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Monday, July 09, 2007

Belize Mission Trip: Day 1 Phone Report

Ms. Conroy and I talked tonight. Turns out, if the call originates from Belize, it's $2.20 per minute. If the call is received in Belize, there is only a small service charge to the phone. The caller, of course, pays the fees.

So, I called. We talked. The news is all good. In fact, it's positively terrific!

Ms. Conroy reports that the kids - and adults - had an absolutely terrific day. First, they hiked miles ("Miles and miles and MILES!" said herself) to a Mayan ruin.

Everyone loved the history. Something about a Mayan belief that there are 12 layers to reach heaven and 7 layers to descend to hell. The kids were absolutely enthralled by it all, really soaking it up. Exhausted by the hike, but loving every minute of it.

Later, they went water tubing down Clarissa Falls. Each person had their own tube. Yes, even Ms. Conroy. (I hope someone took some pictures! I snagged these of the Mayan ruin and tubing from the Internet.)

Later that night, at the debriefing before worship, kids shared what was a high and low point of the day for them. One kid made a stunningly honest confession. Unbeknownst to anyone else, he said he was absolutely petrified of heights. That climbing the Mayan ruin was one of the most terrifying things he had ever done. But, he challenged himself with every step and then rewarded his efforts at the end by sitting on the ledge, enjoying the beauty and the splendor of God's creation.

Great kid, huh?

Another kid admitted that he is petrified of bugs and creepy crawly thingys, which was NOT news to anyone in the group. Wouldn't you know it but it was THAT self-same kid that an iguana chose to fall from a tree and land on HIS lap shortly after he had gotten in the tube? Ms. Conroy reports that she's not certain who was more frightened - the young man or the iguana.

Here's the terrific part: The iguana finally landed on the tube of another young man and perched there for the rest of the 40 minute ride down the Falls - each one simply studying the other in rapt attention.

When asked how he experienced that, all the young boy could manage to say was, "Cool. Way, way cool!" The kid who doesn't like creepy things just shook his head in utter amazement.

They finished the evening with devotions and prayers. Oh, the heat, how awful! The bugs, dreadful, yes, of course. But, it is reported that no one left the meeting who didn't have a big smile on their otherwise very tired little faces.

All in all, a great beginning.

Ms. Conroy reports that while we were talking on the cell phone, Our Tim and the rest of the work crew were strategizing how to divvy up the work and how to use the small groups of kids. She, herself, is not part of that leadership team but plans to do whatever it is they tell her to do. Once a good catholic girl, always a good catholic girl, I teased. Right, she laughed.

The plan is to work in the cool of the morning and rest in the heat of the afternoon. She and the other nurses are meeting with the local "healers" tomorrow afternoon to make some initial assessments and figure out how to organize all of the medical and dental equipment they brought.

It sounds like it is more than we could have ever asked for or imagined.

Thanks be to God!


johnieb said...

I do not know how this is organized, but I think cross-training and pushing authority down, including the children, are sound principles.

Pardon my metaphor: I myself am very nearly a pacifist, perhaps I am and do not yet realize it. :) I am thinking of the training of Elite Commando units; think Rangers, Special and Very Special Forces as the public sees it.

This sounds especially good right now, Elizabeth, which does not surprise me in the slightest, given your established ministries in the wider church, as we used to say, I think I remember, or was that a collective delusion.

It grieves me to see so many demons afoot; has no one, including me, been keeping our Savior's house? Land sakes, y'all! When was this place cleaned?!

Not here, it also grieves me to say, but that won't stop the trying, now will it?

johnieb said...

Oh my dear mother! That's a beautiful photograph of a beautiful setting: my compliments to someone's eye and skills and mind and soul.