Mission Trip to Belize Part 2: There’s No Turning Back

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This trip seriously snuck up on me. I felt so unprepared. I started packing my bag a week before we were to leave for the trip and ended up not completely packing until the night before we left. When the day finally arrived for us to leave for Belize, I was a mixture of emotions. I went from excitement to fear to curiosity to anxiety. During the drive to the airport, I started wondering if I was even supposed to be on that trip…wondering if I had made a mistake. But it was too late to change my mind lol.

When we touched down in Belize, we immediately got to work. Our first project was to a couple of bathrooms and a patio area at a school. We also had the opportunity to play with some of the kids that went to the school and pass out supplies. Some of the other projects we completed were building a fence around a school and a playground to make it secure for the children, painted a church both inside and out, went out into the community to pray with people and invite them to an outreach we had in order to share the Gospel and pass out more supplies.

Although we were able to be a blessing to the people of Belize, they were even a greater blessing to us. They showered us with so much love and welcomed us with open arms. They taught us how to be content and joyful with what we have. They taught us how to appreciate each moment in life. While we were at one of the schools putting up a fence, I helped pass out candy to the children. We gave each child one starburst. What got me was how each child was so grateful for that starburst. They didn’t complain. They were truly thankful for that. Honestly, that convicted. How dare I ever complain about anything? How dare I ever be ungrateful? It really made me start thinking before I twisted up my lips to complain about anything.

Of course the enemy attacked us while on this trip, but God intervened. Our first night there, one of my roommates found a scorpion on her bed. Thank God she saw it before she went to bed and we were able to get it out of the room. A couple of days later we went back to where we built a fence around a playground in order to take a group picture in front of the completed project. While we were there, one of the local kids had a metal goal post fell on his head causing a deep gash. Thank God we were there and we had a few people on our trip who work in the medical field. That same night when we got back to our dorm, there was a fire literally a few feet from the room I was in. Unlike in the US where we’re able to call 911 in order to have firefighters deal with a fire, we had to handle it ourselves. We as a group along with those who were hosting us worked together to put the fire out. We had people praying and singing worship songs, we had people going and getting everything from buckets to trashcans to fill with water to dump on the fire. On top of that, the water pressure was very low so it took time to fill up each bucket, but God. God allowed us to be able to put that fire out and He kept us safe while doing it.

This trip also pushed me outside my comfort zone. When most people first meet me, they think I’m quiet and for the most part I am. Well by day three of the trip, I was my regular self. I was joking around and laughing and letting my personality shine through. I also started building some strong bonds with the people on my trip. They have honestly become my extended family. I was also asked to lead the morning devotional with 3 other women. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. God led me to speak on being pushed outside our comfort zones because that was what He was doing in me during this trip. I mean this trip seriously put me in situations that I would have never imagined I would be in. From taking a cold shower just about every night to doing manual labor to not knowing if I was going to wake up with a tarantula or a scorpion in my bed, this trip stretched me.

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Everything I experienced on this trip has prepared me for my new job. Going to Belize has taught me to be assertive, how to lead, how to take the lead when I see a need, how to be patient with others, how to make the best of each moment and situation, and how to embrace and love who God created me to be. Honestly, if you have never been on a mission trip, go. Now. No, seriously, go on a mission trip. That trip will change you forever. You are separated from all of the distractions. You are forced out of your comfort zone, but most importantly You will hear God speaking to you loud and clear, and you will learn how to trust Him like never before.

 

Koinonia

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Definition of Koinonia

Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary: (a) Communion, fellowship, sharing in common. (b) That which is the outcome of fellowship, a contribution

Strong’s Concordance: (a) contributory help, participation, (b) sharing in, communion, (c) spiritual fellowship, a fellowship in the spirit

New American Standard New Testament Greek Lexicon: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, intercourse

To say that building relationships with other Christians is important is an understatement. Fellowshipping with other Christians is critical to the Christian walk. We will not survive living in this world and the many attacks of the enemy if we don’t have close, intimate relationships with other Christians.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

The reason why we need other Christians in our lives is so that they can help us in our time of need and we can do the same for them. There are going to be times when the enemy comes hard against us. We will be bombarded with distractions, unfortunate circumstances will occur in our lives, the enemy will attack our minds with thoughts that are contrary to God’s Word, and we will have moments when we feel weak and feel like giving up. This is why we need to fellowship with other Christians, this is why Koinonia is so crucial.

I don’t know about you, but I have tried to live this Christian life on my own and I was so miserable. I had no one to encourage me in the Lord when I was in the midst of a storm. I had no one to pray with me when I was facing a serious challenge. I had no one to stand in agreement with me for the breakthrough I was trusting God for. I felt isolated and alone. This made me an easy target for the enemy. He began to attack my mind, planting all kinds of negative thoughts. All of that changed when I began to fellowship with other believers.

When I refer to fellowship or koinonia, I am not talking about surface level relationships where you keep people at a certain distance and only let them know so much about you. Being closed off or only sharing the good and not the ugly with your brothers and sisters in Christ will still have you feeling isolated. Now I’m not saying tell any and every person who claims to be a Christian what is going on in your life because that wouldn’t be wise. What I am saying is that you should seek God and ask Him to bring you some close, godly friends that you can build an intimate relationship with like David and Jonathan had (1 Samuel 18-20). This type of friendship is selfless and loving. Jonathan encouraged David, reminded David of the promise God had made to him, protected David, and was heartbroken when David was being chased by Saul.

We need to fellowship with believers who will pour into us when we’re feeling low, who we can feel safe confiding in knowing that they will pray for and with us, who will lovingly correct us when we’re wrong, and who will hurt when we hurt and will rejoice when we rejoice (Romans 12:15). We need those individuals who are constantly pushing us closer to Jesus.

So if you’re someone who is trying to live this life for Jesus on your own, stop it right now. You need to fellowship with other believers. Get involved in one of the ministries at your church, find a small group to join or start one of your own, find a Bible study you can go to weekly. But most importantly, pray and ask God to send the right people into your life.