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The Final Post

Hello! This week has finally come to a close and we are all pretty sad to say the least, but so thankful for the relationships we have formed within our team as well as in the village.

Our week ended with a retreat to a beautiful hotel with time together as a team to debrief. During the day we had time to debrief on our own and to just sit and listen to what God was trying to tell us about our purpose in being here this week. Last night we got to have a great group time getting to talk about our weeks, where we saw God, and just the unbelievable love and faithfulness we have felt this week. It was a theme in everyone’s responses last night that this year this trip was just different. Different in that the love we have experienced this week has been so genuine and nothing could ever compare to it.

God always works on these trips in ways that we could never expect, which I think is the sweetest part about them. We have said it time and time again, but thank you all so much again for faithfully praying for us and joining with us on this mission. We would encourage you all to talk to people who have been on the trip this week, ask them to share stories with you because the work God did this week and will continue to do is something we want all of you to be apart of. We love you all and want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

In Him,

The Team

P.S. Update on Lila (the girl from the village who has been having trouble with her kidneys): The specialist was finally able to see Lila and give her a diagnosis. The specialist believes that with the use steroids, they may be able to reverse the health of the kidneys and get them back to normal again. Please continue to keep Lila in your thoughts and in your prayers!

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Day 6

Today has been a bittersweet day. We began the day with another great breakfast and then quickly started our trek to our last day in El Progresso! We cannot believe how fast the days have passed here. It doesn’t seem right for the week to already be over! Today was a day full of a whole lot of joy and Jesus was so present throughout it.

When arriving at the school we helped in the classrooms as usual but when coming back from lunch all of the kids had prepared something special for each of us! All of them had written letters and gave them to members on our team whom they built a relationship with this week. It was the sweetest thing, and left us feeling so loved! Thankfully we didn’t have to say bye there. It was an afternoon full of catch (their version of tag), soccer and music from Mac and Efrain.

Later this afternoon we got to be apart of the blessing of Erwins’s house, the house we have been working on all week. To see the look on this family’s face when they were given the keys to their new house was a sight I wish you all could see. The unspeakable joy and appreciation they showed was the sweetest thing to be apart of. It was one of those moments where we could hear God telling us, “this is why I put you here this week.”

Tonight we ended the day with a yummy dinner at the house of Julio and Jannet (a family who we have worked with in El Progresso over the years) and an activity at the church in the village. An evangelist had flown in to have a big conference for everyone in the village and it was an eye-opening thing to be apart of! It was so fun for us to get to see all of the kids we had been with all week with their families too.

This week has been an unforgettable one. The bond that our team has formed has enabled us to go out in this village and build relationships. Something I am reminded of today that God so graciously had to speak over me last year time and time again when leaving was that to know these people and place is a blessing but that this sweet time has an end at least for now. It is something I’m having to repeat over and over in my head today as I and I know the rest of the team desperately wants to stay. We are thankful and blessed to get to be apart of something this good, and know that God willing this isn’t a goodbye but a see you real soon.

God places us where we are supposed to be at his precious timing. He puts us places not a second too early or a second too late. We are always right on time on his clock! We left the village today with tears in our eyes but a heart full of complete joy and love. It’s hard not to feel blessed to have been apart of something that is going to be so easily missed.

Tomorrow we are headed out in the morning to go inner tubing through caves and zip lining, then retreating to another hotel for some relaxation and debriefing time with the whole team. We can’t thank you all enough for faithfully reading this blog and praying fearlessly for us. We truly have felt your prayers and the spirit walking every step of the way with us! Another post to come on our retreating time.

In Him,

Paige and The Team

Day 5

Hello from Belize! We have completed yet another day in this beautiful place and are not wanting it to end. This morning we headed to the village again to help out at the school and work on the house project. We were greeted with smiling faces and an unreal joy that would sustain us throughout the day!

Throughout this week we have been met with some really special God stories that we wanted to share with you all. It has been so sweet to see where and how the Lord has placed each of us specifically to be apart of His work and story here.

One of the coolest stories of this trip would have to be with our friend Lila the first night after church. Lila has been suffering from kidney failure and is in need of a transplant, but with the lack of resources in the village as well as financial difficulties, this need has not been met. Tuesday morning we were woken by the incredible news that The Word at Work had a group here from Mississippi who last minute had someone drop out and a Nephrologist took her place. A Nephrologist is a kidney doctor for those of you who don’t know, which has God’s name written all over it. Lila was sent to get blood work and to meet with this doctor on Wednesday and they are starting to make a plan for what is next. God has the coolest timing and sweetest purpose here!

