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Daily Narrative from the Belize Mission Group

Date and Time Posted: Monday May 5, 2008 - 2:51:28 pm

Friday was our free day for our time in Belize. The team was broken into about thirds for the day’s activities. One group stayed at the compound to finish up work and go shopping at the market. Another group went caving at the Actun Tunishil Muknal (ATM) cave; otherwise known as the 'Cave of the Stone Sepulchre. The remaining went to Lamanai.

I can speak for the caving adventure as it was a great adventure consisting of a 45 minute hike through the jungle and through the river which brought us to base camp. This is the location where archeologists set up camp when they were researching the cave. After a lunch of a ham and cheese sandwich with some fruit and water, we entered the cave. We had to swim into the entrance of the cave which was awesome. The water was about 70 degrees and felt great getting into from the 90+ degree temperature outside. We were in the cave for about 3 hours of which approximately 75% of the time was in water at least shin deep. We saw countless pottery artifacts and several skeletal remains from the time of the Mayans. It is believed that this cave was considered a sacred place to the Mayans where sacrifices and ceremonial burial and food preparations were made.

The group that went to Lamanai enjoyed a nice boat ride to the ruins. The ride is about a two hour boat ride up the New River to Lamanai. The trip has some great views of Mayan temples and artifacts. It is an area rich in Mayan history. Views from the top of the tallest temple at Lamanai show a great view of the New river delta. There is also a view of one of the few remaining carved faces by the Mayan people. This year’s group also got an additional treat during the boat ride, they got to see a lot of wildlife including a view of a rare central American hawk as well as Mike having the opportunity to hand feed a monkey. I can’t recall the name of it at the moment. They also spoke very highly of the ruins themselves as they are quite a treat to see for the first timer.

The part of the team that stayed behind at Uriah finished the remaining work on the three room cabana and the other consisting of medical staff saw some of the patients that they had asked back to the clinic for an update. They then went into town to shop at the market as well to enjoy a nice sit down lunch at one of the local restaurants.

The funniest thing occurrence of the day was after everyone was back at Uriah, while Rebecca, Brenda, and Jessica were in their cabana; Brenda asked the girls if they’d like to see the souvenirs that she bought. In particular, Brenda was excited about the earrings that she had purchased. She held them up so proudly saying “I just loved the palm trees on these” or something to that effect, but long story short she thought they were palm trees. So we finally had to catch our breath from laughing and explain to her that the earring had marijuana leaves on them. The picture below is worth a thousand laughs in my book. She really thought they were palm trees. She quickly had one of the locals paint the earrings completely black. We also advised that she should not wear them through customs as she might be likely to get a special search if they saw them.

Brenda with her earrings that she has mistaken for palm trees… we all got a laugh out of that!

The evening ended with a communion service in Faith Baptist Church. The team also got to hear a few women from the village sing in traditional Mayan in the church as well. Layton finished out the night with his devotion. It was a quiet evening and one in which I believe most of the members were simply reminiscing about the week’s activities. It had been a very busy and very productive week. The medical staff had served over 350 patients in the clinic, the evangelistic team had helped lead several villagers to the Lord, and the construction team had finished their work on the cabana. Needless to say although we were all ready to get back home to rest, I’m sure everyone felt at least partially like staying and continuing the work that God would have us to do. It is difficult to come back to the grind of work and life here in the states after such an emotional, uplifting, sad, fulfilling, happy, exciting, roller coaster ride of which we had all just been involved.

All in all, the trip was an unforgettable trip. The team members grew together in such a way that could have never been duplicated in other circumstances. Trips this like mold members and change them forever. Special bonds are created that will last a life time. Faces that we may never see again in person will be forever etched in our minds. All the faces of those children whose lives were forever changed by our visit and all of memories that we will not forget will surely stay with us forever. To each and every team member let me say that it was an honor to serve the Lord with you. I hope that one day we can take another mission trip this very special place on the edge of the Jungle in Belize.

Posted By:Jeff

Date and Time Posted: Friday May 2, 2008 - 9:19:39 pm

The morning was a beautiful morning with pinkish skies for the sunrise. We all started out early and word of Jaylee’s progress spread quickly throughout the compound. Overnight she had gotten plenty of great rest and was up and about like any other young girl of her age this morning. She was up and walking around with only mild tenderness in that area of her foot. We were all so very happy to hear the good news.

