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Belize Diary- Sabbath, Our Last Day  

Sabbath morning, we went to church in the new church Sonora has been working to complete. This is the church which Howard worked to complete the floor on the previous Friday afternoon.

The Sonora girls were leading singing, using a song with hand motions in this photo.

The kids, assisted by their older sisters, sat at the front, most of them sitting on a beach towel on the floor. They seemed to enjoy all that was going on.

The church was packed, as it contained all the villagers, some that had been brought in from other villages, plus the Sonora group of about 30, and our group of close to 60. A lot of us were standing alongside the walls.
Reg was interested in the structure of the roof that the Sonora church used on this church. It would be much simpler and faster than building wood trusses.

We experienced an interesting challenge for metal roofs in rainy country. As the sermon topic was being presented, it started raining. This was complicated by the fact that Sonora's PA system was not working. As it rained, the speaker spoke louder. Then it started raining hard and harder. Before long, the speaker was yelling as loud as he could and we could only see him mouthing words. The futility of his attempts brought smiles to many of our faces.

Fortunately, rain storms are usually short-lived and the deafening noise soon gave way to quiet. The day blossomed into beautiful sunshine that was enjoyed by all.
After church, people socialized, as they waited for the potluck to be laid out for all. We brought food, Sonora brought food, and the local people brought lots of local dishes they'd made for us.

It was a delicious meal. However, serving it was quite a zoo, as the concept of forming a line and taking your turn has not been well taught to the local Mayans, especially the children.
I turned to the side of the church and took this picture looking up the road. Poverty is the rule of the day in these villages, however, they seem to be clean villages. They grow food, as things grow well in the rain forest in which they live.

I asked Graciano if the children stay in the village, once educated. He shook his head and said, "No." Education is apparently their ticket out of poverty, in many cases, and they seek more prosperous places to live that provide better jobs.
Sabbath afternoon our group went for a walk in the jungle, lead by Graciano. This area is part of the rain forest, and offers some exquisite sites.


Several of the group went swimming in this deep pond. I even heard that the large rock was dubbed the 'jumping rock.'

Keith had mentioned that one of the local villagers would not come up here with them. Apparently, during the rainy season, water rises to the top of this "jumping rock."

In spite of almost daily rain, we were there in the 'dry' season. This area is known as the 'rain forest.'

Even people who live in huts can appreciate a beautiful setting.

This lovely hillside is actually a soccer field and thus is maintained quite beautifully. It provides a very classy setting for these jungle huts. It would be the equivalent of living on a golf course in the states.
Happy Birthday, Andrew!
This lovely Sabbath afternoon was capped off by a surprise birthday party for Andrew Chang, our tribal leader, at Graciano's home.  We want to thank Andrew for all his hard work and leadership in organizing and orchestrating this exceptional and successful mission project.

Our meetings, led by Garrison, resulted in 6 men who have asked to study the Bible and what the Adventist church teaches. They were very impressed with our group and what we provided, and wanted to know more about what we believe. Graciano will follow up and give Bible studies to these men.
     Another man wants to start a Bible Study in his home where he expects about 15 of his neighbors to join in. About 22 people were transported from neighboring villages. Of these, several are very interested in Bible Studies.
     We praise God for what He has done in opening the door to Adventism and the spreading of His message to the wonderful Mayan people.


Our Next Project
This picture shows the foundation for our next project. The school we really intended to build was a school in San Antonio to support the new church Sonora just finished. Reg, Jim and Howard have laid the foundation for the principal's home and preliminary buildings. This lovely 5 acre site provides much room for expansion as this school project develops.