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!