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VCURamFan
07-18-2009, 08:50 AM
Hey everyone.

As many of you already know, I am departing at 4am EST for a mission trip to Belize, Central America. There are 16 of us going on this team (6 leaders, 10 high schoolers) and we're all really excited about this opportunity. We will be working on Cornerstone Presbyterian High School (http://www.presbyterianschoolsbelize.com/cornerstone.html)in the Corozal District, very near to Cristo Rey village. In the afternoons, we will be traveling into the village itself to lead a Vacation Bible School with the children. After a week, the majority of the team (11 members) will be returning to the United States, but 5 of us (Dad, Aaron, Alex, Andrew & myself), have been blessed with the opportunity to stay for a second week. Here's what a basic schedule will look like:

Weekly:
Sat 7/18
16 member team travels to Belize
Sun 7/19
Worship
VBS prep
Mon 7/20
Construction
VBS
Tues 7/21
Construction
VBS
Wed 7/22
Construction
VBS
Thurs 7/23
Construction
VBSConstruction
Fri 7/24
Fun Day (Banana Bank Lodge)
Sat 7/25
11 team members travel home to Richmond, VA
5 team members return "home" to Corozal
Sun 7/26
Worship
Mon 7/27
Construction
Tues 7/28
Construction
Wed 7/29
Construction
Thurs 7/30
Construction
Fri 7/31
Construction/possible Fun Day (Lamanai)
Sat 8/01
Final 5 team members return home to Richmond, VA
Construction day:
5:30am - Wake up & have private worship
7am - Breakfast
8am - Leave for worksite
8:30am - Begin work
12pm - Lunch
2pm - Leave worksite for VBS
3pm - VBS
5pm - Leave for dinner
6pm - Dinner
8pm - Leave for "home"
10pm - BedThis year we will be doing a lot of carpentry (install doors/windows) & painting (walls/ceilings) in the 1st floor of the 3rd building so that it will be usable this coming school year. One of our team members is an RN, and so will be spending her days working at the Presbyterian Medical Clininc (http://www.missionaryclinicbelize.org/) in Patchacan. In VBS, we will explaining to the kids the correlation between Moses & Jesus (King killed baby boys, family fled to Egypt, returned to save people, etc.).

Also, we'll be getting to have a bit of a minor vacation on Friday, when we'll travel to the Banana Bank Lodge (http://www.bananabank.com/index.html) where we'll go horseback riding & then do some swimming.

I tell you all of this not as idle chit-chat, but because I come humbly seeking your prayers. There are a ton of things, but I'll try to give a brief list that will still manage to be comprehensive. We'll see how well I manage:

Travel
Taking 11 high schoolers over seas is practically begging Murphy to start throwing monkey wrenches around. Please pray that the kids would not wander off.
Even though they're safer than cars, planes are still known to crash on occasion. Please pray this won't happen to us.
We're taking a lot of important items with us, from food to tools to medicine. Please pray that none of our luggage gets lost, damaged or stolen.
Health
Montezuma is still acting like a vindictive lover and people sometimes get absent-minded about not drinking the water. Please pray that no one would have to deal with intestinal problems (especially my roommate!)
Ironically enough, we need to be consuming copious amounts of water. Being right on the equator with little-to-know shade means we'll dehydrate extremely fast. Please pray that everyone will be re-hydrating on a constant basis and proactive basis to forestall any dangers.
The heat down there can catch up to you faster than you expect. Please pray that everyone will be wise and take breaks whenever needed.
Americans + foreign land + construction = disaster. Please pray that no one will be injured while working.
Americans + foreign land + free time = disaster. Please pray that no one will be injured while playing.
Construction
Carpentry means nails & hammers in the hands of non-skilled workers. Please pray that we'd be careful.
Carpentry means power tools in the hands of non-skilled workers. Please pray that we'd be careful..
As Americans we need to be goal oriented & want to find the fatest, most efficient method of getting everything done yesterday. Please pray that we'd be humble enough to listen to the Belizeans & do things their way.
VBS
Last year I was blessed to have a kid (Brandon) come up & ask me to pray with him that Christ would be his Savior. Please pray that the Lord would be working in the kids' hearts to soften them to His Word.
A ton of these kids go home to parents who can't read or write & pass on the lessons we taught them to their families. Please pray that the Lord would be working in the parents' hearts to soften them to His Word.
Team
We are 16 people from 4 different churches. Please pray that we'd be able to unite in Christ & not end up split off in factions.
Leadership
My dad, especially, is carrying a ton of weight right now. He's the team leader & he won't even tell us about 3/4s of the responsibilities he's got. Please pray that he'd have the strength & energy to juggle everything, as well as the wisdom to know when to hand off some taks to the rest of us.
Also, my dad hurt his knee about 2 weeks ago. He's been walking on it fine for awhile, but I don't think it's quite 100% yet. Please pray that he'd be willing to let the young guys (me included) do the heavy lifting for him so he doesn't re-agrivate it.Thank you guys so much. If at all possible, i will try to log on & update this thread whenever I can. If you're interested in being kept in the loop, please PM me your e-mail address & I'll have my dad put you on the Support E-mail List, to which he'll be sending near-daily reports.

