Today, we spent the day at the elementary school helping again with some classes as well as leading games and crafts with the pre-school. We showed them how to make snowflakes too as you can see by the photo!
We wrapped up with a final evening session with Lazarus and Alicia, as they shared some of their God story with us all. It is almost impossible to describe the blessings we have received through their hospitality and generosity. They are such an amazing family, and clearly demonstrate how to love God and love others!
Finally, we leave you all tonight with some stories about the people we have met. Everyone was asked to describe a person they met in Belize. Their stories are below:
(Jess) At Marla’s House of Hope, I had a lovely conversation with a young woman named Kendy. She is a teenager who has been living at the home for the past three years with her three younger sisters. When I asked her about what she liked most about living at Marla’s, a large smile spread across her face as she described with delight the daily group devotions. I asked her what she was reading in the Bible lately, and she answered “I always go back to Job. It amazes me that he was able to get through so many trials because of his faith in God. The book of Job encourages me and gives me hope.” I don’t know what life situations led Kendy and her three sisters to Marla’s, but I was moved by Kendy’s deep faith in the God that sustains and protects, the source of her joy and strength.
(Grace) Since this is my first time in Belize, I had no expectations besides the few obscure stories I heard. The second I arrived at the Loforna base, I was greeted by the Pop family. One of them stood out the most for me and his name is Devon. He is the most energetic kid I’ve ever met. He’s always climbing around the base and playing, but he remains one of the sweetest people I’ve met here in Belize. Last night while we were cleaning the dishes, Devon was running around while keeping us entertained and it was honestly one of my fondest memories because we had so much fun. Needless to say, he will be missed by the whole group.
(Nate) The first night in Belize, we went to eat out in the village. We were welcomed to this cute little restaurant in Armenia by a nice family. One of the kids was called Olvin. There was an instant connection between our entire group and Olvin. He was a funny ball of fun, and I took an instant liking to him. What’s more, when we went to help out at the school, Olvin happened to be in the class to which I was assigned. For the next few days, we were constantly seen together, playing games and talking. He has such a pure heart and such an honest desire for learning and helping others that I couldn’t help but instantly be attached to him. I’m definitely going to miss him when I leave.
(Zosia) Two years ago I got to meet the Pop family. Allicia is the mother of the Pop clan. She is so sweet and welcoming. She’s really funny and I don’t think anyone else has mastered the art of Belizean food like she has. She is such a good mom. I see her with Jaylen (the youngest child) and it makes me want to have kids too. I’m so glad I got to stay with them this week and I’ll miss them a lot.
(Sonya) I have met many new people this year, but the one person that stands out the most would be Miss Stacy. I helped her teach for two days in her kindergarten class. She is a strong woman, I could not stand a day in that class without her. Miss Stacy has shown me what it takes to be a teacher, no matter where you are from. I am glad I spent some time with her even if it was just two days. PS: At the Monday assembly, she got the teacher of the month award.
(Anthony) A man so welcoming, kind, humble, strong in faith, an amazing cook and an amazing friend. With his welcoming heart and similar interests, delving in conversement (totally a word) was a pleasure. lazaarus (and his wife) have always been so kind and hospitable toward us and we are all ever so grateful for that. I cannot thank him more for all he’s done for us and hope to one day repay him.
(David) Ms. Romero is the school principal who welcomed us into her world for the past week. As we arrived, and reaffirmed that we were here to help in any way we possibly could, she put us to work! We were all dispatched individually to classrooms to be teacher assistants. Several teachers were missing, and they are understaffed for the number of classes they have. Jessica ended up teaching several classes, and others teamed up to manage some of the classes. All of this to underline the level of trust we have with Ms. Romero, and that her confidence grew each day as she invited us back into these classroom settings. We tried very hard to follow, and have intentionally been seeking to serve in any and all situations. This attitude was present in all of our students as they rose to the occasion and were extremely responsible and trustworthy with what they were asked to do. As we left, Ms. Romero was very pleased with how we had helped and I was honoured to be part of this group of students, who really clearly served with hearts close to Jesus! (so, this is kind of a story about Ms. Romero, but it’s also about our students!).