WARNING – this is gonna be a long one!
Our third day… Monday. It was the first day of VBS. We were all a little nervous and had NO IDEA what to expect.
Here’s Deanna meeting some of the kids. They were pretty excited to be there. The students did awesome getting the kids involved in the worship. It was amazing to see how they just started ministering and loving those who entered the doors immediately!
Doing some worshipping in these pictures. Some of the church members – Dwight, MJ, and Warren – did some worship and then our team members lead some as well! It was so fun! There was lots of screaming, dancing, hand motions, and laughing… just praising the Lord! 🙂
Our theme for VBS was God’s love for us and how He shows it. So, the we started in the beginning… Creation. We “made” the world and invited the kids to join and help us put the different things God created on the world with us. We got to explain that God made things because He loves us. He made us and KNOWS us… He promises that to us in Psalm 139. It was chaotic… but wonderful! 🙂
We had the kids split up in 3 groups.
My group… the 11 and up are in this picture. This is us meeting our class for the first time! My incredible team included Becca, Deanna, and Robby!
Here’s the 7-10 year olds. They are playing Heads Up 7 Up! The leaders in this group were Dr. Ben, Caitlin, Kelsey, and Caleb! They did a great job loving them, teaching them, and laughing with them.
Here’s the babies – ages 6 and below! We had some little ones but they were so precious. There was a ton of them!!! The team that herded these children around was Mrs. Pam, Kaitlyn, Zack, and Christina. Gosh… they LOVED these kids!! It was soooo cool to watch!
We had recess each day. They loved frisbee and dodge ball!!! Dodge ball was a little scary… a lot scary… with very fast Belizean boys!!! Deanna and I had to take shelter!
Some of the girls in our group.
It broke my heart to see their hurt and anger. I wish I could have had more time with the older girls… to really invest and talk to each one of them. To speak truth to them. To tell them that they are loved. If I get to go back… I want to do a teenage girls’ Bible study… yes!
Babies doing crafts.
On Monday we did a tissue paper craft. Like God, in all His creativity, designed and made the world… we all made our own tissue paper creations.
Here’s Melvin!! He was WONDERFUL!!! He stole my heart from the beginning and he actually loved us in return… that was hard to come by in our older group.
Melvin listened to everything that was taught. He answered every question and just really loved being there. He was a blessing to us!
This is Brandy and Valeta.
How I wanted to know them more. They were beautiful and have so much to offer. Pray they realize that. Pray they find their identity and worth in Him.
This is their water!!! Isn’t that cool??? It’s in bags… not bottles!!
Their juice is also in these little baggies! This was part of their snack each day.
Serving the snacks to all the little children.
This is the missionary story. The church hosted this part at the end of each morning.
The women is the front is telling a story of HUDSON TAYLOR… a missionary from England to China. She told part of the story each day. It was… interesting and hilarious.
After the first part of the story was done on Monday, she asked the kids “Do you like the story of Hudson Taylor?” They all screamed back, “NOOO!!” haha.. I don’t think she expected that response. So, she asked “Were you here last year and listen to that story?” “Yes”… “Did you like that story?” “YES!”…. “But you don’t like this one?” … and they screamed louder, “NOOO!” … Gave me a bit of a chuckle.
We got to eat lunch as a team at the church. We were all pretty exhausted.
This was my favorite meal we ate in Belize. It was like a Belizean taco… with pineapple!!! YUM!
One of my favorite things… small but really impacting.
After lunch… we didn’t really know the schedule. The pastor asked us if we would be okay with helping with some service projects. We were down for whatever. The men helped with fixing a picnic table that had been destroyed by the kids. And the girls were asked to… wash the walls. Now… this is not a very glamorous job and I (honestly) expected some sighs or a bit of complaining. But… there was not a peep of that… just an eagerness to serve. We washed and scrubbed this dirty hallway for over an hour… trying our best to get every mark off. The girls were joyful as they served. 🙂
Once we did as much as we could and stopped I (again) expected the girls to be relieved and over it. It wasn’t so… they (again) planned ways for how we could serve the church better. They planned to go by cleaning supplies, wash clothes, and wipes from the market across from our hotel to clean again the next day. Sigh… my heart was so moved.
The scenery on our drive to go door to door.
Door to door in Rootsville.
This picture was taken after our visit to the orphanage in town. You like my hair, huh? My friend at the orphanage fixed it.
We weren’t allowed to take pictures there for the safety of the children and the families from which they came. Many of the orphans there were taken out of their homes because of the devastating situations they were living in. The orphanage has forever marked Jacob and me.
Jacob met a little boy named Eric there. He is the most beautiful little boy you have ever seen. He is 12 and has lived at the orphanage for 11 years. He has seen all of his friends move on and be adopted. He has been a part of 3 adoption attempts… all ending without success. He is still there. He told Jacob, “I just don’t think anyone wants me.” That is the heart of the orphans there. They feel no one wants them. I assure you… that is not true. I don’t know what God has in store for the Morgans… but whatever happens… we will one day have children in our home who we can tell over and over again that they are so wanted… adopted by us and wanted by Jesus. Please pray for Eric and the children in orphanages in Belize and all over the world. Pray they feel the love of Christ. Pray they know they are wanted.
Monday night we had a meeting with us a the Canadians. We were able to give highlights of our day. Many of our students stood up to say what their heart had experienced.
Deanna’s story from the orphanage also broke my heart:
She met a 16 year old girl there… who clung to her the entire time we were there. She even held her hand and walked around with Deanna. She wanted so bad for someone to love her and just spend time with her. They talked the entire time. Deanna was amazed that a girl… a year younger than her… was forced to live so differently and so alone.
When it was time for us to leave, the girl reached into her pocket and told Deanna she had something for her. Deanna was a little nervous… she didn’t know if it was a bug or gum or what. The girl pulled out a necklace and gave it to Deanna. She told her that she wanted Deanna to remember her… to remember her name, her face.
This moment was really special to Deanna, and I know she will never forget. The girl gave one of her very few possessions to Deanna in hopes that she wouldn’t be forgotten. Breaks my heart.
O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!