Also, I took the time to complie a GoogleMap of the major landmarks of our trip. Check it out here:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&ie=UTF8&hl=en&cd=2&geocode=FeD7FwEdd6O5-g&split=0&msa=0&msid=117575784269253411780.00046ef4d3aab337519ae&ll=18.062312,-88.409729&spn=1.227257,1.766052&t=h&z=9

I love you all & can't wait to get back in a coupla weeks!!:happydancing:

Chuck
07-18-2009, 06:30 PM
I'm praying for you Ben!!

Llamafighter
07-19-2009, 01:28 AM
Safe travels and keep us updated with your doings:)

Bonnie
07-19-2009, 10:38 AM
Ben, I'll be praying for all of you. It sounds like your Dad is a wonderful human being. Take care and God bless! :)

SpiritWarrior
07-19-2009, 07:25 PM
Hi Ben, I think what you're all doing is great. I'll be praying for you all too. :)

VCURamFan
07-20-2009, 04:37 AM
I've only got a coupla minutes, so this will have to be brief:

We landed in Belize City abuot 11:15am (1:15pm EST), and immediately hopped into vans for the 2 hour trip up the Northern Highway to Corozal, Corozal. Once in our hotel (one of the nicest in the country & 1 block off the bay), we got to head to the local park to do some swimming & play 4 square (I dominated, naturally). After that we came back for dinner & orientation, with just about everyone nodding off at least once. Then, before bed, I gathered all the young kids together on the roof-top for a coupla games of Mafia.

This morning we got up & went to Sunday School at Igelsia Betel en Cristo Rey (Church Bethel of Cristo Rey) where we will be doing VBS this week. Afterwards we went out in groups of 4 into the village to hand out fliers advertising VBS to the kids & got a generally positive response. After lunch, we broke into our 3 "pods" (sub-divisions of the larger team) to make sure we were all prepared for VBS, and then everyone crashed for about a 2.5hr nap. Around 4pm we loaded into the vans again to go to the Church Service in Cristo Rey again. After that we got to go to have dinner at the home of Lupe Pena, the Belizean in charge of MTW's Short Term missions here. We've gotten to know Lupe & his son Kelvin (roughly my age) very well over the past few years, so it was great to be welcomed into his home for a meal. Afterwards, Kelvin took me & a coupla other "veterans" to see his new house. He's been constructing a house for himself as he is set to get married on Aug 8th, which everyone is duly excited for.

Now we're back at the hotel, about to crash for the night (curfew is 10pm local time), set to get up at 6am for breakfast & morning devotions before hitting the job site by 8am. It's been a smooth trip so far, but please keep praying, it means a lot!!

MattHughesRocks
07-20-2009, 05:23 AM
WAR BEN! Youre getting pictures right? :w00t:

surveyorshawn
07-20-2009, 02:25 PM
Hey Ben! I didn't realize you would have internet access, or I would have posted on your thread before now! I am praying that God will protect you, and that you guys will make a huge impact and really maximize your time there by getting a lot done and impact tons of people for God! Keep up posted brother!

Tyburn
07-20-2009, 11:16 PM
I hope the trip goes well. :)

VCURamFan
07-23-2009, 02:02 PM
Hey everyone. Just a coupla seconds before lunch, but I wanted to jump on & say hi to everyone. I'm sorry, but I don't have time to check any other threads, but Shawn, I've been praying for your son every day & am confident that the Lord is protect him and your family.

Work has been going really well. We've got 2 major teams: one (called the "Sand Demons") is sanding doors, 2x6s & window luvers so that they can be varnished & installed. My team, the Holy Rollers, have been painting the outside of outside of the building. Both have been working their tails off & we've gotten a ton of work down. I'm really proud of everyone.

Here's the Facebook group for our trip. If any of you wanna join, feel free to. It's a closed group, so you'll have to be let in by my dad, but I've let him know that I'm putting the link here. We're posting pics there, as well as some breif updates each evening.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=57778691626#/group.php?gid=57778691626

I really appreciate all your prayers. Go with God & WAR MATT HUGHES!!!!

mikthehick
07-23-2009, 03:37 PM
That's awesome Ben! I can't wait to hear more :D

I'm going to Guatemala in January, so hearing from this mission gives me a lot of encouragement.

