Our overall experience in Belize was unbelievable. I knew it would be...awesome, I guess...but I didn't really understand how or why. Our group had some issues with the organization that handled the trip for our church, but even that didn't stop us from witnessing such wonderful works of our Christian faith.
We noticed that we didn't see many men at all. We're not sure if that's because they are out all night? Are they working all of the time? We saw many mothers. We also saw so many children who just showed up at church, with no parent at all. They would hang outside the gate for a long time, just waiting for the chance to be let in.
There was one boy that we saw in the early morning, after a group of us went for a walk. He is 15 and was carrying a machete. We asked what he was going and he said he was just returning home from work, which was assumed was in the sugar cane fields. 15 with a machete! Oh how I wanted him to be holding a baseball bat, instead, on his way to a before-school practice.
One particular young lady stole many of our heart's. She came to our VBS program with her new-born son (only a few weeks old) and her two toddler's, in addition to her several siblings. Her mother was ill, we learned, so she was caring for everyone. And...she turned 20 while we were there. 20! What responsibility she had. We never did see the father of her children or her father.
We heard so many stories like these. We did our best, in the short time we were there, to spread love and acceptance to all. I took the address of one particular boy the same age as my son. I'm writing to him, in hopes that he will know that he does matter and his choices matter. We can't save everyone all at once, but maybe we can save one at a time.
There were certainly funny times, too. We all complained about the rooster who started every morning around 2...until 11:30. I think he had his hours mixed up. There was the visiting woman's cell phone that went off forever while she just napped away. There were pranks and teenagers and all other manner of fun. This was a way for us to deal with the poverty was saw all around us, knowing it was only temporary for us.
I had a hard time going back to work. It just seemed like I should be doing something more important than digital marketing. There are times that I still wonder if there is something else I could be doing. But, God is good and is with me. I know I'm just where I should be right now.