is bright white and looks beautiful! Pastor was pleased with what was accomplished and we are hoping to get so much more done in the next couple of days!
A side of fun please!
March 21, 2010 at 08:27 PM
We really did enjoy our time working at the church! Depending on what we were doing, some of us wore masks to keep from breathing in the dust…
March 21, 2010 at 08:28 PM
After spending some time sharing our “Life Stories” with each other, we loaded up and headed over to VBS where kids were already waiting for our arrival! This was day one of VBS and we had around 65 children learning about creation, singing songs, making crafts and playing sports! The children moved from station to station with their “shepherds”. Some marched in a straight line, some just ran, but all had a great time! Our prayer is that God would let us be lights for these children so they would learn to follow Him.
The Flip Side
March 21, 2010 at 08:30 PM
We had Youth Night last night and enjoyed a time of singing—some in Spanish, some in English—and some testimonies. People could just share from their hearts, share what God has been doing in their lives, and testify of His greatness. We had several people from our team share and a few from the church. Some of us prepared “Cardboard Testimonies”. This was such a powerful testimony to how God is faithful in keeping us safe, in loving us, and providing for our every need. He is so good and we have learned how He reveals Himself in each other’s lives. Praise Him!
March 21, 2010 at 08:32 PM
Another morning of being wakened by the birds, dogs, and each other! We had Fry Jacks and beans for breakfast this morning. And, of course, fresh watermelon, pineapple, papaya, and bananas! We have had such amazing fruits and juices since we have been here. Yum-my! We walked over to the church and enjoyed a time of singing in Spanish, then English. We broke into our classes and taught a lesson about the resurrection story. Some of the kids even sang to us in Spanish. The children here are so precious! We will be seeing them again this afternoon when we have sports time!
Sports! Sports! Sports!
March 21, 2010 at 08:38 PM
We were blessed with a cooler day today to have sports at the field. We had groups of kids playing basketball, football (soccer), kickball, and parachuting!--the colorful kind that you stay on the ground with!. Some of us watched and took pictures and played with some of the other children. It was a great time of fellowship and fun!
God is our Provider!
March 21, 2010 at 08:45 PM
The theme of tonight's service was God is our Provider...along with the theme of thinking before speaking. One way God provided for us today, the sun came out so we were able to go swimming! Another: the power went out for a few hours but came on just before our evening service...and just long enough...as we were going to say goodbye to the pastor, the power went out again, but only for a little while. Bruce taught a message about how when God calls you to something, He will see you through! AMEN! We had several students share testimonies and music...God is good and He is moving here!
A Journey into the Past
March 23, 2010 at 08:32 AM
Yesterday morning we woke at our usual time and had banana custard for breakfast! So GOOD! Then we jumped into the bus to go to Cerros Mayan Ruins. Our bus driver, Remmie, became our tour guide as well after our hour long journey. We walked along the coast and into a wooded area. We got to hear stories about the Mayan Civilization and see what they left behind. We climbed the look-out tower and another one of their structures. It was so neat to be able to see something so ancient. We had lunch, got to play in the water or play volleyball, and came back to Sarteneja to get ready for VBS!
Oh, Happy Day!
March 23, 2010 at 08:35 AM
VBS got underway again by starting off with some singing—even “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy” en espanol! The kids love to sing and do the actions! There were 85 kids at VBS yesterday, some of them only made it to the sports field, but we are still praying that we truly are a light to them! We are learning the kids’ names and they know ours. It’s been fun to see the kids smile, laugh, and learn about who God is. We gained new friends and are excited for more fun.
March 23, 2010 at 08:39 AM
We've been playing and sharing the love of God with many children this week...
March 23, 2010 at 08:41 AM
Last night we enjoyed tamales for supper. They were so tasty! Our cooks have been so wonderful this week!
Our Final Day…
March 24, 2010 at 04:11 PM
It’s hard to believe our week is already over. It’s amazing that in some ways it feels like we’ve been here for a long time because of the relationships we have formed with the local people, but in other ways it feels like we just got here ten minutes ago. We packed a lot into our final day of ministry…keep reading to find out what we did!