Stay safe brother. I'll be praying for yall.

VCURamFan
07-24-2009, 06:01 AM
Finished the final day of constructino for the first week today. My Holy Rollers finished putting all three coats on the entire building. I cannot begin to express how excited & proud of them I am. When we showed up on Monday, Lupe had said that he really wanted to get that done but wasn't sure that we had enough people. For us to be able to get that done, even with an forced-break due to a flash storm that wiped out some of our work today, was a huge milestone for us to hit.

The Sand Demons managed to sand all the trees in in Belize, I think. I don't know the entire extent of what they did, but I know that they were able to finish all the doors for the building (around 15ish), and then did a ton of the luvers & all the window dividers.

VBS went great today & had a ton of fun playing with the kids. As far as I know, no one came to Christ today, but I know that we did a lot of solid planting/watering, so I'm just praying that someone else soon gets to reap a huge harvest.

Keep praying, please, I'll keep you updated as posible.

MattHughesRocks
07-24-2009, 06:16 AM
WAR BEN! Keep posting! :w00t:

VCURamFan
08-01-2009, 01:41 PM
OK, well this is the last day. Sorry I haven't been on here all week, but with only 5 of us, we've been working ourselves to the bone every day & I was just too exhausted to get online. It's been about the best trip I can remember & I can't wait to get home where get my pics sorted through & posted. Pray for our safe trip home & I'll see y'all about 10pm EST tonight!

County Mike
08-01-2009, 02:05 PM
OK, well this is the last day. Sorry I haven't been on here all week, but with only 5 of us, we've been working ourselves to the bone every day & I was just too exhausted to get online. It's been about the best trip I can remember & I can't wait to get home where get my pics sorted through & posted. Pray for our safe trip home & I'll see y'all about 10pm EST tonight!

Awesome! Glad you had a great time. I'm sure this experience will be one that you remember forever.

MattHughesRocks
08-01-2009, 03:19 PM
You'll be snoozing.See you tomorrow :laugh:

MattHughesRocks
08-02-2009, 06:08 AM
Just as I predicted :laugh:

VCURamFan
08-04-2009, 04:12 AM
Hahaha, actually I came home, saw my family, & then ran off downtown to hang out with my friends for awhile. Yesterday, after church, we all went down to the river & hung out & splashed around all afternoon. That means that I've just now gotten around to wading through my 700+ pics & vids, so I'll soon begin posting a Ram Tale about the 2 weeks.

MattHughesRocks
08-04-2009, 04:15 AM
Hahaha, actually I came home, saw my family, & then ran off downtown to hang out with my friends for awhile. Yesterday, after church, we all went down to the river & hung out & splashed around all afternoon. That means that I've just now gotten around to wading through my 700+ pics & vids, so I'll soon begin posting a Ram Tale in about 2 weeks.


Fixed

VCURamFan
08-04-2009, 04:46 AM
FixedShhhh, don't give that away! I want every to get reeaaallly pissed at me for never uploading the pics I promised & then eventually lose interest! :laugh:

MattHughesRocks
08-04-2009, 05:05 AM
Oh don't worry! We got your routine down :laugh:
Glad to have you back kid :biggrin-1:

Shhhh, don't give that away! I want every to get reeaaallly pissed at me for never uploading the pics I promised & then eventually lose interest! :laugh:

VCURamFan
08-04-2009, 05:33 AM
Oh don't worry! We got your routine down :laugh:
Glad to have you back kid :biggrin-1:Hahaha, glad to know I'm appreciated around here. Or, at the very least, tolerated.:frantics:

MattHughesRocks
08-04-2009, 05:41 AM
yeah, the very least :w00t:

:tongue0011:

Hahaha, glad to know I'm appreciated around here. Or, at the very least, tolerated.:frantics:

VCURamFan
08-04-2009, 06:42 AM
yeah, the very least :w00t:

:tongue0011:You know what? Just for that, I'm gonna make my own forums & put my pictures there & not let you in to see 'em. So there!:angry:






Also, I'm taking my ball & going home.:cry:

MattHughesRocks
08-04-2009, 07:10 AM
NOOOT THE BAAAAAALLLL!!!!!:scared0011:

You know what? Just for that, I'm gonna make my own forums & put my pictures there & not let you in to see 'em. So there!:angry:






Also, I'm taking my ball & going home.:cry: