18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In a few days I will get my chance go do this in another nation for the very first time. I will join ten others from my local church association on a trip to Belize to put this bible verse in to practice. To say I am excited would be a gross understatement. As a matter of fact, I was asked by my family early this week if I was excited and I hesitated before I answered. That hesitation made me realize it is more a matter of being overwhelmed with what will likely happen when I am introduced to this new environment.
I am blessed to have three others from my church making this journey with me, as well as a few team members with previous trips to the area under their belt. In a recent meeting I heard the words “it will change your life!” I certainly hope so, because I think all of us need a heaping helping of humility now and again.
I know I am blessed, I can feel it every day. I have a wonderful marriage, a job that is the best of my life, a loving family, a great place to live and on and on. This is not meant to be a bragging session, so suffice it to say like many in America the needs are more than sufficiently covered. I am sure that will not be the case when we land in Belize.
This will be the first lesson of humility I think. We will see people with not enough food, shelter, water or many things that are taken for granted here in the United States. Moms, dads and kids trying to simply get by the best way they know how. What we can hope to do is to assist the missionaries already in place to insert the love of God and reliance on him into the mix.
The saying “Give a man a fish, you feed him for the day but teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime comes to mind.” Part of what we will do while in Belize is share the small shoe box gifts our church and fellow members from other churches prepared back in the fall with the children we encounter. Inside these small packages are things we think the kids will find to be treasures of some sort. It is easy to pat yourself on the back when you do this, believing you are making a difference. Perhaps you will make some, but sharing the love of Christ so that the new believer can learn to rely on Him for all their needs, that is teaching them how to fish!
My personal prayer over the last several days has been that god would prepare my heart and mind for the task rapidly approaching. I want it to be solely about the people I encounter, so I can build relationships that show those I meet that Christ is love. I fully expect to leave part of myself in Belize as we endeavor to minister with our hearts wide open. As much as I love children I am sure this will be the case when we get the chance to interact in villages and schools.
I plan to share pictures as well as words from my time in Belize through this forum. I am not certain how easy this will be accomplished while I am “in country” as some are framing it. The internet access is sure to be less than here, so it may be a few days. Whatever the case, I invite you to share this journey with me as the team sets out to leave our mark on the hearts of the people we encounter. My prayer is that we bless them just as much as they will bless us.