The rest of the morning was essentially like the rest with the exception of the number of people that were treated in the clinic. Lagoon Road Baptist Church brought a bus full of villagers to the clinic this morning. On the bus alone, there were 98 people. The pastor also told us that many villagers were on their way via public transportation and a few vehicles. By lunch time there had been 121 people through the clinic and the day wasn’t even half over yet. The work continued well into the afternoon. The construction team was able to nearly complete the new cabana with today’s daylight. There’s only a very small section of siding that remains. The evangelical team had their hands full all day attending to the villagers in the clinic as well. They played, fed, and passed out bags to the visitors.

Additionally, in the afternoon, part of the medical team broke from normal operations to go back and visit Jaylee in her village at her home. All is well and her smile was as large as ever. The ladies from the kitchen also helped with the construction team as there was a shortage due to some of the construction team that had returned to visit some villagers. Additionally, Layton and Frank had to break from the building to perform another baptism. There were two members from Roaring Creek that wanted to be baptized. It was really quite a sight. There were others in the creek swimming, horses grazing and drinking from the river, and one other that was washing clothes. What a great place to have a baptism. The surrounding could not have been better.

When we returned from the baptism, I was able to partake in something that I’ve missed out on for the past two years. I was finally presented with the opportunity to visit the swinging bridge in Roaring Creek. I’ve heard about it for two years now and several of the team members had went to visit it. A big thanks to Damaris for making this opportunity a reality. We had a great time swimming at the river beneath the bridge.

When we got back to the compound the construction team had nearly finished the new cabana. They ran short of wood and planned on finishing the cabana Friday as some of the team members were going to stay at the compound as opposed to going to the ruins or the cave. They did put up the columns on the front of the building and they look great! Ralph had them carved by one of the locals so they have large Mayan style carvings on them. The medical team ended the day with over 150 patients. What a busy and successful day they had. After supper, Mike gave a moving devotional on the Prayer Shawl and how it ties into Layton’s vision. It was an in depth study on how we need to focus on God and not let other things disturb us when we need to be with God. It was a great devotion. Several of the team members went to bed shortly thereafter. We’re all starting to feel the drag from the week’s activities. I’ll try to post some more pictures of Thursday’s activities as well as Friday’s activities and narrative as soon as possible. I’m typing this now on Friday evening. Hopefully I can get some signal during our layover in Charlotte tomorrow to upload some images and finish the narrative. Once again as always, thank you all for your prayers for us during this year’s mission trip Belize!!

Posted By:Jeff

Date and Time Posted: Thursday May 1, 2008 - 1:03:14 pm

The morning was another warm morning. We enjoyed sausage, eggs, toast, and once again fresh squeezed orange juice prepared by the wonderful cooks in the kitchen. As soon as breakfast was over and Jessica and Kathy gave the morning devotions the teams were back at the grindstone. The construction team continued preparations on the cabana for the tin roofing that will be going on the building. We also took this opportunity to write names on the 2X4s of the building with some of the names of those that made the building of the cabana possible… there’s not enough wood to write everyone’s name as each and every one of your support and prayers also helped make this possible. I hope the pictures of those show up well enough to read. The medical team as usual was busy busy busy! There are plenty of people here in Roaring Creek along with illnesses that need help let alone the others that may ride a bike for over 30 minutes to get here from a neighboring village.

We were also fortunate to hear some music in the mess hall this morning. Crystal played the violin for us and Brenda found an old {keyboard – need the correct name} and played a few tunes for us including ‘Sweet hour of Prayer’ as well. Several of ladies on the team were in the kitchen today helping prepare the meal that we served here at Uriah today. I believe I heard Cindy say that she had been cutting out ‘Sponge bob square pants’ sized pineapple cuts all morning. The mess hall was also cleaned and cleared out for the meal preparations. The ladies also became part of the construction crew as they were outside this morning also helping them carry wood for the siding of the cabana. Just before as Darlene was just picking up some more siding to carry to the saw for cutting, Jeff noticed under the piece of wood she had just picked up a nice little black, furry, and crawly friend. It was one of the resident tarantulas. Not a huge one, but I think it was big enough for most of us. I hope you enjoy the pictures of it crawling on us. I really wanted to get one of it on my head, but it wasn’t cooperating… it tried instead to go down my shirt, so the head was a no go. But that was a nice little bit of excitement for the team before lunch. Before we ate lunch, the construction team had completed over half of the tin roofing as well as made a great start on the siding of the cabana. Some of the ladies went and visited the area schools looking for sponsored children. I think that was mostly a success aside from a few that were not in school today.

