Today was Day 2 of our trip, but it was our first full day that we weren't traveling, so it was nice to get our bearings in the place where we will be serving. Belize time is two hours behind Indy time, so even though we were exhausted, most of us were up by 6:30, exploring the grounds around the Lewis family compound.
During and after breakfast, we shared some things w're learning from the devotional journey we're taking through the life of Joseph. We're taking turns sharing a devotional thought during this time, and Charlton led us off with some reassurance as someone who's on his second tour with the SBT group in Belize.
We then left the Lewis compound and headed toward town and the church facility. Two things happened during this drive: first, we drove over a rise and around the corner, and it turns out we'd been 400 yards from the Caribbean Ocean the whole time, and second, the church facility was new to even those of us who had been here previously.
The two-story building is mostly finished on the first level, and they're just getting started on the second. The excitement with which Pastor Troy told us about all the ways they will be able to serve more people and gather more to worship God was infectious!
We took the Race Day decorations we'd brought, and got many of them up on the ceiling and walls, so that those who attended the midweek service in the evening would get excited. We also helped with cleaning inside the facility, as well as some cleanup in the area around the outside.
We headed back to the Lewis compound for lunch, and then we took some time to enjoy the weather and each other. Pastor Troy has been great about explaining the rhythms of missionary life here, and today was a day of lighter manual work, because we needed to recover from the travel and because we have intense periods of ministry and manual labor ahead of us.
Some of us shot some basketball or played carpet ball, and some of us got Pastor Troy's guided tour of the grounds. There are trees that are called 'tourist trees' because the trunk goes from green to bright red and then peels, not unlike we will soon. There are also fire ants. I know this because I stood on a nest without knowing it, and before I could figure out why my socks were so itchy, I was getting bitten all the way up to my stomach. But, thankfully, no harm done.
We also took a quick trip through some of the neighborhoods where we will be canvassing while we're here. Pastor Troy pointed out people whose lives have been changed by the gospel, and gave a lot of great insight into the everyday lives of the people God's called him to reach.
After supper and making sure Michigan's rout of Texas A&M was in hand, we headed back to the church facility for their midweek service. Some of our guys played instrumentals and sang specials, and Pastor Andrew preached a great sermon on prayer. We found the church members to be warm and friendly, and it was beautiful to watch that warmth play out in conversations with Pastor Troy and each other.
All in all, today was a great day of introduction to the rhythms, people, and places where God will be using us over the next several days. Tomorrow starts our ministry events in earnest, and we couldn't be more excited!