Epiphany UMC | Belize

| July 05 to July 12, 2013

Local Host:
Staff: Herman Blease

Trip Journal Updates

We Landed!
by Annie | July 5, 2013
Good evening!

The team landed today and we are all together! After all the team members arrived, we headed straight to La Democracia to eat an amazing dinner prepared by our cooks for the week. We met Pastor Cecil and took a tour of his church, and we were able to look around the village a little bit. Afterwards, the team headed to Belmopan to settle in at the hotel.

We had an amazing orientation meeting and are all very excited about the week!

First Day of Ministry
by Annie | July 6, 2013
The team had an amazing day today!

We headed to the church in the morning to visit homes to pray over people and tell them about VBS. After going over a brief relational training session, we split into groups and were able to visit several households.

After our home visits, several children followed us back to the church. There we played a lot of games and spent time talking with the kids. There is a basketball court behind the church and several of the team members played games on the court. In the afternoon, the team sorted different foods into bags to distribute to families throughout the week. The photo posted is of a group arranging bags full of sugar. We finished this task in just an hour! Afterwards, we had another training session where we shared life stories in small groups. Most of the team said this was the highlight of their day.

So the team had a great day! Tomorrow is Sunday and we will be visiting several churches. The team has already bonded with many of the people in the village!

Day 3 - Sunday Services
by Annie | July 7, 2013
We had a wonderful Sunday!

The team coordinated church services in La Democracia this morning. They split into three groups: one for the younger children, one for the youth, and one for the adults during Sunday school. Pastor Cecil gave an encouraging introduction before we began the service. We sang several worship songs and Scott preached a sermon after all the groups returned from Sunday school. The team prepared a song to sing in front of the congregation. It was a huge blessing to be able to share ministry in church this morning!

After lunch the team split into two groups to distribute grocery packages to several families in the village. This was a great time for fellowship between members of the team - and several children from the village tagged along to help out!

In the evening we attended a church service in Belmopan and listened to a sermon about God's power in our lives. We had a great day!

Team singing to Congregation
by Annie | July 7, 2013
The entire team sang this morning.

Day 4 - VBS
by Annie | July 8, 2013
We had a very packed day!

We began our first day of VBS at 9:30 this morning. Jen and Marny led the kids in worship, then Lindsy and Max gave the lesson for the day. After this, the team set up three stations: crafts, games, and stories. The team brought at least a hundred story books to donate, and during story time the children would choose a book and read it individually with one of the kids in the youth group. The kids loved it!

After lunch we visited an orphanage in Belmopan. Most of the children played in a park across the street. The kids were so grateful to see us and spend time playing games. It was a beautiful way to spend the afternoon!

In the evening we returned to the church in La Democracia and some members of the team painted the outside of the church, while others played games with the children. The evening was cool and many people from the village came out to see us and spend some time in fellowship.

Tomorrow is another day of VBS. Pray that God's word would go forth and impact the lives of those in the village and all of us on the team! Everyone has been in good health; pray for this to continue!

VBS - Introductions
by Annie | July 8, 2013
Here, a group is introducing themselves on the first day of VBS.

VBS - Crafts
by Annie | July 8, 2013
A girl showing off her craft from VBS.

Day 5 - Mayan Ruins
by Annie | July 9, 2013
This morning we had another successful day of VBS! Another group broke off to help a family in the village work on a construction project - they are building a front porch.

After the VBS and construction project, the team headed out to tour one of the largest Mayan ruins in Belize. We hiked around for a long time in the afternoon and were able to have a lot of fun and fellowship! Tomorrow is our last day in La Democracia, the week has flown by!

Construction project
by Annie | July 9, 2013
Here is a small group working with some Belizeans on a front porch for a woman in the village.

VBS games
by Annie | July 9, 2013
In this photo, several team members are playing duck-duck-goose with a few of the children during game time.

More Mayan Ruins
by Annie | July 9, 2013
Here, the team is climbing the second level of Xunantunich - the Mayan ruin.

Day 6 - Last Day of Ministry
by Annie | July 10, 2013
Today was our last day in La Democracia. In the morning we had VBS. Mitch and Natalie taught a lesson over loving God with all your heart, soul and mind. The children used finger paints in crafts and played games on the basketball court.

In the afternoon we went back to the orphanage in Belmopan. The kids there were so excited to see us again! Everyone in the group paired with a child and went off to play games in the park. We had an amazing time!

Afterwards, we headed back to La Democracia for more construction work and sports ministry. We continued to paint the church and worked on a closet for the sanctuary. Several members of the team split off to pick up trash on the side of the road near the church. Most of the team played with the children in the village.

In the evening we held a closing service. During this time, both Scott and Pastor Cecil gave thanks and exortation both to the village and to the group. We gathered around and prayed for one another and, with many tears, said goodbye.

Tomorrow we will head to an island caye to spend the day and night. It is a time for relaxation and contemplation on all that God has done this week.

Island Day
by Annie | July 12, 2013
We spent the day on Caye Caulker! Most of the team members went snorkeling and everyone had a chance to explore the island. We ate dinner for the last time, then held an amazing closing meeting on the roof top of our hotel. During this time, we reflected on all that happened this week. Our closing session was so blessed, and we spent a lot of time in worship.

The group has many stories to tell. God moved so much this week. We serve an amazing God!

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