By Annabelle Hayes
Clarks Green United Methodist Church
In June 2011 I went on a Mission trip to Belize through an organization called ROWKIDS (Reaching Our World’s Kids). In response to the Great Commission, ROWKIDS is dedicated to the children of the world, to release them from poverty and economic exploitation by removing educational obstacles, and enabling them to become healthy, responsible, and self- reliant Christian adults (www.rowkids.org). Rowkids was founded a friend of my Uncle Allan, John Eve, and volunteers are now working in four countries, Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, and Panama, with more in sight in the future.
On our trip we went to the Village of Billy White where we worked on building a school and
also did VBS with the children. It was amazing to be able to interact with these children and help
build their school. While we were there the kids would walk us to their homes to show us where
they live. One little girl took us to her house where her mom had her room and then the girl and
her two brothers shared a bed. It was great to see how proud they were of their home they lived
in. They may not have had much but they had somewhere to live and a great loving family.
While we were working at the school, the one day we were there we set up a "store", we laid out
all the clothes and shoes we had and each kid got to pick out two items. After they all got their
clothes or shoes they were very excited and appreciative. As the week continued the kids loved
their outfits so much that they wore it the whole week. One of the other days we set up lunch of
chicken, rice and beans so all the kids would have a meal that day. Normally the kids would walk
home in the afternoon for lunch, but a lot of the kids would stay at the school in the afternoon
because they would have no food to go home to.
While we were there we also got to learn about the Mayan Culture. The whole time we were
on the trip we had a man with us named John Chuck, who was Mayan and we really learned
a lot from him. We went to a Mayan ruin called Sinantunich where we got to climb to the top
of the ruin. It was a great honor to be there that day because it was the day of summer solstice.
Summer Solstice in the Mayan Culture is a big deal and when we were at the ruin there was a
big ceremony for it that we got to see as we went past. We also got to go canoeing in a cave at
a place called Barton Creek. It was absolutely amazing to see, when you looked up there were
little bats flying around everywhere. We had to be careful going through the cave because if
you looked where the rock was shiny you had to be careful not to touch in because the rock was
forming and the oils in human skin can kill it.
Belize was a beautiful country full of beautiful people. I saw God every step of the way on this
trip, in the mountains, the people I met, and in serving God through the people of Billy White.