Our first full day in Belize is officially over, and I’m pretty sure time moves more quickly here. Today was a day of hard work, uplifting one another, and preparing our hearts for the week ahead.
We had two wake up calls this morning at 6AM and 6:30AM. Each room got dressed for the day and met upstairs for breakfast at 7AM. We had johnny cakes, eggs, beans, watermelon, bananas, and orange juice. It was delicious, and it was the perfect fuel to start our day! Kelley placed beautiful name tags for each team member at each seat – ensuring everyone would feel welcome at the table and get to chat with someone new this morning.
After breakfast, Annamay turned on the live stream of Heights Church so we could worship alongside them. Heights is one of our partners in Virginia and also the home church for most of our team members. It was sweet to worship with them before breaking off individually for quiet time. Today’s devo was focused around Psalm 63:1-8. It reminded our team of all it took to get here and that we were meant to be planted here in this moment for a purpose—that we are chosen.
After quiet time we broke into different groups to focus on our tasks for the morning. Some of us sorted all of the ministry supplies we brought with us. The guys learned their role and plan of action for our teen boys camp this week. Those that will be helping with the teen girls conference got together to plan for each day. The women that will be sharing their testimonies at the women’s conference got to share their stories and get feedback. We all had an incredibly productive morning — all before 10:30AM!
At 10:45AM, we left for church at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church. This is the church attached to the school we use for all of our programming, where Annamay is the principal. We got to attend church alongside her and some of our longtime friends from the village. It was so sweet to see familiar faces. We even got to meet the newest baby in the village, and she is so snuggly! We love her already!
This was our first time attending St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Belize, and we loved it. We felt so welcomed from the moment we walked in. Amy and Daniela each read a passage from scripture during the service. Reverend Rosado was so kind to include our large group in communion. We felt so honored to be so included in the service. She spoke directly to us and affirmed our call to be in this place.
After church, we got to hang out at the school for a few minutes before heading back to the hotel for lunch. We got the have traditional Sunday dinner for lunch, and it was out of this world! This meal consists of stew chicken, rice and beans, and potato salad. They also served us Annamay’s famous tarts. If you know, you know! It was complete with refreshing pineapple juice!
After lunch, we changed back into our serve clothes for an afternoon of hard work and preparation for the week back at the school. We gathered our decorations, drove to the school, and got to work decorating three different spaces for the week. Some of us were transformed a flooded school room into a beautiful and fun space to welcome teen girls for our Highly Favored Girls Conference this week. Another group prepped for camp and made a dusty room look like the set of The Little Mermaid. The final subset of team members took an auditorium filled with construction supplies and turned it into a beautiful and elegant space for the Transformed Women’s Conference. We are so excited to see how God uses each of these spaces to change lives this week. It was hard work today, and we’re ready to see the fruit of our labor through our programming this week!
When we finished decorating around 5:30PM, we left the school to come back to the hotel for dinner. While we were waiting for everything to be prepared, we filmed a reel for Instagram where our team members shared one word to describe today. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to follow us @2819ministries to see fun behind the scenes throughout the week!
While we were filming our videos, some of the kids from the village ran towards the hotel waving their arms and making hearts with their hands. They called out our names and asked, “When will we get to see you?” and “Who are all of your friends?” They assured us they would be at camp this week as they excitedly jumped up and down. We can’t wait to hug them and introduce them to all of our first timers.
One of our team members heard us talking about a kid over and over today and said “I’m so excited for tomorrow! I can’t wait to know him too!” We love the legacy that exists here. God has been building it for so many years — the family bond that we have here. He is so good.
For dinner, we had fried chicken, mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, garden salad, chocolate chip scones, and strawberry-lime juice. Talk about AMAZING! Our team has been over the moon after every meal so far – Miss Shirlene never disappoints.
Following dinner, we grabbed our bibles and walked over to the church in front of the hotel for our nightly team worship. Tonight, our live worship team led us in Lean Back and The More I Seek You. It was so cool to see Samantha, James, and April using their gifts to serve in this way and glorify God. One of our team members/board members, Kelley, has been meeting with them over the last couple of months to prepare for this time. We’re so grateful for this!
During our worship and devo time, we got to discuss God sightings within our group. At the end, we got to share how we saw God within our team members today. So many team members were called out for their positive attitudes and hard work. We love this time as a team, even after a long day of preparation like today.
After devos, we all split off for showers, packing supplies for tomorrow, playing with the two puppies at the hotel (Jingles Jr. and Bells), and sleep.
Thank you so much for your intentional prayers as we serve shoulder to shoulder with one another. Please pray over our programs tomorrow. The enemy hates what we’re doing, but we are called and equipped and our God has already won. You can be praying specifically for the Bible Adventure Camp, Highly Favored Teen Girls Retreat, Warrior’s Boys Camp, and Transformed Women’s Conference.
We are so overwhelmed with gratitude seeing how many of you are reading and sharing the blog! God is so good and we still can’t believe we’re here. Let’s GO!
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