Monday, April 2, 2012
Belize Update - Day 1 - April 2, 2012
Well ... we're in Belize!
The day began bright and early when the team gathered at 4 am at The Quest Church in Martinez. Things went smoothly as we packed the bus, had a brief prayer send-off, grabbed a sack breakfast (thanks Debbie & Jeffrey Banks!) and loaded the big bus to head to Charlotte for our flight.
One last Starbucks run in the airport terminal, then it was on the plane for a mid morning direct flight to Belize City, Belize. Upon landing in Belize, our 20 Quest missionaries met up with 2 more who flew in from Atlanta and the 22 of us met our in country hosts and then hopped on the now-familiar "Evangelical Quest Church" bus.
After about 20 minutes on the road (we were headed to the capital city of Belmopan, just over an hour from the airport) we pulled off the road to grab a quick lunch that was prepared for us by Alice Gallardo (she is the pastor's wife of the church we work with in Belize). Coca-colas in glass bottles, fresh fruit, and the most amazing homemade burritos ever (seriously - handmade soft tortilla shells, fresh cilantra ... you get the picture!).
Then it was back on the road so we could get to Camalote Camp, a beautiful camp nestled in the on the outskirts of the capital city. We unpacked, got settled, and a few minutes for rest in the famous "hammock hut."
Then our team split up - and most folks headed out to Arizona Village to visit with kids (some of whom we've met on previous trips). Other members of the team headed out to run errands and get supplies for the first full day of mission work (Tuesday). This includes stopping by the local pharmacy and also the "mall" where we purchased many items - to includes 900 lbs of flour, rice, and beans that will be packed in small care packages to be handed out in local villages during the week.
The evening ended by everyone meeting back at camp for a delicious Belizean dinner of chicken, rice and beans, etc. After dinner we had our first "Quest Circle Time" where we gather for worship, prayer, and sharing. Powerful time as team members shared their hopes and fears about the week. Pastor German Gallardo also shared his heart with us.
At the close of our devotional time together tonight, Noah showed up. Noah's story can be found in older blog posts (just scroll back to first trip), but it was so encouraging to see and hear from him about all that God has done and continues to do in his life. He is on fire for Jesus. Inspiring to say the least!
A past team member had a small gift sent to him by way of this team, and so we shared it with him tonight. He was extremely touched, as were we all.
It's going to be an AMAZING week. God, in His grand design, has set this week aside so that this team may be used by Him to be His hands and feet among people that we have come to know as family.
Tomorrow begins the first full day of ministry - village outreach, kids ministries, medical, and construction. Pray that we'll be a blessing to the beautiful people of Belize.