Off to school!
March 24, 2010 at 08:17 PM
Here we thought we were on spring break, but we went to school! We were greeted by kids who were excited to see us. We stood in front of them and did a couple of songs, then we acted out the story of Joseph and his multicolored coat….then off to go paint!
Honey Mustard and Tomato Soup
March 24, 2010 at 08:20 PM
We opened the cans of paint and the colors were a Honey Mustard for the building and Tomato Soup for the trim! We got our rollers and brushes and went to work! And we worked HARD! We had so many people working on just one side of the building at one time…we just had to pause for a picture!
And Clean Up!
March 24, 2010 at 08:21 PM
What fun to paint paint paint and then clean up with WD-40, paper towels, dish soap, and water! We enjoyed our painting time and two sides of the building (the ones that are most visible) are COMPLETED! Woot! People from the church watched us work and really liked what they saw then it was finished!
How many kids???
March 24, 2010 at 08:23 PM
128!!! For VBS on our last day we had 128 lively children come to see us and hopefully catch a little of God’s love! We told the story of the lost sheep, made cross necklaces, and played cops and robbers before handing out snacks, water, bracelets, books, and bouncy balls to the kids. The local women helped us keep it all orderly and we had an assembly line to hand out all the things to the children. It was so amazing when we heard how many kids came to VBS today! We prayed for them after they left…that they would grow in their love for God and seek Him.
March 24, 2010 at 08:24 PM
We found that we can build relationships in just a few days...God, be with our new friends...
March 24, 2010 at 08:25 PM
Many tears were shed last night by the children and by us…it’s incredible that we got so close to these children and they got so close to us. We will miss them dearly. As well as the members of the church and the community. We had a closing meeting with the pastor and several others from the community who wanted to thank us for coming. So many people showed up and what an amazing time we had one last time of fellowshipping together! Pastor Alonzo made it back to greet us from Belmopan where he works. It was so good to see him again…We have loved our time in Sarteneja, but we know that it’s time to say goodbye.
On the Caye!
March 24, 2010 at 08:27 PM
We left Sarteneja by boat this morning bright and early and headed for the caye. We spent a couple hours getting there, grabbed our snorkel gear and headed back out to sea! After that we had the afternoon to enjoy the island and each other. It’s meeting time and then some rest before we head home tomorrow. We can’t wait to tell you all kinds of stories about the things God has done here in us and through us! To God be the glory!
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Love the pic with the little one's. Puts a big smile to my face. love you. See you soon. Safe trip home to you and everyone. Miss you lots! Ciao! Dad
JORDAN! been praying for you! Hope all is well, and praying for safe travels. Looking forward to hearing what God did while you were there! Blessings Travis
Hi Abbi and team ! It looks like you are all getting blessed over there meeting the local folks and the Belize kids and youth. In the final day photo it looks like "someone" is getting "seriously blessed" I hope and pray that God does great and wondrous things in your midst. You guys have the best leaders, Hi Bruce and Vickie Be brave in Jesus ! Dad
HI ALEXA, WHAT A BUSY SCHEDULE YOU HAVE! THE BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES YOU WILL BRING HOME WITH YOU WILL REMAIN WITH YOU FOREVER. VISITING THE SCHOOLS,LEADING THE ASSEMBLY AT THE NAZARENE SCHOOL, PAINTING THE CHRUCH,ETC,SO GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! TODAY,WEDNESDAY, GOING ON THE WATER TAXI TO CAYE CAULKER AND SNORKELING SOUNDS LIKE SO MUCH FUN!! SO TOMORROW YOU COME BACK TO THE MAINLAND,AND THEN FROM BELIZE TO PORTAND,CARRING WITH YOU THE BLESSINGS OF GOD,AND THE FRIEND-SHIPS OF THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE ALL OF YOU HAVE MET. YOU WILL HAVE LOTS TO TELL YOUR FAMILIES OF THE ADVENTURES AND THE SUCCESS OF WHAT YOU ACHIEVED. GOD BLESS YOU. LOVE YOU, JOANNE
CS Lewis, welcome back to Belize! I love reading about your adventures and all the ministry that is happening. I've been praying for you all week! Looking forward to hearing all the ways that God has been moving in Sarteneja.
