In 2019 God planted a dream in the heart of our President and Founder, Amy Gordon. A dream to GO. A dream to serve in a way we weren’t sure we were even qualified for. God called her to start this non-profit, 28:19 Ministries. With the hopes of being able to return to Belize in 2020, we gathered a team together and were ready to begin planning our first Mission Experience in Belize under 28:19 Ministries. The global pandemic quickly halted our plans and forced us to evaluate how we can GO and be His hands and feet in different ways and places than we had ever imagined. The past 3 years have been about learning, growing, and stretching – trusting God to go before us. We exist to GO where we are called in Jesus’ name — that’s what we’ve done. Lynchburg, Belize, Richmond, Nigeria — we GO where we are called in Jesus’ name.
Fast forward to today. A day we’ve waited 3 years for — returning to Belize. After months of preparing curriculum, building a team, and setting logistic straight, we’re here. We’re home. God called 13 people to GO physically to Belize, and each person responded with a “yes”. One simple “yes” led to this, and we can’t wait to see how God uses each person this week to build His kingdom. A dream realized — 3 years in the making.
We had an early start to our day with a 4AM meeting time at Richmond International Airport. We never know how the airline is going to want to handle our team’s massive amount of checked baggage, but we were greeted with joyful smiles and willing hearts. God always plants people in our path on travel days that exhibit such joy and care for our team — a sweet reminder of His faithfulness. We got through check-in quickly and took a few moments to pray together before heading through security. Security can be overwhelming and chaotic, but today we were met with joyful curiosity as to why we were wearing matching yellow shirts. This is always such an incredible opportunity to brag on God and share about Him in places we wouldn’t normally have the opportunity. From TSA agents to other passengers to flight attendants — so many people wanted to know what we were up to.
Once we got through security, we had a few minutes to grab coffee and use the bathroom before boarding the plane. Our flight from Richmond to Atlanta was smooth and easy. We even saw a beautiful rainbow — a symbol of His faithfulness. When we got to Atlanta, we made our way to the international terminal. We arrived to find the other team serving with Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus (KK4J) this week at our gate. Everyone had a chance to grab a quick breakfast before boarding our final flight of the day. Starbucks was the number one choice amongst our team — it was the perfect treat after an early morning. After sitting on the runway for an hour to wait out a storm in Atlanta, we finally took off and made our way to Belize. It was so sweet to land in Belize after not being able to come for the last two years. Immigration and Customs were really busy today, so it took some time to get through. Once we made it through, we realized we were missing one of our crates of ministry supplies. After checking our list to see what was in the crate, we realized it was items that we wouldn’t need until the end of the week. If a bin had to be missing, it was the perfect one. We met the most kind Delta baggage employee who helped us track down the bag and make a plan to get it to us tomorrow. God’s goodness on display in the most practical way — it’s the little things that mean the most. We made it through customs without any issues and made our way to our bus.
Our three hour bus ride was comfortable and air-conditioned (this was amazing and isn’t always the case – such a sweet surprise!). KK4J had juice and homemade chicken burritos on the bus for us to enjoy – it was delicious!! We spent the bus ride making conversation, taking in the views, and resting our eyes (aka – naps – lol). We dropped off the other team at the camp where they’re staying and made our way to the Macaroni (our accommodations for the week)! When we pulled in the driveway, it was like arriving at home — immediate peace, comfort, and joy. God has gone before us every step of the way today, and His presence in each space has been so evident.
We unpacked the crates and had some time to get settled in, rest, and have some team time. We played a new card game and had so much fun laughing together. Around 6pm (Belize time), we went upstairs for dinner. Annamae and Miss Shirlene made fried chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, and salad for us. It was delicious. Annamae even made her famous sweet tea – such a treat! After dinner, we had our team worship time. We went over some details for our day tomorrow and sang “Firm Foundation”. God is so good and so faithful. It feels surreal to be back here worshipping and serving together – what a gift. Each team member also got a “GO Bag” personalized with their name. Each was filled with some essentials for the week.
Now, everyone is asleep so we can be well rested for our first full day on the ground tomorrow! Thank you for your generosity and for your prayers. There’s no doubt that God has been all over this day. We are so expectant of all that He will do this week. Thanks for reading!
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