Lunch today consisted of some great taco salad; fresh vegetables to boot. Time in the afternoon flew by! It was a short afternoon because we were all anticipating the food that we were going to serve to the community at 5:30. But there was a bit of action going on in the clinic before the food serving started. There was a little girl named Jaylee Corado (pictured below) that entered the clinic with severe symptoms. She was nearing septic shock. Her mother explained that she had been the hospital a few days ago but was sent home saying that there was nothing more they could do. Dr. Smiddy examined her and it turns out that she had a large splinter in her ankle. It was severely infected and the infection had spread throughout her body. She was pail faced and very weak. The hospital was apparently unable to determine that this was the cause of her pain as they didn’t even know it was in there. It was very deep in her ankle and the Dr. had to cut it out of her ankle. Just hours after she was treated the little had regained color in her face, was much more responsive and alert! It was truly a God given miracle. This event marked another ‘first time’ for Uriah. The medical team made the decision that she needed to be kept overnight in the clinic for observation. They set up mattresses in the clinic waiting room for her and her mother and brother. This has never happened before. I can paraphrase Ralph’s comment, “It’s never happened before, not because it wasn’t designed for that or that it can’t handle overnight stays, but because no team has ever done that.” I believe that speaks to the dedication that we’ve seen this week from the medical team. They’ve made several trips to the hospital with patients and given their own money to others to ensure they get to the hospital by way of bus. They are more than just doctors. They are truly caretakers of the sick. Kudos to the medical team!! I’ll try to make a caption under the little girl’s pictures in the pictures section. But some are also included here.

This picture is of the girl and her condition when she first came in. Pictured also is Mary who helped with translation as this family spoke essentially no English and Sherry, the nurse who helped on this case… of course all of the medical team played a part in this case.

This picture is of Dr. Smiddy checking up on her a few hours after removing the plank of wood. You can see her obvious improvement. She was a strong little girl as cleaning the wound was painful, but she never shed a tear.

You can see from this smile after her examination that she was feeling much better even though she was still laying down.

This was the bedroom for the night for the family.

She is the sweetest little girl! Her little brown eyes will just steal your heart. We also need to give a huge thanks to our translators that have been working the clinic all week. Mary in particular helped in Jaylee’s case, but Margarita who doubles as a kitchen aid has also been helping in the clinic. The medical team has said that they could not have done half of what they have done without their help.

But to get back on track of the evening events, let me close this story by say that before our serving of the food we had already been blessed beyond imagination and those blessings continued throughout the feeding to the community. We had hot dogs, with ketsup, mustard, and chili most of them had never had chili on hot dogs. The sides consisted of potato salad and fruit with Kool-Aid. The event was a complete success. We actually ran out of hot dogs and started serving chili buns. This place was packed.

After eating, everyone migrated to the church for the puppet show and the evening services. It was packed for the services and of course the children loved and laughed at the puppet show. They definitely got a kick out of that. Joel and Damarus sang some songs for us before the message given by Brother Junior. He message was on the rapture of the Church. His question to the congregation was “Where will you be 5 seconds after the rapture of the Church?” It was a powerful message and one that everyone should consider. There were two people that got saved at the end of the service and one other that rededicated her life to the Lord. We also passed out more bags of goodies to the children after the services. I wasn’t able to get any pictures of that as I was already in the clinic checking on Jaylee so I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures of that.

The evening was closed out by devotions from Sherry in the dining hall. Many of the other members also spoke about their experiences this week. And of course the lights in the clinic were still on for the dedicated members of the medical team. All-in-all it was a very busy day but it was also a day that was filled with love, great memories, and even better people.

Posted By:Jeff

Date and Time Posted: Wednesday April 30, 2008 - 12:56:40 pm

The morning started out a bit warmer than yesterday morning. But breakfast sure made a good start to the morning. We all had our fill of Yvette’s great cooking and the wonderful Belizean fruit. Breakfast was followed by our morning devotion from Junior.

