Last August I was blessed by the opportunity to join the Jesse Lee Youth mission trip to Belize. Our task was to enclose an open pavilion at a Methodist elementary school so that they would have a secure building from which to launch a feeding program. Many of the young students are not able to concentrate on their studies because they do not have enough to eat at home. With our work on enclosing the building completed and then with the Peace Corps helping with the food, the Burrell Boom School’s dream of feeding the children has come true. This week we received photos of the cafeteria building in use.
Our team of 16 youth and 4 adults, working with some local youth and adults, had an experience of a lifetime. Working in unrelenting heat and sun, hammering nails into hard mahogany wood – yes, that’s right, mahogany is their cheapest lumber! – and trying to spread on thick paint before it turned to a sticky mess in the heat, we managed to finish the project in a week. And, by the way, did you know, we also rebuilt the roof over the classrooms that had blow off in a hurricane that came through just 3 days before we arrived? Neal Bowes did a terrific job of leading us through one unexpected challenge after another. And our youth were amazing … we had a complaint free week. I can still hear their persistent question “What can I do to help?”
As important as getting the work done are the bonds we formed with each other and with the students and staff of the school. The principal, Vangie, her family and her staff were an inspiration to us. Despite a lack of much needed supplies and monetary support for their school, their faith in God and unending well of hope overflowed into our lives. IMG_9604May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace so that you may overflow with hope for others as the people of Belize did for us.