The third GKC mission trip to Belize was exciting, meaningful and worshipful. Our little team of 6 went and, to put it simply, just lived a Belizean lifestyle for 5 short days. What is a Belizean lifestyle? It’s a simple, unconstrained, rustic way of life where everyone knows one another and works together in their own villages and in cooperation with other villages. They need each other and are not hesitant to ask for help or to give it. Although many of the people we encountered have profound physical poverty and many have spiritual poverty, they most definitely do not have relational poverty. We can learn much from watching them serve one another as a way of life. Many don’t know Jesus or that His greatest commandment was to love God and love others, yet they live out the love others part.
If you haven’t read the book When Helping Hurts (Corbett & Fikkert), we highly recommend it. One of the main points of that book is to help us see that when we are going to “impoverished” places, we need to look for the ways that God is already at work there. The culture as a whole may not know Jesus, but that doesn’t mean He isn’t at work there, using them to serve His purpose. He designed creation to reflect His glory, and that creation includes mankind. We are made in His image, and although that image is distorted in so many ways, sin and Satan can’t remove it altogether. The other important thing we can learn from this book is that we ALL have some type of poverty, so when we go to minister to others in another context, it’s crucial that we realize we are all the same before God. We all have just as much brokenness, weakness and poverty to overcome and that can only happen in and through Jesus.The highlight of this trip for all of us was spending time hanging out with the people. We got to talk about more than just surface topics of weather, bugs, have you traveled before, is it always this hot. We got to know friends on a deeper level and came to understand how we need to be praying for them and them for us.
On our last day, we had the privilege of meeting Paul and Tracey Sims, missionaries who live in the village of San Lazaro. God has called them to serve alongside a pastor in the village of Progresso, which takes about an hour and half over a very bad road using very expensive gas to get there. Over the past year, they have built a small house in Progresso, mostly by themselves, traveling almost every day to work on it. It is not quite livable, but it is close. They are anxious to move so that they can begin pouring into the community and assisting Pastor Mauricio as he shepherds his community and the small church that is there. God showed us that we can do something to help Paul and Tracey. We are sending a team back on November 6 to help finish their house and get them moved. Please pray for this team of guys to get their passports in time, to raise the funds, and to get the vacation time needed to go. They are each stepping out in faith by committing to this trip at the last minute. We are excited to see how God uses their obedience and their willingness!