In June, Sue Dorn, Donna Peck, Kathryn & Aaron Lowrey and myself, joined 18 folk from Immanuel Lutheran in Belvidere, Illinois on a Mission trip to Seine Bight, Belize. It was the first planned Adult Mission trip from Holy Cross. We’ve had Jr. and Sr. High trips for years. Several years ago it was mentioned that it would be great to begin having adult trips as well. The place and dates were chosen and when the deadlines came, we had only this small handful of folks from Holy Cross planning to go. I truly pray those numbers triple or more for next year as it was a truly blessed experience for each of us and something I wish every one of our members would experience. Yes, “would” is the word, because almost everyone “could” go, but it will take commitment.
I returned in July with a group of 35 from St. John’s in Ellisville, Missouri. They were leading a VBS for the some 300 to 400 or so children from the village. We were there during a time in which a Dugu ceremony was taking place at the opposite end of town. This is a ritual/ceremony that is tied to the Garifuna people involving sacrifices to their ancestors to appease them that they might not cause the living illness or injury.
Bringing the life giving and changing Gospel to people is something every Christian needs to be a part of. There is no more important task than sharing the Gospel. It is the Word of Life & the Word that brings Life! While it can be done in our daily lives where we live, it is also a call we are given to take the message to all parts of the world. Belize could be that place for Holy Cross for the foreseen future.
When most folks think of Belize, they picture snorkeling or beautiful diving spots like the famous Blue Hole, the exclusive and tropical island getaways or sailing, zip-lining and cave tubing. We didn’t see any of those things or places. What we saw was how the people of Belize live that are outside the eye of the tourists. These people scrape by and live in shacks or plywood huts. They only have a couple changes of clothes which have to be washed most every night. The children wear the rubber flip-flops 4 sizes too big, if any footwear at all. They live without plumbing at the house, except for some who may have a water spigot located either inside or outside their home. There is trash and runoff waste everywhere. Some live in a trash dump or in a house sitting on piers above a cesspool. These are people who have so much less than us, and yet many of them have hearts so much bigger than ours.
We did indeed witness to them, talked with them about Jesus, led Bible studies for women and men, tutored their children, painted and did repairs to their homes, tended their wounds, fed their children, clothed them and worked alongside of them. The little children hung on us, sat on us and climbed all over us. In all of these things we were also blessed by them in as many ways as we sought to be a blessing to them.
If you haven’t been a part of a foreign mission team, now is the time to start praying and planning. This area of Belize is ignored by the common mission trips planed by organizations. It is a harsh environment and too remote. Thus the need is greater and the people receptive with no one else venturing out to them. I have much to share, many details about the trips that I will post in the days and weeks to come. Look for them at <https://blowrey.wordpress.com/>.