Another story would have to be the opportunity that Chrissie, Nicole, Katie, and I (Paige) got to go to a lady named Susanna’s house in the village yesterday. Susanna is the spirituality teacher at the school and is a missionary from the U.S.! Her and her husband came to Belize back in 2000 and Susanna has been here ever since. Susanna lost her husband 6 years ago and to hear her talk about her story and the way she has been faithful to the Lord even through a hardship like losing someone you deeply love was incredible. One of the coolest things about her story was when she recited scripture from  Hebrews which talked about retreating to old ways/ trying to live in two lives. She was strongly convicted about this in her own life having to do with how she would visit the U.S. for months at a time and enjoy the comforting, luxurious life, forgetting about her friends in El Progresso, then returning to the village and acting like it had never happened. She was convicted in that the money she was spending on plane tickets and trips to the U.S. could have been spent pouring into kids in the village and proclaiming the word of the Lord. The 4 of us couldn’t help but just sit there in awe of her faithfulness, and willingness to give up the comfortable.

I could sit here and go on and on about the million stories that have happened, I mean seriously God has met us at every square inch of this place. Each member of our team is leaving this place changed and better off after meeting and doing life with our faithful friends in El Progresso. This team has been truly incredible, God crafted it so perfectly.

We are excited for another day, and sadly the last day in the village tomorrow! We cannot believe it is already coming to an end. We will be working at the school for the last time tomorrow and finishing up the house! We then will hang out in the village for a special event the church is putting on where they are bringing in an evangelist from Houston. We are so happy for the extra time we are going to get to spend in the village tomorrow, as the goodbyes will be extra hard! Prayers for continuance of the Lord’s plan to be done, and for growth in these relationships planted this week. We are so blessed and thankful by the joy and fullness our friends here have filled us with!

In Him,

Paige and The Team

Day 4

Hi from Belize! Let me start by introducing myself, since most of you will not know me. My name is Anna Kate Leone. I was able to participate in this mission trip due to the kindness and generosity of the Beal family, and let me just say that getting to be a part of a team like y’alls is one of the sweetest experiences I have had. They welcomed me with open arms, each and every one of them, and have done nothing but treat me like First Presbyterian Family! Just as they have been with me, the team has treated every single person they have come in contact with in Belize the same exact way.

Today was a day full competition, construction, and building relationships. What more could you ask for? We started the day by meeting for breakfast at 7:00 am, and wow were we excited to get those extra 15 minutes of sleep in! We then headed to El Progresso to begin our day. Today, the team at the school got to participate in Field Day. The main purpose of Field Day is to raise money for the school and its needs; This year that need being a new roof for the school building as theirs is caving in. There are many different ways in which they were able to raise money today. Many of the parents prepared food for which they would sell, as well as a Futbol (soccer) tournament between the El Progresso School and schools from close towns (p.s. we won!!). Although the food was delicious and the Futbol game was impressive to watch, the biggest attraction at Field Day was most definitely the bouncy house. The kids had been asking about the bouncy house pretty much since we arrived in El Progresso, and when the bouncy house finally arrived their eyes lit up and smiles swept across each and everyone of their faces. How sweet it is to see kids find such joy and content in the littlest of things!

Today at the work site, the team continued to work on building the house for Erwin and his family. The progress they have made throughout these past few days is incredible. They have worked so hard and diligently to get what needs to get done, done. Tomorrow they will be putting the roof on the house, and possibly the doors and windows as well! The end result of this project is going to be mind blowing and we can not wait to share pictures with everyone.

In Him,

Anna Kate Leone & The Team

Day 3

Greetings from the Belize Mission Team!!!!   After a long grueling HOT, HUMID, SUNNY day yesterday at the worksite, we all were comforted by a welcome rain that greeted us in our sleep last night and woke to cooler cloudy temperatures that were more forgiving to us West Texans.  We traveled back to El Progresso where part of the team set off  to continue work on the house being built and the rest were enthusiastically greeted by old friends and new at the school.