From that point forward the day could be basically summed up with the letter W-O-R-K! Before 9 in the morning the medical team had already attended to 50 patients, the construction team was well underway on the rafters for the new 3-room cabana and the evangelism team was working on baskets for the evening’s services. When 11 o’clock rolled around the entire team was saying that it felt like it was 1 or 2 in the afternoon, which of course it was in Hiltons VA, but there was still plenty of daylight and work left to do here in Belize at the Uriah Compound in Roaring Creek on the edge of God’s beautiful rain forest. We all enjoyed a Darthula Baptist Church style lunch of hot dogs and Kool-Aid. Oh yeah, I’ve not yet mentioned the cool aid in the narratives thus far, but if you know any of the team members personally, I’m sure they can attest to the fact that their Kool-Aid here in Belize tastes so sweet and so much better than back home. Not sure what’s different about it or it could just be the fact that it was so hot, but the Kool-Aid here is great! Anyways, back to our story, after lunch break, all teams were quickly back to work doing their part.

Work continued through the afternoon. The evangelist team did take time to play with some of the children that had gathered in the front yard of the clinic. Some of the ladies made several visits to the area markets in preparations for Wednesdays feeding at Uriah. Cindy explained to me that she learned that you need to go to different markets to ensure the quality of the food, so they had to do quite a bit of running to get all the items they needed. But while they were out and about, back here at the compound, the heat was nearly unbearable, even the locals were commenting on how hot it was. I don’t have a temperature to list here but the breeze we’ve been enjoying all week was nowhere to be found, so I’m sure that was the culprit for the heat. We also had a great opportunity in the clinic to use the technology that God has placed here at the compound. There was a 6 year old boy that visited the compound with a series of lesions on his ear and hands. We found that he was sleeping in a bed that was infested with roaches and he slept with multiple other children but he slept with his injured ear down. Dr. Smiddy of the medical team had me to email his friend in who is actually on vacation at the moment, Dr. Kenneth Greer who is a world renowned Dermatologist at the University of Virginia. Within only a few hours, Dr. Greer had replied and advised what the most likely causes of the lesions were and how to treat the young boy’s symptoms. Isn’t it amazing how God provides the technology and people to assist in his work! I want to pay a huge ‘thank you’ to Dr. Greer and his quick response to the team here in Belize. You can know that you have made one little boy in Belize very happy!

By the time supper rolled around at 5:30ish, the medical team had seen nearly 75 patients, the construction team had finished the rafters for the cabana, and the evangelism team had packed a ton of backs of rice, beans, and other goods to give away. We had an excellent supper consisting of beef stew. It was great! I’ll have to admit that it was probably my favorite supper thus far this week. We didn’t have much time after supper to relax as the bags had to be packed for the evenings services at Uriah. Let me clarify, not at the Uriah compound, but at Uriah Church. The Church has not been built yet, but God’s known about this Church since before time began! Since there is no official building for services at the moment, the services are held old fashion style at a different member’s home for each service. This evening’s services were held at Jose’s house just down the road from Roaring Creek. Damaris told us that they were so excited that we would be visiting with them that they went out and purchased new chairs for us to sit in. Imagine that, by our standards a very poor people but so humble, happy, and gracious to have us visit them that they would go out and spend their hard earned money to buy us new chairs to sit in. Men… try thinking about that while you eat a $5 value meal at Burger King. That fact aside, I’ve got to comment on his yard. I have no idea what kind of grass he had, but it felt like soft carpet. It was thick and full but so soft to the touch. Even Ralph commented that “I’ve never seen grass like this before in Belize”. A young friend who helped me understand the services explained that the entire village used to be covered in black sand and then this grass was planted throughout the village.

