Monday, March 22, 2010

Fall 2010 Trip to Belize!

Mark your calendars! Our first trip to Belize as a church will be:

November 21-27, 2010

More details and costs to come soon!

*** Also remember that we'll be giving a presentation about Belize and our upcoming work there on Sunday, April 18, in both morning worship services @ Quest!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Days 3 and 4 in BELIZE

Our third day in Belize began with a trip to Belize City from Belmopan (where we have been staying for the first 2 days of our trip). On the way out of Belmopan we stopped to see a man named German, who is starting a church out of his local business facility (he does road repair, etc). The picture above is of his local business (that doubles as a church 3 or 4 days a week!). This next picture is where they meet in that facility for worship.

German is an incredible man with an incredible heart for God and people. He and his wife and children have a ministry to many young people in the community - especially those not connected with a church. Their desire is for these young people to know Christ and to experience His love in their lives. German is living this out every day in his world. Here is a picture of German and I together. What a Godly man he is.

Following our time at German's new church, we continued on to Belize City to meet the President of the Methodist Church and his staff.

The President and another staff member took us one hour north to a small town called Santana where we met the staff and students of a local school there. In Belize, the schools are almost all run by churches. This one was being run by the Methodist Church. The school has 3 teachers and 68 students in grades K-8. They have a tiny building with 3 classrooms that they meet in. We arrived just in time for lunch and had a great lunch together. Following that we went out and played with the school children (they were having recess). They taught us some games, and of course Vickie Veatch taught them some games as well!

Vickie Veatch set up correspondence with the head teacher of the school and talked about kids from Quest and kids at this Belizian school exchanging letters, pictures, etc. The following picture is one that my daughter, Morgan, made for one of the kids. This little girls name was Britanny and was very touched that she received this picture. She showed it to all her friends.

The following picture shows you the school building (this is the only building - very small) and the students and teachers. They were incredible kids. Very loving. Very fun. But there is also great need at this school. They have food needs, curriculum needs, facility needs, and the list goes on.

One other note - this school also serves as a church on Sundays, as well as a hurricane shelter.

Following our time at the school we stopped by some ancient Mayan ruins that were very close by. That's Vickie Veatch, Eric Brisendine, and Heather Barrs at the top!

After our time at the ruins, we headed to a small island off the coast of Belize called Caye Cauker. We've been there last night and today relaxing and reflecting on the incredible week we've had. We had a great 2 hour worship and reflection time tonight just reminiscing about the week and all that we've seen. We shared memories and where we feel God leading us as a church community.

Tomorrow we head home - early in the morning - so this will be my final blogpost for now. I'm so thankful to be a part of such an amazing church community with an amazing developing vision for international missions. The team is excited to share all we've learned with you and where we feel God is leading us as we seek a long-term relationship with the incredible people of Belize! See you soon!

A Message from Vickie Veatch, Kids Minister --- BELIZE MISSION

Hey kids! I just wanted to say hey and let you know I miss you and can't wait to tell you all about our trip to Belize. We were able to meet a lot of kids this week and even went to a school where we were able to play with the kids and teach them some new games (see the picture above - that's me at the school with the kids). I have an address so you can write them notes and they will be able to write you back. I have several names of kids that we will be praying for. We ate lunch with the kids at their school and the lunch was pretty good. We gave out all the bubbles and they were so excited to get them. We were blowing up balloons and couldn't do it fast enough. Miss Kelly and I had a great time spending time with them and playing. I have lots of pictures and will show them to ya'll when I get back. Pray for us tomorrow as we head home and keep praying for the kids in Belize. I love ya'll and miss you and can't wait to see you on Sunday with lots of stories to share!

Love -- Miss Vickie

PS. Miss Kelly and everybody says "hi!"

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 2 in Belize

Our second day in Belize began with loading into a large van and eating "meat pies" as we headed out of the town we've been staying in - Belmopan (meat pies are a Belizian breakfast delicacy - they are small "potpies" with a meat mix in them - very spicy and very good!). We headed southeast toward the town of Dangriga on the "Hummingbird Highway" - just outside the Mayan Mountains (rainforest). We then entered the rainforest - some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. Along the way we hit the town of Pomona and stopped to visit a local church there - where Rene and his wife pastor. The picture above is the church building they built - about 600 square feet total - where they hold worship and other services several nights a week. The following picture is of Rene and his pet parrot (parrots are everywhere here - we've seen a bunch).