Our devotional today was focused on Acts 3:1-10 “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John and said “Look at us.”  We were reminded of the importance of watching and listening to the people of Belize as we worked, spent time in fellowship, ate and played along side of them.  Smiles were plentiful as we drove up to the school. We observed the students who exuded joy with their smiles and hugs so freely given to us all.  We assisted the teachers by helping with reading, math and music.  Efrain and Mac were like the pied pipers.  The minute they pulled out the guitar and ukulele the children flocked to their sides to sing along.  The energy was palpable as they played with the youngest members of our team.  Thank goodness for young energetic team members that were able to keep up the pace with the children.  They were even dragging when piled in the vans to come home.   A highlight for the children was when The Beal Boys flew a drone over the schoolyard….lots of excitement filled the air.  The children can’t wait to have us come back tomorrow for field day and nor can we.

At the worksite today, you could see members of the team straddling beams over eight feet tall determined to accomplish tasks that had been set before them by Kenny the fearless leader of the project. (One of the coveted roles on our team is who gets to ride back an forth from the worksite with Kenny.)  Erwin, the father, worked along side our team putting up siding and framing.  Along the way he would pause and look back at the work that was being accomplished and smile with grateful contentment.  As we finished the day we pulled into the our hotel with beautiful setting sun peaking out between a cloud and James proclaimed “that looks like Christ”!! We saw Christ in some many ways today and that was the perfect ending.

 

In Him,

The Team and Kate

Day 1 & 2

Hello from Belize! We are back from a long day working in the village. Yesterday was a full day of travel and a night full of worship in a village called Santa Familia. Mac, Sam and Efrian helped lead worship at the service which was so sweet to have our group be apart of that. They are extremely talented if you all didn’t already know that! Following the service the women in the village prepared some delicious nachos and cake for us and we got to meet and converse with the villagers, which was a neat opportunity. It was the start of an awesome week of building relationships!
This morning we had an early morning.. 6:45AM breakfast early, where from there we headed to El Progresso to start the project for this week. The project we are working on is building a house for a family in need in the village. We wasted no time, and I mean no time. Kenny, our project manager, who works for the Word at Work, is so efficient and knew exactly what to do and taught and guided us in the right direction. Despite the extremely hot weather and sunburns, the house building today was a success. The best part about it was the people we got to get to know. We were reminded today why we are here. Not just to help build a house or help where needed but to build relationships with the people in the village. It was so sweet to see so many familiar faces today, and to hear our names spoken by those familiar faces.

Today is a holiday in Belize and so the school was not in session today! So, we are eager to get to the school tomorrow. We will be helping as the teachers need, and have brought arts and crafts to do with the children as well! It is so hard not to see Christ through every child here. They are so content and at peace, which seems to be a pattern here in Belize.

We have another early morning tomorrow and will be headed back to El Progresso to continue the project and start helping in the schools. Stories to come in future posts! We are eager to see what God will continue to do here. We would love for you all to continue to pray for the work to be done, and the relationships to be made here in Belize!

 

In Him,

Paige & The Team

Before we depart

Hello! We are so excited to be opening this blog back up, because that means it’s time to GO BACK to Belize! On Sunday, March 11th we will be heading out from Midland to embark on another trip to the village of El Progresso in Belize. We will be in Belize from March 11th until March 18th. We are eager to see what God will do through this trip, and the relationships He cultivates from it. We would greatly appreciate prayers for safety with our travel, health, and the unity of our team as we begin this exciting mission. On behalf of our entire team, we want to say thank you! Thank you to everyone who has supported us whether in prayer or financially, we couldn’t do it without you. We will be updating this blog with posts nightly after returning from the village everyday! We hope you will follow along and be apart of God’s provision for this trip with us through prayer.

In Him,

The Team

Kyle Alworth

Dwight Alworth

Kate Beal

Philip Beal

Stuart Beal

Thomas Beal

Efrain Belmontes

Nicole Brown

Larry Brown

Tripp Hankins

Maddie Hansen

Pat Hunter

Anna Kate Leone

Mac McCoy

Chrissie Mee

John Mee

Raymond Mee

Anna Morrow

James Morrow

Katy Morrow

Rebecca Morrow

Paige Nelson

Samuel Hernandez

Maggie Squire

Walter Thompson

Molly Warren

Last Post!

Hello all for one last time!

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this post up, it has been an exhausting past 24 hours to say the least! Being back is really bittersweet. Bittersweet because we just experienced one of the most life changing weeks. God moved this week! He truly had a unique plan for every single one of our lives. No 2 plans were the same! He also used us all in different ways. Whether that be at the school, at the worksite, at Janet’s house cooking, or just in conversations through bus rides and meals. He was so present!