But back to our story once again, our interpreter was sick for the night so the services were somewhat difficult to understand as Pastor Samuel speaks little to no English. The services started shortly after 7 o’clock with Jose and another Church member playing the guitar while Pastor Samuel sang a song. He then requested that the English speaking visitors to the Church sing a song in their language. So Layton, Ralph, and Dr. Smiddy sang Amazing Grace and Rise and Follow me. When Samuel began his sermon, he spoke about how it doesn’t matter if you speak English or Spanish or Creole, we all can understand each other through the Holy Spirit. I believe everyone on the team understood that point. His preaching actually reminded me of Layton’s style of preaching; emphasizing words when he wanted to make a point. He even tried to point out and act out actions about his sermon so that we could understand what he was saying. His message came from the 32nd chapter of Genesis starting at verse 24. He was talking about how Jacob wrestled with the Angels. He spoke about how we need be strong not for our fathers, mothers, spouses, brothers or sisters for in that our only fate is death. We need to be strong for God for in that we are bound to live forever. Although it was difficult for us to understand, I have no doubt that having that service at Uriah Church is an experience that we all will never forget. After his message, Pastor Samuel had an altar call and had Layton to ask the blessing on those who had came to the altar. That too was a very moving experience. After services, the Church had a surprise for us. They had, once again with their own money, purchases us all ice cream; strawberry and vanilla flavored. I’ve never tasted such sweet ice cream. After we finished our ice cream, we distributed the bags that had been prepared by the evangelist team. Before we knew it, the time was nearing 9 o’clock and we needed to return to the compound for evening devotions. So we said our thank you and goodbye… I hope that will not be my last time at Uriah Church!

The evening closed out with Devotions from Frankie. She did a great job! I hope everyone is enjoying the pictures back home. I apologize for not having them up as soon as I would like as well as the narrative showing up a day late, but there is just so much going on that it is difficult to cover everything. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. And keep the messages on the message board coming. They mean a great deal for each and every one of us!

God Bless you all!!

Posted By:Jeff

Date and Time Posted: Tuesday April 29, 2008 - 11:07:37 am

The day started off early at about 5:30-5:45 for most of the team. Most started out the day with a nice cold shower. The hot water was not working… more on that later. The morning was cool and foggy as at least one of the pictures can attest to. We had a great breakfast of French toast, eggs, fruit, and fresh squeezed orange juice. It was a spread of food fit for a king but enjoyed so graciously by his servants. Breakfast was followed by morning devotions by Junior who had a great message that I’m sure touched everyone’s heart. After having a meal and devotion the work started.

The morning’s fog and cool temperatures were quickly broken by the sunshine as the work started at Uriah. The construction team worked on the framing of the new cabana being built while the medical team already had visitors lined up at the door of the clinic. Of course the evangelist and feeding team had their hands full witnessing to visitors in the clinic as well as preparing bags of rice and beans for the afternoon’s village visits. Rhonda was blessed to help lead a younger girl to the Lord during her visit to the clinic. The framing quickly took form from the sparseness of the empty concrete slab. Now the beginnings of a three room cabana could be seen much more clearly. The work continued throughout the morning. Everyone learned that time flies when you are busy doing God’s work. By the time the lunch air horn rang, the framing of the two largest walls were complete and preparations were being made for the shorter segments of walls. The majority of the 53 patients that would be seen in the clinic for the day had been treated. The morning was a major success in the clinic. There was one younger lady that visited the clinic due to stomach aches and pains who had been sent home just a few days earlier from the hospital here in Belize that claimed nothing was wrong with her. The Uriah clinical team however uncovered the fact that Acute Appendicitis was the source of her pain. Needless to say we immediately took her back to the hospital for treatment and surgery. Among this case other cases addressed in the clinic were:

  • Ultrasound of 5 month old pregnant mother
  • Diabetes
  • Root Injuries
  • Lesion on a young girls eye lid
  • Ear infections
  • Sever Acute Asthma
  • Dental cavities
  • Toothaches
  • Ventricular Septal Defect of Heart
  • Parasitic internal infestations

I think you can see that they had their hands full. In particular, the hope for the one little girl with the lesion on her eye lid, we had to make photographs and send them to a specialist back in the states for his input. After the morning of hard work by the entire team, we took a break for lunch. The work continued quickly thereafter. We closed down the work day at around 3:30 pm Belize time. For those of you wondering, we are two hours behind Hilton’s time here in Belize. The afternoons tend to be too hot for most families to venture out to the clinic and by this time the construction team had ran out wood for framing.

