Hays Family | Belize

| July 03 to July 10, 2008

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Trip Journal Updates


First Day!!!
by Jillian Cross | July 3, 2008
So we all made it here safely...arrived at the airport yesterday, a day early, (except for Lisa and Michelle, who arrived today) and then went to the Global Village Hotel where we will be staying for the week. Today the rest of the team arrived and we got to meet them for the first time. We had pizza got to know the rest of the team that will be working with us this week, a youth group from San Diego, CA. There are 19 of us in total. Then we headed out for Unity Church in Belize City, where we led the bible study for the evening. There were quite a few people there, including Pastor Ernest, who will be working with us this week. We sang, and split up in groups and talked about God's love. Then we got back on the bus where we went back to the hotel and had our first team meeting, all together. We were able to share who we are and get to know each other a little better. So day 1 is just done, and we are getting ready to start the rest of the week, and giving it all up to God!


First full day of ministry...
by Jillian Cross | July 4, 2008
So...we got up early this morning and after breakfast at the hotel, we headed out for the Unity Church. We arrived and set up the VBS, and the kids started to arrive. There was a total of 70 kids there, and it was a crazy time, but it was amazing. The kids loved it and had so much fun, and we did too. We enjoyed hanging out with them and just loving them. And so then we got back on the bus and headed over to the second church, St. Andrews, where we began our construction projects. After lunch at the church, we began the work. Some were painting the inside, some on the scaffolding repairing the ceiling. We got a ton of work done today, and the church is going to look amazing when we're done. But then, after a couple hours of working...we then headed over to Sister Cecilia's Nursing Home, where we visited with the senior citizens, just talking with them and playing music and singing with them. It was a great time, and a blessing for all of us. So after our time there, we drove the bus back to the hotel and took some time to rest and clean up. Then we ate some really good dinner at the hotel, and then had a mission training session. We spent some time with each other, sharing life stories, and just practicing sharing them. It was a really good time. And then we wrapped up our evening with our team meeting, sharing highlights and discussing our day. It really was a full day of ministry, but it was an amazing day of just seeing what God has planned for this trip, and its just the beginning. Its very exciting, and we are so excited to see what else is coming!


Day two...
by Jillian Cross | July 6, 2008
Ok, so day two...we got up early again and had breakfast before VBS. We were excited for VBS, to go back and see the kids again. And they were there, waiting for us to arrive...so awesome. And so we had our school and made our crafts and played games and had the story time. It went really well. And after that, we headed off to the work site, St. Andrews, once again. For day two of construction, the goal was to continue with the ceiling and work on the paint. We got pretty far...finishing most of the paint...it is looking beautiful. And so after a few hours of hard, but awesome, work, we headed back to the hotel for a little down time. That night we had a service, the youth service at Unity Church. We arrived and there were quite a few people there, full of energy...we played games and sang and heard a story from Kate, a team member from Christ Presbyterian, and just had a really good time with them. It was a very cool night for all of us. Then we had to say good bye, and we went back to the hotel for our meeting, where we learned all about Belize...ask us anything...we're pros now...;) and then we headed to bed to rest up for our next full day...


and now day three...
by Jillian Cross | July 6, 2008
Another busy day...we woke up, a little later today, and went to St. Andrew's for Sunday morning service. It was very cool to have the opportunity to worship in the building that we have been working on all week, it looks awesome, not finished, but so good. We did the service, with worship, and awesome testimonies from Emily and Steven...and a powerful skit from the Hays family. Also, we heard a very encouraging message from Brad Roth of Christ Presbyterian. It went very well. And after that, we went to lunch at Old Belize, by the beach. And right from the restaurant, we headed over to Dorothy Menzie's children's home, in Belize City. We spent a couple hours there, but not enough. The kids are so full of love, and they just love to spend time with visitors. We spent the afternoon playing games and painting nails and just talking with them. It was an amazing time and we left them with toys and other things donated by all the groups...it was amazing, but hard to leave. hard to say goodbye.
But we went from there to the hotel to clean up before dinner and then off to church again! This time at Unity, and basically the same service, but we heard more amazing testimonies from michelle and jonny and woody. They were all very powerful. And in both services, we saw the dance that Michelle taught the kids, so amazing and so beautiful. Again, we heard the message from Brad...still awesome. And then we headed back to the hotel once again for our meeting. We had a time of sharing about what God is doing on the trip, and it was a really amazing time. God is speaking to all of our hearts a lot, all about different things, but all with thoughts of returning home, and where God could be leading us...why He called us here...
But it was a really good time of sharing.
And then its off to bed...getting ready to see what God has for tomorrow!


Day four of ministry...
by Jillian Cross | July 8, 2008
So we were back at VBS today...playing with the kids, and having a blast. We had around 80 kids again, and they had as much energy as ever, but they are so beautiful. After we left the church, we headed off to eat lunch at the Mayan Wells restaurant, and had our first taste of the famous rice and beans of Belize...:) Then we spent the afternoon walking around and exploring the ruins of Altun-ha. Climbing the Mayan temples was amazing and the view was so cool. We had fun seeing that part of Belize, part of its culture. So after our adventure, we went back to the hotel and changed, then headed back out and had dinner at the church, and set up for an evangelistic service...outside. It was amazing, we heard testimonies from Chris and Dave, and Michelle showed us what it is to worship with a dance, so awesome, everyone. And we were joined by The New Generation Gospel Singers, a christian reggae band, and they did an amazing job. It was a very cool night and at least 5 lives were given over to Jesus through it. So amazing, so praise God! And then we came back to the hotel for our meeting and had a time of affirmation. Just encouraging one another and sharing how we see God using each other and just builiding one another up. It was a full day, but so good, just leaning on God and loving His amazing creation and all that He does!






