Tuesday, May 6, 2014

We've Arrived and Then Some...

Belize Day 1

It has been a long day, and our travels aren't over yet. We are still en route to Placencia and the sun has set. I'm glad I can no longer see our path; the narrow bridges and deep gullies made me a touch nervous as our skillful driver, Evan, navigated our path. 

Full May team.
When we left the airport, I was struck by all the water I saw: in potholes, drainage ditches and in marshy areas along the roadside. There were many brightly colored houses in various states of repair. Some were fresh and new, while others looked abandoned, becoming overgrown by the lush tropical growth that was cleared previously to make way for the dwelling. If I were to build in Belize, I would build high above the ground, to save myself the trouble of bailing out my living room in flood season.

As we went deeper into the countryside, I noticed all the shades of green that occupied the landscape. The beauty was raw and unmanicured. Nothing about the topography looked maintained, and it was precisely that which made it so beautiful. Even the acres of orange groves seemed to be at risk of jungle reclamation, only the hint of the original rows indicated that the trees were planned, and not spontaneous growth bursting from the moist red soil. 

Like anyone else who loves all things tropical (except the diseases), I searched the land for its fruit and plants. Mango trees are everywhere, laden with fruit, ripening and waiting for a summertime harvest. Banan

as grow haphazardly along the roadside and in the bush. And there was certainly no shortage of papayas. There was a portion of the drive where I noted a blanket of ferns, soft and delicate, pushing their way through the brush to expose their lacy, curling leaves. 

We arrived at the hotel in the evening, tired from the journey, after meeting other team members from other states, including GA, AZ, TN and IA,  We sat down to a well-needed meal. 

Belize Day 2

The morning started off with prayer, breakfast and worship. We packed the bus with hundreds of pounds of supplies that are stored in donated luggage. We have to go through that routine daily to keep all of our supplies safe.

Praying over the well.
We ventured to the site of the future Mission Center. These five acres of land were donated to iServants. The land has been cleared and two pavilions were built to accommodate future meetings and provide well needed shelter in the interim. After our prayer walk, where we silently spoke with God and asked His blessing and bounty on the land, we came across the most impressive structure on the property: the well. I am told this  over thirty foot deep structure was built without the aid of modern equipment. The well provides fresh water to the area. Steve, a pastor on the trip, pointed out that Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well and offered her the Living Water. That is exactly what we are here to offer. The Living Water will never run dry and springs up to provide eternal life. 

We left the construction team at the site to "build stuff" while the medical and children's teams went to the school to set up. We pulled into the school yard and I could see the excitement on the kids' faces. They were all in uniforms, playing in the yard with the abandon that only children have.

Dr. Curtis interviews his patient.
The teams made quick work of converting the classrooms into triage, treatment and pharmacy areas. Some children came in with relatively minor complaints such as colds, others had more serious ailments such as acute asthma or an infected and avulsed  toenail.

The children were excited and curious. They peered through windows and doorways in anticipation of seeing the doctor.

The VBS Team were rock stars! They brought puppets, games and songs to engage the children. The kids crowded the ladies and enjoyed all the activities. 

Today was a good day. We come to serve these people and show them the love of Jesus. It is my hope that these moments of care and joy will serve as a mustard seed to grow His kingdom. 

1 comment:

  1. So great to hear how things are going! Thanks for sharing! And we're praying for you all!