Guest Blogger Hannah Mumm: Belize Mission Trip
Today’s guest blog comes from High Schooler Hannah Mumm. Thanks for sharing your adventure in Belize with us Hannah! You can see all of her photos here.
Day 1 -Sunday
By the grace of God we arrived in Belize and went through customs, which wasn’t as smooth as it could have been. Grabbing our bags we headed out to meet our praying pelican leaders, Jen and Mark, where they took us to our last “American” meal at Jamboree. Once we finished our delicious lunch we were taken to our first orphanage visit at Dorothy Menzies child care. It was an eye opener to see something like that because so different from the Omaha system of foster care. After being dragged away from those precious children we went to the place we would be staying for the remainder of the week, Central Assembly of God, and changed into our church clothes. We went to the local church, Lake Independence Baptist Church where we will also be doing most of our mission work for the remainder of the week. The locals were so welcoming and It was a moving, spiritual night with some of our own giving their own testimonies. Not an eye in the room was dry. Once pastor Ashley gave his final blessing we loaded onto the bus where we were attacked by the horrible mosquitoes that were brought in by the hurricane weather. Itching and scratching we returned to where we were staying, fought over the six cockroach infested showers, read our bible, and went to bed.
Day 2 -Monday
Bright and early the team got up, ate breakfast, and headed to Lake Independence Baptist Church to fill bags full of flour, rice, sugar, and beans to be given out to the locals. When we finished, Kings of Kings went on a prayer walk around the city to pray for it and the people. The Bible says where two or more are gathered He will be there, well we had 15 out there walking and praying where you could just sense the Spirit of God moving. Once we got back to the church we left to go back to the Central Assembly of God to have lunch and then returned to the church to start our first day of sports ministry, but since it was raining, crafts ministry would have to do. It was raining heavy but that didn’t stop the children from coming. After about 3 hours of crafts, we headed back to Central Assembly of God for dinner and afterward we started our student led devotions where we were able connect personally with each other and God.
The day started where we handed out the food we packaged the day before. While families came to get the food; maybe the only food they’d receive for the week, we were able to pray over them. I reflected on this moment many times throughout our trip thanking God for the grace He gives me. With about 30 volunteers in the same room it was starting to get overwhelming and crowded so about half the team broke off into small groups and set off in a prayer walk around the neighborhood, but this time it was more intimate with teams going up to people’s homes asking to pray over them and laying their hands on them. One family I prayed over was so touched by our prayers that they told their children and later those same children came up to me and even knew my name and told me I prayed for their family and thanked me. I was so blessed by this! This reminded me of God’s Word in Jeremiah 29:13. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” The simple joy I felt when those children sought me and how God must feel when we seek Him and know Him by name. Once finished we left the church to drive just outside of Belize city to the juvenile hostile center. There some of us shared our testimonies with the teens and invited them to share theirs. We played a game called ninja with them (inside because of course it had not stopped raining since we got there). The teens there were anywhere from 8 to 17 and most were there because their parents could no longer control them; problems with drugs and/or gangs, or trouble in school. It was really cool to hear how some of the kids came to Christ and are completely turning their lives around. After some time we loaded the bus again and returned to the church to start our second day of sports ministry, well craft ministry again, and really got to know these kids more. The preachers were amazing and completely on fire for the Lord and after a passionate, on fire, sermon we went downstairs for the second day of devotions and again began to go deeper and connect more intimately with others on this trip.
Day 4 -Wednesday
Wednesday was a little different than the rest. Instead of jumping right into mission work after breakfast we got the pleasure of being able to visit the Mayan Ruins. The temples the Mayans built for their gods were unbelievable; like giant skyscrapers built in the shape of a pyramid. Got me to thinking what in my own life is like these temple. Where am I building idols? Yeah it was heavy stuff for me too but definitely worth pondering. After some rest our mission work started again. We went to Lake Independence Baptist Church and did a variety of things. We packaged more food to be given out, continued our prayer walks around the city, and some got their hands dirty picking up trash around the church. As we were doing these things the children began to flock by the dozens ready to play, and by the grace of God it had FINALLY stopped raining and we could now do our sports ministry outside. We played every sport you could imagine with them; football, soccer, basketball, red rover, etc. Hated to say good-bye to these awesome kids but it was time to go back to Central Assembly of God for dinner with another powerful sermon upstairs. Church lasted for about three hours, but time flew, who knew you could hold a teen’s attention for that long without popcorn or an intermission! It was awesome!!
Day 5 – Thursday
The last mission work day we had a change of pace. Instead of working with the young we traveled to Saint Cecillia’s home for the elderly. Those people were such a blessing and a complete riot. They could talk to you for hours. Talking with some of them you found out that many actually lived in the states and still have family living there. While some talked others dueled the elders in intense games of checkers, dominos, chess, or cards. It was an exciting afternoon wished we could stay longer as we learned so much from so wise. We could finally take the kids outside to play on the playground for sports, although, many of the kids however just liked to be chased around. After the orphanage we left to do our final day of sports ministry at Lake Independence Baptist Church. When we finally had to leave it was an emotional time for many having to tell those children we had grown so close to that we had to go. As we were saying our goodbyes I noticed a boy who was carrying a torn cinch bag on his back and it moved me to give him mine. He was so touched by this that he kept telling me thank you over and over that it overwhelmed my emotions. I couldn’t believe a simple act of kindness would mean so much but I guess God can even work in the simple things. It’s amazing how something like this really made me appreciate even more so my blessings. Once everyone had finished we loaded the bus once more to go for some delicious ice cream and then drove to the coast where’d we just sat and talked with one another. We then left to return to our housing place where we finished up our devotions, took the last cockroach filled shower, and then went to bed for our last night in Belize.
I recall a saying that sums up my experience with this trip and it says, “When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough. ” The people of Belize that we ministered to were so open to receiving the Word of God and prayer, and I believe it is because their hope is not in the things that bring them security, as we sometimes rely on, but in the hope that comes in Christ.