We left the compound at 4pm bound for two local villages for medical treatment, food hand outs, and evangelistic work. The teams broke into two teams consisting each of half medical professionals and half evangelistic. We visited Arizona in the back side of a larger village called Teakettle and another smaller village called Riviera. The medical teams quickly got to work here as well. In Arizona, there were several cases of unknown illnesses. More medical specialist attention was going to be required to determine the exact cause of the illnesses. The teams arrived back just in time for supper. Supper consisted of some great BBQ chicken and potatoes. Yvette is the best cook in Roaring Creek and just perhaps all of Belize!! After supper among fellowship and conversations regarding plans for the next day, a small group of team members ventured out into the village to visit an elderly man that is crippled to pray with him in his home. He is the gentleman pictured on the mattress wearing a blue shirt in the pictures.

All in all it was a great day of hard work, saving lives, and more importantly doing God’s work as he has commanded us to do. The day ended late with devotions by Dr. Smiddy. And there was one more milestone reached… the church web server maxed out its size capacity!! This is good news. This means that we’ve grown leaps and bounds since we started. This is what made it impossible to upload images yesterday… but a quick adjustment in our storage space and we’re back up. I’ve still got about 50 more images to upload from yesterday then I will be starting on today’s images. I’ll post a message when all images for Monday are posted.

At the moment I’m sitting in the mess hall looking around seeing all the hard work… no details, I’ll save that for today’s narrative. But I can say that 1000 cameras would not be enough to capture all the work being done. Words can’t be written to describe what we’re doing here. All I can say is that in just the past two or three days I’ve seen a group of organized and professional adults all with focused minds and dedicated hearts grow into a single united team with the single purpose of God’s work through whatever means possible. Throughout all of the projects being addressed here in Belize, the utmost importance is being placed on spread of God’s love to all. I hope everyone back home is enjoying the pictures and daily narratives and can send their prayers to the team here in Belize. It’s through prayer from each of you and God’s grace that we each can be here in Belize serving the Lord.

Posted By:The Belize Team - Jeff

Date and Time Posted: Monday April 28, 2008 - 12:16:45 pm

It’s 8:05 Belizian time on Monday morning. I am actually typing the narrative for Sunday because Jeff was sick and went to bed at 4:00 pm local time yesterday and did not wake back up until this morning! As always, we need his guidance in operating this website. Yesterday was such a blessing to everyone. We had breakfast at around 6:30; fryjack and beans and fresh fruit. Or as some people say, Belizian biscuits and gravy. Frank Waldo brought our devotion after breakfast and we left at 8:00 to head to Lagoon Road Baptist Church. We arrived about an hour and a half before service started so we walked through the village to visit with the people. One man took us on a trail through the jungle to show us where the women go down to the creek to wash clothes (there are pictures posted). They also have to walk further to a spring where they fill bottles of water to take back to their home for drinking. It was a little scary when the man picked up his machete to lead us to this spot, but he was very friendly and welcoming. He even let Dr. Smiddy get a picture with the machete. The people here are proud of what they do have, which is a lesson to all of us.

Sunday School started at 10:00 am. They sang a welcome song to all the team. This was a church that really made us feel at home. We did a puppet show for all the children which they really seemed to enjoy. Layton, Brenda, Ralph, Dr. Smiddy, and Crystal sang and played their instruments to open up church service; Dr. Smiddy on guitar and Crystal on the violin. Layton brought the message on how God touches hurting people through the church and no matter how low you get in life, you are just as worthy to God as the next person. This was demonstrated by a $20.00 bill crumpled up, thrown on the floor, and stomped on is still worth $20.00. There was an alter call at the end of the service and I think half the church was on their knees. We were lined up in the isle. To our surprise, the church cooked us lunch and served us with the best they had to eat. We had BBQ chicken, rice, potato salad, fresh fruit and papaya juice to drink. It is such a humbling experience to come here and try to give to others, but they give more to you.

When we returned to the compound, we left again to attend the very first baptism of the Spanish church, Uriah. A 17 year old boy named Carlos was baptized in the river. Frank Waldo and Samuel Gregarios performed the baptism. It was a special experience. Layton was praying over the boy before he was baptized and a large bug flew in his mouth. We thought he was moved by the spirit when he paused in prayer, but at that moment, it was a big bug he was trying to spit out.

We had a few hours to rest before evening church service at Faith Baptist Church on the compound. Everyone just relaxed as they wanted. We had spaghetti for supper and fresh banana bread for desert. The congregation from Lagoon Road Baptist Church came to the compound to join us for services and their pastor, Ed Mohabier, brought the message on allowing God to bring a newness to your life. We had one lady saved at the end of service. He was a very knowledgeable man and preached the same style as Layton. The night ended with devotion by Darrius Hall.

