Below you will find comments and reflections from all the students and staff about their specific experiences here on this mission trip. Over the course of this 10-day mission trip, we have blogged the details of the trip in order for all of you to follow the trip, but the most important aspects are really captured on the individual stories and testimonies of the students. It has been a privilege and a blessing to spend these days with such a fantastic group of young adults! I have seen each one of them grow in different and important ways.
Really special thanks go out to Wil, Lazarus and Allicia, who looked after all of us, and shared their lives so openly with us. It is amazing to me that no matter where one travels in the world, when we share faith in Jesus, we are brothers and sisters reunited!!
And finally to all you students, thank you! Thank you for your commitment to love God and to love others. Thank you for working hard and for praying hard. Thank you for wanting to learn more about each other and for wanting to meet new people and listen to their stories. Thank you for stepping out in your faith, for turning to our heavenly Father with your questions and fears. Thank you for the amazing and wonderful stories of lives transformed. You are all fantastic!!!!
Samuel: My stay in Belize was very fun and full with a lot of lessons, adventures, and emotional and spiritual moments. One thing that I learned is that you don’t need to be rich to be happy, happiness is not found in money. One thing that I really liked from staying in Belize with my class mates is that I built good relationships with them, example: there are some people that I would not talk with if it wasn’t for our stay at Belize together. So I think that Belize was, is and will always be a great blessing for my spiritual life and me. Thank you Belize!!!!!!!!!
Samantha: Before going on this trip, Belize simply represented a country on the map somewhere near Mexico. Now, it represents so much more (apart from me knowing its geographical location of course). Belize represents the place where my faith was taken to a whole different level, as I learned how Jesus’ love transcends any circumstance, no matter how dire, and that, through Him, our lives and others’ lives can be totally transformed. It represents where I learned how happiness and beauty are found in the most unlikely places. It’s where I was able to build friendships with my classmates and to strengthen my relationship with friends I already had. It represents where I made some new Belizean friends as well. It’s where I was able to have an amazing adventure as I got to know stunning Belize better, appreciating its beauty, food and culture. I feel so blessed to have been able to go on this mission trip! Before saying goodbye, I have to make at least one pun (even though I’ll probably regret it once I read back on this)… What an UNEBELIZEABLE adventure this truly was! Love to you all from the seat of our delayed flight to Montreal, Sam.
Chelsea F: Before this trip, I had never even heard of the country of Belize, other than my geography test. I’m so happy that God gave me this opportunity to go on this mission trip and help the kids. When I first arrived in Belize I was just expecting to see some kids, to experience some tears and laughter. But over the last 10 days, I’ve been blessed to experience something not many people in this world can experience. And it’s true what people say, money does not buy you happiness. Seeing all those families that can barely afford a meal for their family, those families who don’t have any devices and honestly, these families are happier than the richest person in the world. Words cannot explain how thankful I am for my life, because this mission trip has made me realize that I can be living on the streets but if I only had God in my life, no family and no money, I will be happy for the rest of my life no matter what. That is why I chose to be baptized again, to be re-born and to renew my faith with God. This experience is something that I’m never going to forget!
Chelsea S: The past 10 days have been amazing! Something about the warm breeze and the bright sun changed us! My classmates and I have certainly grown closer together and created bonds that will hopefully last. When I woke up this morning, I dreaded the idea of leaving and I’m still not sure how I managed to. I couldn’t imagine waking up to anything other than the sound of that obnoxious rooster and the world’s two loudest dogs. But now that I think of it, if it were any longer, it wouldn’t have been as special. It was an un-belizable experience to say the least!
Ryan: This mission trip really helped me to reflect upon how I can help people around me whether I am a Christian or not. I also learned a lot about the people around me and have learned to appreciate some of them more and just remember how awesome the others are. It was quite appealing to me because I empathize a lot but almost never act upon it and this has given me the chance to do exactly that and more. Thank you Mr. Lulussier, Mr. Traytray and Panamela so much for supporting me through all this.
Carol: If you know me, I like to over think… sometimes. Not to mention, I love to be in control, when it comes to what I do. Once that happens, it becomes a little hard to trust God with my life. Some parts of my life are for me, which means God can comment on it or intervene. During this trip, I was able to let go, let God. There are so many ways to describe the situation that I was in. I would probably go with the one where I was half with God and half with my old ways. Anyway, those days in Belize made me more willing to be fully with God. I decided to get baptized, I just knew I wanted to do it to reestablish that I am God’s and I wish to follow the plan that he has for me, in front of everyone. That was one of my favourite moments in Belize. I am glad to be coming back home, even though I will miss being in Belize. Thank you to all my team members and the people who have been with the team through the journey. There is so much too say and so little time, so I will be seeing you all in Montreal!
