During the summers of 2013 and 2014 I took a trip to the country of Belize, a country located in central America. Both trips took place as part of a mission trip with my church. For this blog, I would like to focus on the trip of 2014. We spent months preparing and gathering support but on June 23rd, 2014 we departed from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport. We took four planes until our arrival in Punta Gorda, Belize. From there, we were taken to the orphanage we were going to be serving for the following week. (http://www.lolministry.com) We took a tour of the home and met some of the kids before going to the dorms we were assigned to sleep in. That night we all slept like babies. The long journey to get to our destination wiped us out.
The next day we went to a Mayan village and played softball with the students of San Felipe elementary. Also, a lady from the village made us lunch, beans and tortillas. We spent the rest of the day with the LOL kids. We played games, did VBS activities, and got the chance to love on them. The next few days had the same schedule. We got the orphanage at 8:00am and left at 5:30pm to return to our dorms where we also ate breakfast and dinner. In the morning, we spent time doing VBS with the kids. We sang songs, read stories, and explained the Wordless Book. We also did tutoring with them, such as reading or multiplication bingo. Lunch was fairly normal for us, hotdogs or tostadas. After lunch we started our activities. Every team member was in charge of an activity. Mine was a jellyfish craft; some did relays, and others, science experiments. To end each day the kids would get free time to play football or play on the playground.
One day, during one of the activities, a water slide got started with a hose and the playground slide. The kids had a blast and a few of our team members joined in! Another day, one of the girls wanted to learn to play the guitar so I taught her a little of what I know. It was so fun seeing the joy they had doing simple things.
The last full day in Punta Gorda was Sunday, June 29th, and we attended their local church. The worship was an incredible experience; you could feel the joy of the Lord in the entire place. After lunch, we went to a nearby river called Blue Creek. On our hike in, we bought some handmade crafts from the local villagers. When we reached the waterfall we went into a cave and swam against the current. It was a physically draining but mentally exhilarating journey.
Monday, June 30th, was departure day. We had to say goodbye to our friends and missionaries that we had met while in Belize. We took two flights to return back to the United States and two more to get home. The experience was beyond inspirational. It was life changing and eye opening to the blessings we have that others don’t. I thank God for my life and all the opportunities he gives me.
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