Kayla Rae Bonaventura
Hai, Tori. :D We miss you a lot, it looks like your having a great time! Looking forward to you coming home and telling us all about it. hope you're doing alright in the heat, because it looks pretty warm. i love you! --Cubby O_o
I wake up every morning here in Cabo and get to the computer first thing just to see your updates. Alexa,what a beautiful picture of you and those little girls. It makes me so happy to see you loving on those children, because I know how much love you have in your heart for the Lord,and to be sharing it through those children.I can see in your face how much fun you are having. I hope all of you have a blast snorkeling today!Miss you! Can't wait to see you tomorrow.Love you Babe1
Omg i miss you sooo much Jordan!! And Rach, Amanda, Jordan maddi and Chloe of course too(: The house feels so empty. haha Me an Kaela slept in your room lastnight and she said she loves it more then anything.. People call her owl girl :p Ha!! Lyndsi and Mitch came over on Bikes.. You missed it, Lyndsi looked like she just rode a marathon. Lol Im really sad we're leaving for seattle like right when you get home pretty much.. But i'll be waiting to hear allllll about it when i get home(: I love you all sooo much! Xoxo. Get back safely please(:
Mikaela and Theresa
Just checking up on you guys from Wash. DC. You were part of our dinner conversation. It sounds like the Lord is blessing you with perfect weather. And it seems like you are blessing the community with both works and love. You are in our prayers. This trip is reminding us that our country was founded on our belief in Christ and on freedoms. Lets give others a taste of all that we have. God Bless you all. Theresa and Mikaela
Mom, Dad, and Cam Bontrager
Good Tuesday morning to our beautiful girls!! We love the updates - what an AWESOME experience! Praise the Lord for His provision and for placing you there to be His hands and feet. We love you so much and we're SO blessed by what you're doing! We can't wait to hear all about it! Dad and I are so excited that we only have two more sleeps until we see you again! We pray your last few days are full of Jesus, and that you have a rich and wonderful experience in serving His precious people. All our love and prayers, Mom, Dad, and Cam
So glad to hear your trip is going so well! I think of you SO often and pray for you! I am praying that God will speak to each of you and use you in a special way. Hey, Abbi girl, I love you so much! Give Aunt Vickie a hug for me! See you Thursday! Janet
It has been great to hear about your trip each day. It sounds like God is blessing you and using you to bless others. We continue to pray for you each day. Lori Swan
Dear Sweet Sarah, I love that we can see & hear of the ways God is moving. Praise God for Praying Pelicans and for The Fivecoat Family and for The Ministers that live there day in and day out. May they be encouraged and refreshed to continue running the race. Our prayers are with you for good health and food and strength to do the days work with sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. Enjoy your time in the sun with old and new friends. We miss you very much Sarah and are very proud of you. All is well at home, daddy,Joe, & Johnny say hi and want you to get a liittle sun for them (no sunburn) Anna is home from college and looks forward to seeing you. Love you, Madre
hey jojo looks like you guys are having so much fun...i keep thinking how great it is to have this oppurtunity in your life..larry said to say hi to you and rach...love ya lots mom
Marian Bohan, CCB TN
Hola mi amigas! Jordan and Maddi, I just wanted to send a word of love and encouragement to you, and to those in your mission group. You CAN make a difference. Show the love of Christ to all those whom you come in contact with- this can change lives. Let these people, and especially these children see His light shining through you. I especially love that He does not call the enabled, He enables the called. And you have been called. No matter how small your task, He can and will work through you! I love you girls and I am so proud of what you are doing! Be blessed and be a blessing.
Kiki (Alexas dad)
Hi baby girl. Sorry it took so long to say hi. I didn't have the password to send off a message. I got it from your mom today. Anyway, just wanted to say how exciting for you and the group to be out there doing what your doing. Hope your get to meet some new friends and touch lives of those out there who have the need. God bless you and the group during your stay. Be safe. Miss you everyday and love you very much. Can't wait to hear from you about your experience. Take alot of pictures. Ciao! Dad.