Christian: I am really happy that God gave me the opportunity to go on a mission trip in Belize. This trip has taught me what happiness really is. Happiness is not having the biggest house or the most money. Seeing the kids who had almost nothing but were still smiling and welcoming, seeing the orphans running and playing, seeing the elders who could barley stand laughing, really showed me that as long as you have God’s love with you, you will be happy.
Zach: Belize was an amazing experience of a lifetime! I learned a lot about faith and what God wants for our lives. I’m very glad to say that I would like to go back one day. I’ll always remember what I lived and use these lessons for the rest of my life.
Adriel: There is so much I could say about our mission trip to Belize. So many things have happened during this trip that will affect me for the rest of my life on a spiritual level. I finally got to experience what and how the love of God is present in our lives. Working with the natives of Belize was really touching, especially with those who lacked love and care from others. It also showed me that His love never fails, never gives up and will never give up on me. I’m very glad that I was able to participate in this year’s trip as I’ve grown so much spiritually and I am thankful to all those who helped make my learning possible.
Eddy: Staying in Belize was amazing. All the things that happened were a blessing for all of us. From people getting scared by the monkeys at night to praying and singing for people who didn’t have much, we all grew in different ways and got closer to God. One thing that I learned is that to be happy, generous or comfortable, you don’t need to have much. The people in Belize didn’t have much but most of them had lived through much and had a heart greater than most people living comfortably in another country. I have learned a lot and I plan to remember.
Byanka: During these past 10 days we had our ups & our downs, laughter & tears but at the end, this experience was a blessing for all of us! This trip helped me to get closer to God. Before going to this trip I thought I wasn’t qualified to be a real Christian because of all of my mistakes. However I learned that this is not true. I now know that Jesus’ love is unconditional and all I must do is surrender to him. Another moment I truly appreciated was when we were at the orphanage: I was talking to one of the kids, and he was telling me how he didn’t have much but he’s really thanks God because it could have been worst… this was a breaking point for me! By his story, I learned how amazing God is! Hopefully this will not be my last mission trip. God bless you all xxx
Haley: So for me to give an accurate representation of what this trip was for me, I would need multiple hours to write. However, I will say this: I was able to grow on this trip. This trip made me realize not only my potential, but also how God wants me to use it in the right ways. Yes there were some low points, but I think it taught all of us how to deal with them as a team. I think spiritually, we all grew. Remember the part in the Grinch when his heart grows like 6 times its original size? That’s the best thing I can compare us to. Giving to the community not only blessed them, but also allowed us to be blessed 100 times over. Like It says in Romans 12:2, we were all transformed by the renewing of our minds. Lastly, I think the biggest thing I learned from being stuck to 14 other people for 10 days was this: We all have different opinions on a lot of things, and accepting each other for who we are is hard, but achieving this acceptance is the most amazing feeling. I experienced that with a couple of people and I’m eternally grateful for it. Overall, this entire trip was a winning experience and I’m 100% sure ministry in Belize is something I plan on doing in the future. It was unbelizable 😉
Pam: Hello everyone!! What an amazing trip we have had! I can hardly believe we are soon boarding our flight back to Montreal. It has been a pleasure getting to know each individual on the team; to see relationships be strengthened and the outpouring of love shared to a community in Belize hungry to be shown compassion. One of my favourite moments was when we had the opportunity to give food to the most needy people in the village of Armenia. We sang for them, cried with them, prayed with them and left them with hope in Christ. To see this team be the hands and feet of Jesus was amazing to watch and be a part of. I know they were a blessing and were blessed themselves. My only complaint is that I wish we were able to spend more time at the orphanage. The children were clinging to us yearning for attention and to be hugged. We only had a few hours with them, but I am pretty sure there is at least one child we all left with their face imprinted in our minds that will be with us for a long while. So much more can be told, and I am sure you are excitedly waiting for all the details from your children. Many blessings to you all, we will be home soon!!
JD: Going into the trip, my prayer was that God would do a great work in the lives of our students. I could not have imagined how powerfully He would answer. Saturday we began to tangibly see God working in us and through us; however, this was only the start of greater things. Over the past days, many students have decided that being a fan of Christ was not enough and that they needed to make the decision to follow Him whole-heartedly.
Part of the outflow of this process has also been evident in students’ desire to serve and care for others. We have been able to bless many members of the local community, young and old alike through love, time, and finances. It is amazing what God can do through us when we allow Him to do so.
The country of Belize has also blown me away. The scenery with its mix of palm trees, jungle foliage, and rolling hills is breath taking. The people of Belize have been so welcoming and demonstrated what it means to have a servant’s heart. I have also enjoyed the various activities that are found in nature.
Part of me is looking forward to returning to the comforts of Montreal, such as my own bed and warm showers; however, there will be another part of me that remains in Belize.