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Betta Belize It!
Gales Point, Belize, a place that is rich in their friendships, food, and amazing faith, yet so poor in everything else. Five high schoolers, including myself and three leaders had the opportunity to go minister to the people in Gales Point , Belize over spring break.
“Yeah, white people.” We heard the moment we arrived at the school, where we would be spending most of our time. Kenney, the pastor of the church, replied laughing, “Don’t be offended.”
The kids latch on to you right away. We were there no more than ten minutes when each of us was swarmed with curious children. “What is your name.” “Where did you come from?” After getting smothered with questions, the boys got to work on building an outdoor classroom, while the girls were captivated inside the classrooms having one on one tutoring with the kids.
Their school is very different than ours. They have very little school supplies, like paper, books, and pencils. Instead of having grades they have standards. They had breaks almost every hour, as keeping the kids on task was difficult, due to how small the classrooms were.
A single classroom, which was smaller than our typical rooms, were spilt in half with free standing chalkboards, holding up to twenty kids on each side.
Learning in this atmosphere was almost impossible, no matter what disciplinary actions the teachers took. The teacher’s expectations of their students was, sadly, very low. Consequently, most graduated the eighth grade barely literate.
Attending high school is very rare because the bus ride to get there is a two hour ride each way, and it costs four hundred dollars a year. It was evident that most of the families in Gales Point could not afford highschool for their children.
After school was out, we held a miniature vacation bible school (VBS). First we would play a game with the kids, like RedRover, or Duck, Duck Goose. We then lead them into a talk about Jesus. Our topic for the week was, “Everyone has hard decisions to make.”
We highschoolers had the responsibility and privelege of giving the talks, rather than the leaders. I talked on Thursday about how forgiveness is very important, even if it is a hard duty. You could see God moving in the kids! That experience was one I will never forget.
At the end of the week we led the kids in a prayer to accept Jesus into their hearts for the first time. So many kids made a life changing decision to follow God the rest of their life. And for the rest of my life, that dear Friday of salvation will be embedded in my heart.
To my surprise, as we were about to leave and start our journey home a little girl, Jashanna, I had tutored all week, came up to me and started crying. I decided to stay behind a while longer than the others and talk to her. I immediatly swooped her up in my arms, carried her to a nearby tree and sat down. Through her tears she began to talk, telling me how much she was going to miss me, and the others. I told her that whenever she misses me at night to look at the stars knowing that I will be thinking of her at the same time. However, as she informed me, “What will I do during the daytime?” Tell you what, come back to this tree and remember how much I love you.
You go on a mission trip, planning to pour God’s word into the village, and you do, do not get me wrong, but when you leave, you leave with your own life transformed. His plans are always far greater than ours when we offer ourselves to His will.