We just wrapped up another long, exciting (and hot!) day here in Belize. We started this morning with a big breakfast at the hotel and reported to the church at 8am. First order of the day was clearing out the area where the walkway will be poured. Here’s a picture of the completed prep work:
We also finished the forms for the horizontal concrete beams (the balustrades below) and poured the beams, which should be set up by the morning.
Stella, Marilyn and Lydia worked all day painting the balusters on the pastors balcony- the grey parts will be painted a different color (probably tomorrow).
(Lydia is over on the right, behind the balusters)
We typically work from 8am to 12 or 12:30, break for lunch briefly, then work some more until we reach a stopping point. This takes us to 2pm or so, then we go back to the hotel, change into shorts and church t-shirts, and come back for the afternoon sports camp and movies.
Speaking of food- we have been eating very well courtesy of both the hotel and the church, where the ladies made us empanadas for lunch and a big spaghetti dinner.
The sports camp followed a similar format to what we had yesterday, except we shortened the sports part and made the movie “night” run until 6:15pm. We learned that having it later meant most of the audience departed before the end of the film, because they have to make it home before dark. Here are some photos of the sports camp:
… and here is “movie night”:
After dinner (previously depicted!) Bob, Don, Glenn and myself met with a subset of church leaders and members to discuss a topic requested by the pastor, “Fomenting a Growing Relationship with Christ.” Glenn opened with a look at the topic of “sanctification” from John 17 (which Pastor Juan preached from on Sunday). We then looked at the history of God’s relationship with His people, drawing from Genesis 7 and Exodus 6, and Ephesians 5. Glenn then closed with some reflections on sanctification and thoughts from Galatians 5. At the end of this session we presented the church with t-shirts we had printed with the church logo on the front (the blue shirts you see us wearing in the “sports” photos- though clean, new ones, not the same ones we were wearing!).
Here is a photo of those from the church who attended (besides the kids):
The plan for tomorrow is to pour the walkway in front of the church, and continue painting and other odd jobs. We are renting a cement mixer for the church, which should make quicker work of the walkway. The alternative is what we have been doing thus far- mixing the concrete by shovel on the concrete slab in front of the church, then hauling it in 5-gallon buckets to the pour site.
I’ll close with a little anecdote from yesterday. Belizeans are not afraid of fire, in spite of the fact that they are in a very dry season and the brush tends to spontaneously ignite. While watching the movie yesterday we observed flames in the field next to the church. In the US we would have called the fire department and made a scene. Here they said “don’t worry about it, this is how Belizeans cut the grass.” Here’s a picture:
Thankfully everything was still in one piece this morning (not burnt)- though the dry part of the field was gone, replaced by soot. Another example- there is a stump in front of the church from an old almond tree that was cut down. Here’s how Belizeans get rid of stumps:
…build a bonfire around them! This stump has been slowly burning (or quickly- when they build another fire) since Sunday. Apparently almond wood is very slow to burn up.
That’s it for today- more to come tomorrow.
Nathan, on behalf of the team
17 Sanctify them2 in the truth; myour word is truth… 20 “I do not rask for these only, but also for those swho will believe in me through their word, 21 tthat they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that uthey also may be in vus, so that the worldwmay believe that you have sent me.
John 17:17, 20-21 (ESVBible.org)