Everyone went right to sleep, and everyone seems to have slept through the night much better. Believe it or not, we had to find blankets because it does get chilly at night. God is blessing and please keep us in your prayers that we will continue to do God’s will. The medical team has opened the clinic this morning and people are coming for help. Check the pictures frequently throughout the day because more will be posted. God Bless!

Jeff will be posting pictures throughout the day so keep posted. He said he'd post a message when all of yesterday's pictures are posted as well.

Posted By:The Belize Team

Date and Time Posted: Saturday April 26, 2008 - 11:12:19 pm

The morning started out nice and early around 3 to 3:30 am for most of the team. We all arrived at the airport by 4:30 – 5 and got all of our luggage and tickets. Before we passed through security we circled and had prayer to as God’s blessings upon our trip. The flight to Charlotte was relatively uneventful except for the occasional shriek from Rhonda as the plane bounced from time to time. Oh and especially when the landing gear came down… that was a fun scream!!

After arriving in Charlotte, we all enjoyed a nice breakfast mostly from Cinnabon. We had about a hour and forty-five minute layover in Charlotte so several people took naps and others talked and still some other sawed some logs. But it wasn’t too long and we were back off on our way. Belize or Bust! Once again Rhonda was having fun on the plane. She says she does enjoy it and from the shrieks I’d say she feels it’s like a roller coaster. Anyways, the flight to Belize was once again uneventful. We had some beautiful views of Florida and the coast of Mexico. We couldn’t see much of Cuba as the cloud covered much of the land from view.

We arrived in Belize at about 11 am local time. The temperature wasn’t too bad at all; I believe it was only about 85. The humidity wasn’t near as harsh as it was last year. With a light breeze it was actually very nice. Not too much different from a nice VA or TN breeze in summer. We quickly packed up the bags… and let me stress packed!! It was a tight squeeze, but we eventually made it. And off we were on our way. Ralph let us in singing ‘Rise and Follow Me’ on the bus as well. We arrived at Cheers, no association to the infamous Cheers back in the states, and enjoyed a nice lunch. We were happy to find that they had placed our shirt from last year’s trip on their ceiling. They have an entire collection of patrons of their restaurant. We also were able to enjoy what is likely to be our last ice cream stop for the next week. But after we all got our bellies full of ribs, hamburgers, or chicken we continued on our way to the Uriah Compound in Roaring Creek all along enjoying the courtesy of the air conditioning Belize style.... bus windows. But then again with the humidity being low, it actually was actually quite nice.

Upon arrival at Uriah, we all gathered at the back of the bus to unload our plethora of luggage bags. We met shortly to let everyone know where all the necessary facilities were located on the compound and then we all set to work. First finishing unpacking our bags…. Which mind you, that took awhile then we had to pack bags of beans and rice for tomorrow as we plan on delivering food to the Church we will be visiting in the morning.

The team kicked into action and started packing bags. It wasn’t long at all and our goal had been reached. All the while, we all could smell the nice meal that Yvette was preparing in the kitchen for us. And boy was it nice! Chicken, rice, beans, plantain, and some excellent pineapple cake all with some great cool aid made from water from Jacob’s Well. After supper the puppeteers got started on practicing for tomorrow as well. They are also on the schedule for tomorrow morning. It was a busy evening for most of the team as there was plenty for everyone to be doing. Layton, Brenda and several other members went to the Church to practice music for the evening. Their great singing could be heard all over the compound. The night ended with laughter from the Mess Hall from the ladies practicing the puppets. It was, for most of them, their first practice with the actual puppets they will be using tomorrow.

So now, I'm sitting in the Mess Hall with Joel trying to get these images uploaded which I have the feeling that I will not get them all up tonight, but still enjoying the serenity of Belize and all that it offers; crickets in the background, the occasional gecko or even the sound of a bird or owl. The temperature is quite nice as well, I would guess around 70 to 75, but very comfortable. So that pretty much wraps up our first day of this trip which is sure to be a blessing to each and every one of us. I hope all is great for everyone back in the States. Be careful, God Bless and hopefully I'll have the rest of today's pictures up no later than tomorrow, but of course that depends upon the internet here.

Keep us in your prayers!!

Posted By:The Belize Team

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