There’s nothing sweeter than waking up in Belize to the sounds of birds chirping. After a long travel day yesterday, a good night’s rest was exactly what we needed. We were up this morning around 6 or 6:30 to start getting ready for our day. We enjoyed breakfast in the common area before starting our day. We had fry jacks, sausage and eggs, beans, pineapple, cantaloupe, grapes and cantaloupe juice. After breakfast we gathered our supplies and loaded up our van to head to the school for the morning.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ve probably heard us mention St. Matthew’s Anglican School. St. Matthew’s is where all of our summer programs are held, where Annamay is the principal, and they’re one of our partner schools. Many of the students attend our summer camp and other programs. It feels like a family reunion each year when we return. Today during the assembly, one of the girls who attended our camp this summer shouted “God saves me! I am made new!” What we do here matters. It impacts little lives and leaves a forever mark.
As we’ve planned for this trip to Belize, one of the events we’ve been most excited about is the Reading Assembly. When we arrived at the school, all of the students were carrying their desks to the courtyard to gather for the Reading Assembly. They arranged their desks by class and in a u-shape. We started off the assembly by learning Galatians 1:4 and reciting it together. Then we sang Joy to the World, Go Tell it on the Mountain, and Away in a Manger. We played a few fun games tailored to each standard (grade level). The older students played a game to unscramble different Christmas words. The younger students were blindfolded and tried to scoop as many cotton balls as they could into a bowl. The youngest students used toilet paper, a paper carrot nose, a Santa hat and a scarf to turn one of their classmates into a snowman. When one little girl was wrapped in toilet paper, she said “I’m gonna melt!” We had so much fun, and all of the classmates watching were so good about cheering their friends on. Finally, we got to read “The Great Rescue Plan” to all of the kids. This book, written and illustrated by Madison, was written with these specific kids in mind. It was a dream realized to see her reading it to 300+ students at St. Matthew’s this morning. If you’ve purchased a copy of “The Great Rescue Plan”, you helped to make the Reading Assembly possible. Thank you so much for your support!
When we finished the Reading Assembly, students were dismissed back to their classes. Many of the students who we recognized from the summer came up and gave us hugs before going back to class. Once everyone was back in their classes, we visited each room to distribute books. Because of your support in purchasing copies of “The Great Rescue Plan” for your own families, each family at St. Matthew’s Anglican School received a copy to take home with them. Because of YOU, the Good News is in the hands of families across the valley in a beautiful and tangible way.
Once all of the books were distributed, we got to visit classrooms and see learning in action. One of our pillars at 28:19 Ministries is to support primary education. When you give to 28:19 Ministries, you’re doing exactly that. Know that when you’re giving to support education through 28:19 Ministries, the name of Jesus is being glorified each day in our partner schools.
During the students’ lunch break, we got to reunite with so many friends from the summer. Many of them asked about team members that were with us in July. Family is formed in Belize.
When we were finished at the school, we came back to the hotel for lunch. Christy made the most delicious chicken tacos for lunch, complete with pico de gallo, cilantro and onions, radishes, fresh lime, and horchata. Christy is so talented, and we’re so grateful for her!
After lunch, we prepped things for the rest of our activities. We got to fellowship and listen to Christmas music while working. We sat and talked to Hez and Pastor Lord’s wife during our rest time before dinner. Christy made vegetable fried rice, stew chicken, cole slaw, and lime juice. It was indescribably delicious! We really want her to write a cookbook – she is so talented!
When we were finishing up dinner, our sweet friend, Daniela, surprised us! We loved getting to hug her and spend some time chatting. We ate quickly tonight to make it to St. Matthew’s for the annual tree lighting. This is a HUGE production that typically lasts for hours. There are messages from local pastors, performances from the University of Belize and the Ecumenical High School Marching Band, and performances from different classes at St. Matthew’s. SO much hard work goes into preparing for it and it was so fun to watch! We got to reunite with so many friends from the village. Annamay asked us to speak, so Amy introduced our board and shared a quick message. At the end of the program, we counted down to the lighting of the tree and watched a fireworks show right in the school yard! It was magical and the perfect way to start off the Christmas season!
Now, we’re back at the hotel. We’ve showered and are ready to rest for a day of fun tomorrow! Thank you so much for following along!
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