Following this stop we continued on south for another half hour or so and stopped to have lunch at a shrimp farm close to the coast. Incredible meal prepared by some friends of the missionaries we're staying with here. Then we hit the vans again and continued south another hour until we arrived in Bladen - a Mayan (actually Mopan Mayan). There we met Ecedro and Isabella - the pastor and wife of the church there. They have 7 kids and live in thatched roofed homes. They are in a village of several hundred people. Currently they have a very small church building (wood) and are trying to build a 1500 square foot block building - that will serve not only as a church building - but also a hurricane shelter (there are many hurricanes that hit Belize). Hurricane shelter are a huge need here. The following pictures are of our time in Bladen with the Mayan people.

After our time in Bladen, we headed back north to a large village called Red Bank - also Mayan. It was much larger than Bladen - with over a thousand people living there. Most of the villagers are children. Just a note - the average age in Belize is around 27 - very young - because there are so many children. In Red Bank we met lots of families, including the local pastor and his wife - Estevan and Nicholosa. There is a large church building that was built there about 3 years ago. It is just over 1500 square feet (I say large in comparison to what we've seen here - these buildings are very small according to American standards). The following pictures are from our time in Red Bank.

After Red Bank, we piled back into the van and made the 3 hour drive back to Belmopan, where we are staying tonight. It's been a long - but great - day. Tomorrow morning we are going to Belize City to meet the President of the Methodist Church of Belize. He and his staff are going to take us to Santana - a small town where they are trying to expand some ministry opportunities there. We'll have lunch at a school there and hear about their vision to expand and grow.

Continue to pray for us as we explore the opportunities God is laying before our church in Belize. This is an incredible country and full of incredible people whom God loves. We can't wait to tell you more about it!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A few more pics of Day 1 in Belize

Day 1 in Belize

Day 1 (Tuesday, March 2) began at 5:30 am as the team met at Quest to head to Charlotte. From left to right above is Joey Barrs, Eric Brisendine, Kelly Tremblay, Sherry Brisendine, Heather Barrs, and Vickie Veatch. John Kenney took the pic. We are sad that Cindy Keszler was unable to make the trip due to sickness. Please remember her in your thoughts and prayers.

We arrived in Charlotte around 8:30 am, and immediately had our flight changed due to a schedule problem that might have caused us to miss a connection in Miami. So we were re-routed to Dallas, then on to Belize. We barely made the flight out of Charlotte since we were re-routed! We were literally running to the gate as they were calling our names out over the airport loudspeaker system. Like the movies!

Once in Belize (3:30 pm Belize time) we were greeted by Gene and Liz Hancock, missionaries in Belize. They took us to Belmopan, the capital city of Belize. We are staying the night at a youth camp there.

Upon our arrival at the camp, we hung out for a little while and then had a Belizean meal prepared by the people of Belize (friends of the local missionaries). About 30 of them showed up! They are absolutely amazing people. Very welcoming. Very loving. We had a great dinner with them. Even spent some time in prayer.

Tonight we're hanging out and sharing together as team, and tomorrow we're headed south to the rainforests of Belize to visit churches and local villages in Red Bank and Bladen.

Pray that God will give us wisdom as we seek mission partnerships over the next few days.

Quest Church - you have SENT us here and we represent our entire church community. Thank you for your prayers and support!

See next post for a few pics of our day today ....

Monday, March 1, 2010

Belize Itinerary and Prayer Requests

Quest's Belize Mission Team leaves tomorrow morning at 5:30 am. The following is our itinerary for March 2-6:

March 2
* Fly from Charlotte to Belize City
* Drive to Belmopan for the evening

March 3
* Early morning: drive south to rain forest villages and visit mission sites and churches
* Afternoon: return to Belmopan

March 4
* Travel to Belize City and meet with President and staff of Methodist Church in Belize
* After lunch - travel to Santana and Lucky Strike (pics from last blogpost are of this area) and visit local school and church there. Hear about their vision for a new chapel.
* Travel back to Belize City and catch ferry to island for the evening

March 5
* Day of worship, reflection, and sharing about our experiences --- planning for the future of our mission work in Belize

March 6
* Back to Belize City and flight back to Charlotte, then drive to Augusta, arrive home around midnight

Prayers - Please pray for health for our team. Many members have been sick. In addition, pray we would have wisdom to discern where God would have us in Belize - as we seek to establish long-term relationships there. Pray for the people of Belize.