Every day here is better than the one before. It’s so easy to see God’s hand in every piece of our day, and each day is overflowing with His presence.
When we woke up this morning and went outside, I noticed it was raining and sunny out. I filled up my water, put on my bug spray, and ran upstairs to see if there was a rainbow. The moment I got up there, I looked towards St. Matthew’s and saw a bright and beautiful rainbow. Not even five minutes later another rainbow appeared in the mountains beyond the village. Then, five minutes later, we saw a TRIPLE rainbow. We could see the whole thing — it started in the village and ended at St. Matthew’s. For those of you that followed the blog last year, you know rainbows popped up everywhere. It’s so sweet that the trend is continuing into this year.
This morning for breakfast we had tortillas, hard boiled eggs, beans, chicken, watermelon, bananas, and cantaloupe juice. After breakfast, we separated for our devo/quiet time before starting our day. Today’s devo was about how God is worthy of all of our worship. We gathered in the upstairs lobby after quiet time to gather our supplies and make our way to camp. Our van wouldn’t start this morning, so we got to ride the bus with some of the kids to camp. We arrived at camp and started setting up our classrooms. The kids were so excited to be back and immediately went to look for the bubble machine. They danced in the bubbles and danced with their squad until the opening session started. Peyton T. and Olivia led the dance moves to a new song and the kids loved it! They kept up with the new dance moves so well!
Today’s Bible Point was “God loves me. I am a treasure.” Our stations today were full of fun activities to reinforce the lesson. In one station, they watched a cartoon about the crucifixion. Megan and Emily got to share with the kids that Jesus covers all of our sins. James and Cris played a fun game where the kids had to use rubber bands to pick up cups and stack them together. Susan and Chantel’s station was a coloring page that had a 3D element. When I interviewed some of the kids after camp, they said this was their favorite station of the day. Jennifer and Kelley’s station is snacks and water. The kids get to learn their Bible verse in this station and have some fun conversations with their squads. Amber and Alex’s station had a fun escape room. All of the squads get so excited when they earn a new clue. They loved it!
After camp, we spent some time playing with the kids in the schoolyard while we waited for the bus to pick us up. April and Samantha had their hair braided, Olivia and Kelley gave piggy back rides, Renee danced with some of her squad, Peyton and Elijah played soccer — it was so much fun.
Emerson picked us up from the school so we could go back to the hotel for lunch. We had incredibly delicious pork and chicken tacos with fresh pico de gallo and onions with cilantro. We also had garnaches as a side and pineapple juice to drink. We couldn’t get enough of the tacos! They were so fresh and filling! After lunch, we had some time to rest before leaving to set up for our afternoon programs.
Around 1:30PM, we left to go back to the school for the afternoon programs. The boys set up an obstacle course for Warriors camp and started their time with Tribal Council. Alex, Cris, Peyton, James and Eli are doing such an incredible job at leading Warriors camp! Today, one of the challenges was to do the obstacle course blindfolded. One of the boys did the challenge and at the end told the leader that he could actually see through the blindfold and had cheated to win for his team. The leaders saw this as an act of courage and rewarded him for it by giving his team an additional point. The lessons being learned here are incredible and lifelong. I’ve never seen such excitement and commitment to something like this from the young boys in Belize. They’re showing up, inviting their friends, and giving it their all every day. It’s so beautiful to watch them experience God in a fresh, new way.
The teen girls studied the story of the bleeding woman. They talked about how the world can put so many labels on us, but the name God gives us is the only one that matters. Each girl got to make a beaded bracelet with a word that reminds them of who God says they are. Some of the words used were “chosen”, “special”, and “daughter”. They loved showing off their bracelets afterwards and couldn’t wait to share why they chose the word they did.
The women’s conference was incredible, too! We had 17 new women in attendance today. Some of the women attending this year’s conference are taking off of work to be there. They’re showing up and prioritizing their relationship with Jesus and their community. Today’s worship songs were “More Than Able” and “Trust in God”. The women have loved learning these new songs. A few have asked us to send them links so they can listen at home. Today, Megan shared her testimony around the Bible point “I Am Set Apart”. It moved many to tears and was the perfect catalyst for meaningful and vulnerable conversation. When I asked one of the women if she enjoyed the conference, she said “Yes, I put in the effort to get more out of it today than yesterday. Sometimes in life, things happen to us but we are free to share our story and God can use it to change us and others.” Her heart was transformed by the sharing of testimonies today. We ended the conference with “Goodness of God”, and it was so beautiful to hear the unity in their voice as they proclaimed God’s goodness and faithfulness.
At one point during our afternoon programs I went outside to photograph our other programs happening at the school. I stood in the middle of the schoolyard and came to a stop. I looked around and could hear the women’s conference worship to my right, the teen girls worship to the left, and all of the boys chanting “Let’s Go Warriors” in the middle. It was the most beautiful picture of what the 28:19 Ministries has been dreaming of and praying for since the beginning. Women, children, teen boys and teen girls all learning who Jesus is at the same time and on the level they need. God is so faithful. He answers our prayers and knows our hearts.
Following our afternoon programs, we got to spend some time playing with the kids and interviewing them about their favorite part of the day. Everyone had a different answer and was ecstatic to share. We went back to the hotel and had some time before dinner. Some played soccer with the kids and some rested. A few of us spent the hour looking at videos from the day — reliving the sweet moments.
At 6PM, we went upstairs for dinner. Tonight’s menu consisted of Mexican rice, stew pork, pasta salad, fried plantain, and watermelon juice. It was incredible as always.
After dinner, we gathered for worship and devos. We got to worship together and then discuss our devo on worry. We talked about how worry and worship cannot exist at the same time — one will always replace the other. Afterwards we watched a video compilation from a few years ago so our team could see the legacy they’ve stepped into by being a member of this team. Then, we transitioned to video clips from today. It was so cool for our team to get to see videos from the programs they’re not a part of. We broke out into our small groups to debrief before heading out for showers and bed.
God is showing off here this week and we are ALL FOR IT. This week, our team has gotten to bear witness to His majesty. From the rainbows at the start of the day to the interactions had during our programs — God is at work here and it’s so evident. There have been so many times this week where I’ve looked around the room and have seen God wrecking our team members in the most beautiful way.
Thank you all so much for supporting us with your prayers! We feel them and are so grateful we get to share with you in this way! Thanks for following along! Until tomorrow…
If you're looking for more ways to get involved, check out our volunteer opportunities! We can't wait to serve alongside you!
We are looking forward to staying in contact with you so that you can get all of the latest updates on our programming, volunteer opportunities, and more!
© 2019-2024 28:19 MINISTRIES