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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

A different world

I was watching Wheel of Fortune the other night and a gentleman on there won a $8100 trip for two ..... to Belize.  I wondered immediately where it is in Belize that three nights would cost $8100.  I was less than 48 hours back from a mission trip to Belmopan, Belize and all I could think was that of what I saw there, an entire village could be bought for that amount.  $8100 in American money is $16,200 in the Belizean currency.
I got home late on Saturday and since then, the images of what I saw in Belize have stayed in my mind.  Because of that, you'll probably hear about it for days to come.  I came home with over 1100 photographs and feeling like I have been dropped into a world so full of so much.  I've seen images on television of children wanting nothing more than to be able to go to school and have some food to eat.  There really are places in the world, including our own America, where those children live.  I'm aware of each time I turn on the faucet at the sink or flip the switch to turn on the lights.
Some of us became very emotionally attached to a family of three generations living in a grass-thatched hut.  My first encounter with them was as patients at one of my clinics.  The grandmother is 65 and having medical problems that required me to refer her to an OB-GYN.  Her husband is still living but has his own problems medically.  The next generation, the mother and the father, are unemployed.  Father had an appendectomy eight months ago and has had complications with an infection.  None of the four children attend school because they can't afford the $65 a year for each to attend.
Their home was severely damaged by that hurricane that hit Belize. They're sleeping on a packed mud floor (except for the grandparents, who sleep in hammocks). They wash their clothes and bathe in a tiny pond about a hundred yard from their home. They get their water from a water hole another hundred yards in the opposite direction. Here's what I saw when I visited their home.



Where they get their drinking water.

Where they cook their meals...inside the hut.

Water for washing clothes and bathing


Their home

At one point I was feeling almost embarrassed by all that we have.  But one of my team said that we're not to feel embarrassed by what we have, but to use it to the good of others if possible.  They have so little that it takes very little to make them feel loved.  They're not a country without their problems, but the people I met were very warm and loving.
I can't help but to be moved by what we saw.  When I left there, I didn't feel like I'd been on a vacation by any means, but I felt like I'd been there to do a job.  And I did it.  Now, I'll start getting ready to go back in April.
I've sure missed all of you.  We had people posting on the church blog but I wasn't familiar with the laptop computers so I didn't post from there.
It's good to be home.  Really it is.



5 comments:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e) said...

As a pastor of mine once said, "If you ever look around and think, 'Why do I have so much when others have so little, it's because we are blessed to blessed. God wants us to take the gifts He's given us and share them with others."

About eight years ago, I went to Rivera Maya in Mexico. It was a nice vacation, not an $8100 one, but I was still stunned by the poverty just on the other side of the resort's walls. Then about five years ago, I took my first mission trip to Mexico, and one of my friends remembered my dismay, and also my forgotten wish to some how help. She said, "You're helping now. What bothered you a few years ago, is being helped now!"

I had forgotten that I had expressed that need within me to her. I have made three trips there since...

Stuff could always be worse said...

Please do tell us about Belize, we will learn how blessed we are here. I appreciate Missionary's so much. We even turn our water on sometimes and it is hot! I try to remember the things we take for granted...
kim

Brenda Susan said...

Bless you as you go through the "re-entry" process. I have been on many mission trips and know what you are dealing with. You kind of have to allow both yourself & those around you a lot of grace huh?

You made a difference in some lives and that is a fact even if it may seem small compared to the big picture. God bless you!

Holly said...

What a wonderful experience and how blessed you are that you were healed enough to be able to participate! Thank you for sharing! Experiences like this also make us appreciate the things we have. (((HUGS)))

JadeLD said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I look forward to hearing more about your trip and getting an insight into life there.

Have a lovely day,
Jade