Friday afternoon we got the pleasure of retreating to an island in Belize for the weekend. It was a time where we got to sit in a secluded place and just debrief and reflect on everything that happened this week. What an opportunity that was! Being able to process through everything before going back to the chaos of our lives was huge. God showed us all different things in this time alone with him as well! One of my favorite things we did in our debrief time was encouraging each and every one of our team members. We went through and everyone had a chance to say something about each person. It was so powerful and encouraging to hear the things said about everyone and the things that were observed of everyone throughout the week!

I think I can speak for the team in that the group of people this team made up was unreal. There wasn’t one person on our team who wasn’t willing and ready for whatever task was going to be thrown their way. Everyone was so interested in building relationships with each other which helped so much in building relationships with our friends in El Progresso! This place, these people, and this experience will be one that I will absolutely never forget. I encourage you to talk to anyone who went on this trip because every story will be different, but every person behind the story will be the same-GOD. God was sovereign this week and is sovereign always. As we make our way back to the U.S. we encourage each other to never forget what happened in Belize. We are all thankful for this experience, and even more thankful for you all for following on this blog. You all’s support and prayers have meant more than you know, thank you a million! May God use this trip in many ways upon our return. Love you all!

To see all of the pictures from the trip Megan Warren put a little website together so here is the link:

https://megwar123.pixieset.com/belize/

In Him,

The Team

Update on days 6&7!

Hello all!

Sorry for the delayed post, yesterday was so long and we were so exhausted and didn’t have it in us to write! But, here is a combined one of the past 2 days. Yesterday was so busy, but so cool to see God in the mix. He was at work and provided us with so much strength! Yesterday started with a big field day at the school for the kids. It was so much fun from the moment we stepped foot on the school grounds. We had necklaces and bracelets for the girls to make, face tattoos and face paint, a bouncy house, soccer games going, and a giant earth ball that was a HUGE hit. It was really a time for us all to be with the kids one last time before having to say goodbye. Goodbyes are never easy, but they were especially hard with these kids!

After lunch, we wasted no time with wrapping up and cleaning up the field day and heading to the worksite! All hands were on deck because the concrete was ready to be poured. What started as a slow process, quickly gained some speed. We mixed and poured around 50 bags of concrete in under 5 hours, which is a miracle. There were moments of frustration and moments of victory, but endless support among our team in the mix. It was really cool to see our team come together and all be working toward the same thing. Despite the many muscle cramps and soreness, God was working big and we were lucky enough to watch it all unravel right in front of us little by little this week. We saw God in the workers like Julio and Victor just as much as we saw Him in the kids.

Moving on to today, we started the morning in prayer in the village, thanking God for the incredible life-changing week we had just experienced. Following that, we headed to the jungle, and were given a tour by our one and only, Julio! It was so fun and really cool to see everything and how much history was behind that beautiful place. After that, we went straight to the school, where we had a ceremony type thing to say our goodbyes. The kids had all written us letters to give to us and ran them to us along with big hugs. It was near impossible for us all to be able to let go. Something I continually kept reminding myself as the week went on was the fact that these kids have little to nothing, yet the way they live life is PURE joy. The kind that is not completely attached to worldly things. The joy we experienced when around these kids this week was pure and humbling to say the least. After we left the village we went straight to the hotel to pick up our luggage and head to the boat that would be taking us to our next destination, which is an island in Belize. It is the prettiest which I know has God written all over it. The point of us coming here is to give us good and undivided attention with the Lord about what he has showed all of us this week in being here. To be able to destress, process, and debrief before having to go back to a world of chaos at every corner.

I hope I could catch everyone up a little bit, and made some sense! It is late here tonight once again, but didn’t want to keep you all waiting another day! (so excuse all of my errors if they are present) But, life is good here in Belize. It is going to be near impossible to step on that plane back to the U.S. but our team is confident in that we are living the Great Commission out now, but the Great Commission can happen right where we are put whether that be in Midland, or somewhere else. We are thankful, and appreciative of the people in El Progresso. They have changed our lives forever, and to that we give praise! I am going to try to get up a post tomorrow with everyone’s individual thoughts and experiences on the trip, as everyone’s experience is different and I want you all to be able to read that. Thank you all for reading and loving on us well! We appreciate you and your prayers more than you know!

In Him,

The Team

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