Mom, Dad, & Cam Bontrager
We LOVE tonight's updates! I cried again! Oh, what a blessing, and to see God moving in such amazing ways is so exciting! We love you all!
Hey sweet Abbi! I am so excited for you to be there! It looks BEAUTIFUL and I know the Lord is teaching you sooooo much! We love you TONS and are praying for you BUT come home soon! Love Becky the Chrstian
Hey sweet girl! Love the pics...looks like you are working hard! I know you are loving the little children, they are so sweet. you are in my thoughts and prayers, love you so much!
Ian and David Williams
Chloe, we miss you very much but know God is using you to serve others and working in you as well. Hey Chloe!!!! I just have a few words for ya, be on fire for Christ!!!! Never give up and go HARD for Him! I love you my Tiny sister!!!! Finish the race strong the Lord has set forth for you and enjoy the people of Belize, the fellowship and the weather! Love ya, Dad and bro
Good Monday morning, It's so great to see all the updates everday. You all are doing such amazing things through Crist. It's so beautiful there, (I hope it's not to hot for everyone)we hope you all having the time & experience of your lives.Tori don't forget your sunscreen, bugspray & to take your meds wed. Tori we all Love & Miss you. Mom & Dad Can't wait to see you all and here of all the wonderful things that happened and all the people you touched while you were there.
June Taylor(Alexa's grandma}
So glad that you had a safe trip in. I am so proud of you. Enjoy every minute of your time there. I am sure it is going by so quickly. Be safe...love you so much! I will see you at the airport in Portland. xoxo...Grandma
Good Sunday Afternoon! I am praying for you all constantly! We love and miss you, Maddi and Jo! I know you all are having the time of your lives, and sowing seeds of God's love into every heart, and we know you're being blessed in return. Oh, Maddi, in case you get to read this, I wanted to let you know that I heard back from GFU on Friday after they added in the tuition remission, and EVERYTHING is completely covered (even housing)!!! Praise the Lord!!!! I knew you'd want to know! Hugs and love to all! Mom "Don't Forget Sunscreen and Bug Spray!" Bontrager
Hi girli! Miss you but know you are having an amazing time. Austin is in Mexico, safely, Daddy is in the air on the way to India. Olivia P. gave birth this morning...Aubrey Jasmine! Both are doing well. God is GOOD!!!I I am praying for you and the whole crew constantly! Love You, mom
Maddi and Jordan, So enjoying the blog ! What a Blessing you and all of your CS Lewis family are. Tell everyone "Hello" from Grandma Judy. My prayers are with you. Praise God ! for the joy you bring to the people in Sarteneja ! Love to you both, Grandma Judy
Tara Huerena(Alexa's Aunty)
What wonderful things you are doing for the children.. I am so very proud of you. You are such a giving person. Know that you are loved so much, and I am thinking of you constantly.. Be safe! Can't wait to see you when you get home. I love you...Aunty Tara
HI ALEXA, TODAY IS SUNDAY, AND MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU AND YOUR GROUP FOR A BEAUTIFUL DAY AND I ASK GOD TO CONTINUE TO BLESS YOU EACH DAY, AS YOU HELP THESE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE OF BELIZE. I AM SO VERY PROUD OF YOU IN ALL YOU ARE ACCOMPLISHING THERE. THIS A TRIP PF A LIFETIME, AND GOD WILL CERTANILY BLESS EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR YOUR DEDICATION. SO MY SWEET FRIEND, TAKE CARE, AND IN THE WORDS OF YOUR MOM, DO NOT FORGET THE BUG SPRAY" I LOVE YOU, GOD BLESS YOU, JOANNE
What a beutiful setting, God's handprint is evident. Sounds as if you have had a wonderful start to this exciting journey and that the light of Christ is shining. You are midway through your trip and I pray for boldness in each of you, to share what is in your hearts with passion, and that it will plant the seeds of Christ's love in the hearts and minds of the people in Sarteneja. Thanks for these updates, they are great. WE LOVE YOU YULIA! Mom
Good morning all, it's Sunday morning here and God woke me up early to pray for you. You are such an answer to the prayers of the people and pastors of Belize. May the joy of the Lord overflow from you as you complete each and every divine appointment and special moment God has for you. God Bless You! (Ethan, we all love and miss you, it's so quiet here! Dad says, "Hi' from Vietnam. oh yes, three words....sunscreen...bug spray :) Love you all, have a blast!
