We knew today that the first day of camp was going to be a great cultural experience for us. There are moments where I think we are still struggling to get ourselves out of our american mindsets and into the hearts and minds of the Belize people. Just being honest and speaking for myself more than anyone. I think I sometimes approach things too much from the mindset of how we can help them, and maybe miss the moments where I could be blessed by them.
From american standards, the day was . . . different. But we are not in America. It was actually great to hear one of the locals here, Steven, say that it was the most organized camp he has ever been to. It gave us new and proper perspective. I can say that they guys have been awesome . . . willing to jump in and do anything that needs to be done. We were involved in organizing soccer games, running soccer training sessions, teaching the kids how to throw a frisbee, as well as a lot of things that just seem to creep up on you that you have to drop everything and do. In addition, we were the go to guys for any logistical questions with the activities and schedule.
We were pretty much on the go at the camp from 7am until 5pm. At that point we left to run a couple of errands and get some dinner. It was great to catch up with Diane (Heather Barr's mother) at Chamilote Camp. From there we headed to Pasquale's Pizza for a great dinner.
On the way home, we had another experience as we hit our first checkpoint. We were in a jeep with two seats in it . . . my dad Lee was driving with Jef Flournoy shotgun . . . James Thomas, Aaron Harris and I were all in the back riding Belizian style. When we came to the checkpoint, we explained to the police officer who we were, what we were doing and where we were going. After asking Lee for his drivers license . . . he asked him to get out of the car. Hmmm . . . it was a moment. He then said to him that he did not appreciate the way Aaron was sitting in the back of the car and as the driver that he needed to fix that. Aaron quickly changed how he was sitting to appease the police officer . . . Lee luckily got back into the car. And off we went. It was one of those moments.
Upon arriving back at camp, we had our evening service which was full of great singing, worship and testimonies. At the end, one of the youth pastors from Mississippi spoke and about 20 youth came forward to receive Christ. Definitely the highlight of my week so far was leading three of these young men in prayer as they prayed to receive Christ. One of the boys was a young man from Roaring Creek who we had kind of hit it off with today. It was a sweet moment for me personally.
Continue to pray for us . . . that we will be a blessing to both the kids and also to German and his staff. Pray that we will get more opportunities to connect with the youth . . . pray for me as I will be sharing a devotional/message at some point tomorrow . . . pray that God will give me the words to say and allow me to be bold . . . continue to pray for our health and fatigue . . . I anticipate that tomorrow could be our toughest day fatigue-wise.
Thanks for your prayers and messages of encouragement.
Mike for the guys.