Well, much belated greetings from the Evangelical Quest Church “IGNITE” Youth Camp at Blue Thumb Missions in Camalote Village, Belize! Our team has experienced some challenges with getting an adequate internet signal and that has delayed our regular daily blog posts. But take heart – we are trying our best to overcome this and find a solution to update those of you following the team from the States.
Yesterday 50 campers, ages 13-18, began arriving around 9:30am. They were welcomed into the chapel by Alice and Vani Gallardo and several members of the Quest Church mission team. Each camper was assigned a colored wristband that told them what small group they would be in – and then they were given room assignments.
Shortly afterward, each small group (team) was participating in icebreaker activities – designed to become familiar with each other’s names. These are always a little awkward at first but turn out to be important later in the day.
And as is so very customary here in Belize (and in part due to FIFA World Cup fever) game time soon saw all of the young men on the football (soccer) field. The passion for this sport runs deep inside the young people of this country and we can sometimes barely keep up with them - although Dru Cartledge has been an exception to this. Dru played school soccer back in Augusta and has impressed the boys.
The ladies enjoyed playing “the human knot” – a game of untying themselves after their hands are joined together with others. This was popular at last year’s camp as well. And they also spent time together in the chapel creating beaded wrap bracelets.
(Just to mention, we are honored to have several local women to cook for our team and the campers. They begin very early in the morning and finish later in the evening – so we asked them to spend the night with our group so that they didn’t have to get up around 3:30 am to arrive at camp at 5am.)
As the day progressed, many other games, races and sports were being played all over the campground. Some young men played basketball – some ladies had a tug of war and played volleyball. We also built four ladder ball sets and had a competition. Matt MacDonald, Brad Medford and Mike Alexander have done an awesome job of keeping up with so many activities and the youth.
Even though we have been blessed with a great breeze since we arrived, yesterday was our hottest afternoon since we arrived. So we gave the kids plenty of opportunities to cool off. Water balloons were a theme late in the day – and led to all-out war.
As evening fell, we ate dinner and showered around 6:30 and then had evening worship together at 8pm.
I want to finish by saying that we are very grateful to German and Alice Gallardo and the EQC church for their love and support during daily camp life. They work hard to keep everyone having fun and in uplifted spirits. It is easy to see why God has put them in this ministry.
Peace... for now. Oh, and take a look at the photos below.