Mom and Dad Bontrager
We are loving these updates! (Thank you, Cassie!) It brings tears to my eyes to see you all in fellowship with one another, and Sarteneja looks absolutely beautiful! We are thrilled for all of you - this is the trip of a lifetime! Have fun today, and Maddi and Jo : WE MISS YOU!!! Don't forget: SUNSCREEN AND BUG SPRAY!!!!! hehe May you be blessed in being His hands and feet, and may the precious people of Belize feel the love of Jesus through all of you. We love you all!! Mom, Dad, and Cameron
Nanny & Pa
Hi Jordan and Maddi! What a beautiful place, and you guys look like you are having a read adventure, especially the river crossings?? Good thing Colton built up all those muscles pulling weeds at the vineyard! Have a blessed time being a blessing to others. We love you!!
HI ALEXA, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TRIP,AND PLACE! I KNOW YOU ARE HAVING SUCH A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE,AND GOD IS SURELY BLESSING YOU WITH YOUR GOOD WORK. TAKE CARE, AND I LOVE YOU, JOANNE.
For all the CS Lewis families, if you haven't discovered it yourself you can go to the JOY team site and see some more photos and updates..
What an exciting time! We are praying that you will all be a blessing to the people there, but most of all, that they will see Christ in you. Chloe, remember, SUNSCREEN!!! We love you!
It is wonderful getting to see the updates. It makes the world so much smaller. Enjoy your time. Follow the Holy Spirit's promptings. Looking forward to our daily glimpses. God Bless you all and those you touch! Theresa
Jordan and Rachael Hope your having a great time, we miss you both and the refrigerator is full without you here. Grandma loves you both and come home safely.
So excited to see your first picture and to see you made it safely! It brought tears to my eyes to see your picture and read your comments. Alexa remember your bug spray!!!! Can't wait to see updates from your travels tomorrow. Will check daily. Love you mom and Christian!!!! XOXOXXOXO
HOW GREAT IS OUR GOD! What a great picture of you all! Judah looks stoked. Love and prayers.
Dad & Mom Koch
Sweet your there! and ready for your adventure. Seize each MOMENT, avoid drama, and keep your hearts and minds open fo His will. Take extra care of yourself & each other, so you can focus on your mission and people. Dad wanted me to remind you to keep your bug spray on at all times and cover up at dusk (bugs) Bless your leaders and be strong with them as you serve together. We are so proud of all of you, especially you our beloved daughter Sarah. We are praying for everyone to have GOD moments and for the people of Sarteneja to feel Gods refreshing Holy Spirit through HIS saints. Looking forward to seeing your smiles in the daily journal. Loveing you, Dad & Mom
Mom and Dad Bontrager
We are SO HAPPY to know you made it safely, and seeing your bright, smiling faces is such a blessing! We pray you had a restful night of sleep and that today, you are serving the Lord with gladness! We love you all!
so excited to see you all there in the sun... hope you have a great trip jordan thinking and missing you bunches. check in later with ya love mom
Mom and Dad Moore
It's good to see your smiling faces in the palm trees! We love you Amanda and hope you're having a grand time. We miss you already.
Glad you made it safely and on time. I followed your plane trips on the Continental website..and no delays! Hey, I bet it's warmer there, huh? Have a fantastic, memorable and Christ focused trip. Hi Chloe! (Dad)
Hey-Oh! CS Lewis is back in Belize! I hope you guys have an amazing trip! Don't forget you have wonderful leaders in the Fivecoats!
Jordan and Rachael Hope you both enjoyed the plane ride and your happing lots of fun
Hi Guys, I hope the bus ride wasn't to bad. I hope you all have an amazing time. I can't wait to here all your updates. Have fun, Liz