The kids pouring off the bus..
by Jillian Cross | July 8, 2008
This is the part of the day when Pastor Earnest comes back with the kids from the other neighborhood...a good majority of the kids that came...it was so cool to see them get so excited for the bus, knowing they were going to VBS...


and we're done???
by Jillian Cross | July 8, 2008
So...the last day of ministry. We got up and had our breakfast and then headed over to the church again. We had our VBS, got all the kids their pictures and frames, so cute, and just had fun with them on our last day. It was amazing how fast you can bond with the kids...it was just a couple days, but feels like so much longer.
We then went to St. Andrews to finish up our work. We continued working on the ceiling, and got a really good start on it. It looks amazing already and isnt even totally finished, but because we were able to provide the materials and funds, the ceiling will be finished and the church will be so blessed. And we also finished up the painting inside as well. It was so cool to see the work that we have done...and just hear how Pastor Ernest appreciated it so much, and how it will bless his church. And then we were able to deliver our donations to the children's home and to Sister Cecilia's Old Age Home, and that was so amazing to be able to bless them with. They were so excited!!!
So then we went to dinner at Jambel's Jerk Pit and had some more belizean food...
then back to the hotel for our meeting. We had another time of encouragement, this time in the big group, just encouraging each other. It was an amazing time and its so cool how willing everyone is to open up and share their hearts. so cool to see...
God is amazing and He is showing us this this week...its so beautiful...


shopping for amazing blessings
by Jillian Cross | July 8, 2008
So an amazing thing happened... we ended up spending less than originally planned for construction and due to an amazing amount of support from everyone at home...we had some funds left over. So we decided to see what we could do to bless the places we had visited over the week and went to Dorothy Menzie's Children's Home and Sister Cecilia's Nursing Home and got their wish lists. Just to see what they needed, to see what was possible. And in looking at the lists, and looking at the available funds...we were able to purchase a good majority of their lists! We bought a washer and dryer for the Children's home, along with socks and underwear, a new microwave, sheet sets, towels, and more. Miss Reynolds, the woman who runs it, was amazed. She was so excited, she said it was just a weight lifted off her shoulders. So, if that wasnt amazing enough...we also bought a dryer and a microwave and new shower heads and other necessities and brought those over to the nursing home...that was also amazing, Miss Rose was in awe. She was so excited and it was all so unexpected. Truly, these people were blessed because of the way God was faithful in His provision for the teams. The team was able to go along for the deliveries and present the places with the gifts. It was so amazing and just so incredible to share that withe these people...to know that God does always have a plan, and is taking care of His loved ones...all the time. So thank you for your support, because of you we were able to bless these wonderful people! God is amazing!!!


Learning to Go Slow...
by Jillian Cross | July 10, 2008
So early this morning we headed out to catch the water taxi to take us to Caye Caulker. We took the boat ride and we went straight to the snorkel shop to get our equipment. After getting it all, we headed out again to explore the reef. We all got in the water, some stayed near the boat, others went out and we saw all kinds of fish and the beautiful reef. It was amazing. And we also went over to Shark and Sting Ray Alley, where we swam with the sting rays. It was so cool, there were so many...and so cool to see. So after our time there, we went back to the island and checked into the Anchorage Resort, our home for the night. So then we went off on our own for lunch and to have some relaxing free time on the beautiful island, where the motto is "Go Slow"...and we took advantage of it...just some time to relax. And then we met up for our last team meeting. We shared highlights and sang some worship songs and just shared what God has done this week, all the things He's done in this amazing week. After our time together, we all went to dinner at Marin's Diner, where we had an amazing seafood and chicken buffet, and a last time all together. After, we had to dodge the rain, but we made it back to the hotel and just had some free time before going to bed.
God blessed us with an amazing day and an amazing team! So beautiful...


Goodbyes...
by Jillian Cross | July 10, 2008
So today...the last day...we said goodbye to the group from Christ Presbyterian and Michelle...leaving the caye and heading back to the hotel for our luggage and then to the airport. It is crazy to think the week is already over and now we are heading home. It was a week full of seeing God work and just getting to know God, getting to know each other so well. It was difficult, but so worth every second. So as we head home, we will be praying for a safe trip home, but we will keep Belize and these churches in our hearts. So we made it...and now we get to see what God has next...


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Comments


Snow

Mish!! You're terribly missed (as you can tell by the other messages), but I'm very proud of you! I'm so happy to see you and the other groups working for the Lord, and I'm so glad you were able to dance in Belize as well!! I love you and I pray that you and everyone else over there has a safe trip back home. God bless you all!!


Bailey and Melissa

HELLO everyone!!! God Bless you all! =) .. Hope you are haveing a great time in Belize.. Michelle.. we miss you ! .. but we're glad that you took time to serve the Lord in other places!!.... God Bless you..


Yohana

Hey! This is so amazing. We pray that the Lord continues to bless you all and this ministry. It's great to see you, Michelle. WE MISS YOU!! God bless you and have fun doing His work. See you soon!!!!


Eddy y Evelyn

May the love of God continue filling up your hearts, so you can continue giving it to all those people in belize! May God Bless you all! Keep up the blessings! Michelle, we love you, and we are very proud to see you doing the work of God. Love, Eddy and Evelyn :-)


Harolyn

May the Lord Continue blessing this mission, and the many missionaries who have been blessed with this opportunity. Michelle, we love ya!!! I was worry because I didnt see your picture Michelle; (I left the message under the wrong group lol) . Im good now. God Bless! Harolyn


Venecia

Hi Everybody! This message is for our dear friend Michelle and all of you of course! :). We are glad that all of you got there safe. We know that your time there will be full of blessings for the Belize people and for yourselves.. You are in our prayers. Love, Venecia


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