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Belize Recaps, July 13, 2016, Ann Canary, Conner Ripley, Adam Haltiwanger

Ann Canary, 7/13
I am working on the construction crew. We have accomplished so much more than we anticipated we could ever do in 4 days. Today we moved to the side of the house and replaced about half of it (having completed the back)…some of the crew had to work overtime so that we could enclose the side all the way to the roof. You never know when rain will come, much less an open area would mean that Brother Pitterson would be sleeping with all sorts of bugs in his bedroom. Tomorrow we have high goals and both construction teams will be working there all day. Normally each team takes one morning shift and one afternoon shift so that we are not out in the extreme heat all day.

The ladies of Loyola Baptist have been feeding us well. Each day they seem to increase the quantity of food that they serve because we are eating them proverbially out of house and home. Today they cooked 15 pounds of rice (topped with beans). This was in addition to meatloaf, cole slaw and fruit for dessert.

I think we are all surviving on adrenaline with this heat and hectic schedule for all groups. But the kids are singing on the bus and entertaining us older adults with their antics.

Tonight we went to the church prayer meeting. Pastor Gillett said his motto, since we were there, would be KISS (keep it short and sweet). The message was about being content with what we have, who you are, and in whatever situation you find yourself. Not being content brings you worries, negativity and self-reliance. A message we can all take to heart. Our own Ann Perry sang the Lord’s Prayer a cappella. She blew us all away. Someone from Loyola then stood and sang their version of the Lord’s Prayer in their native language.

Pray for no rain tomorrow so that we can accomplish what there is still to do. This group is awesome. Pat and I have so enjoyed getting to know these special SVPC young adults and their parents.

Conner Ripley, 7/13
Today on July 13th, I had a blast at Vacation Bible School. To begin the morning, I helped lead two energizers “Numa Numa” with Josh Roper and “Share the Well” with Darby St. Onge. I have helped lead games all week and it has been a humbling experience.

Today the games crew played four corners, red light green light and played soccer. The heat in Belize is nothing like South Carolina. Today I had the privilege to be handed the cutest little girl from Kevin. My interaction with Denice was priceless as Kevin introduces me to this cute 6-year-old as his “special friend Conner”. I take this little girl and carry her like a baby on my hip we talked and became really good friends. This girl I had just met began telling me her life story which was amazing in itself. We played some soccer and tag, which consisted of myself failing miserably at trying to catch this small girl in a group of 40 plus children at the games lot. At the end of VBS when we left the field and went back to Port Loyola’s sanctuary, this girl comes up to me and sits on my lap as we dismissed the children. We gave them snack, and of course sweet little Denice grabs my hand and forces me into the girl’s line, which drew some puzzled looks from the other girls. 

After VBS and lunch, we proceeded to a local school for some sports ministry. After meeting up with the kids, I played soccer with some boys until one of the guys, who was at summer school and was out playing soccer for recess, fell and hurt his ankle. I am a medical worry wart, and he was struggling to put weight on his ankle and was too short for me to put my arm around. So I did what seemed like the logical thing: picked him up and carried him into the shade. I did what I thought would help this kid out because that is what I have experienced as everyone else is in Belize to help these people who have opened our eyes and hearts to the compassion of others and God’s love of all his people. 

The highlight of my day was the devotion at Port Loyola. After dinner we sang many songs and then proceeded to read scripture and pray. Proverbs 28:6  which is “rather to be poor and honest than rich and dishonest.” This spoke to me so much and was perfect for our devotion about contentment after most of us being out of our comfort zone.


Adam Haltiwanger, 7/13
 As the week has gone on, the relationships with the kids and people of Port Loyola have seemed to get stronger with every day. It is impossible to walk down the street without being greeted by someone. It is incredible to see how happy the people of Belize are and the impact that we can have on them by doing such simple things like Vacation Bible School and replacing the walls of a man’s house.

Construction has been very difficult at some points. There have been times where we couldn’t remove a base beam because it would be risking the safety of the house. We have had to be very flexible with how we approach certain things. I believe that all of this prayer has been answered and that God has always made a way for us to get something done even if people have to step up and do things they aren’t comfortable with.

Having Jermaine and Carlos, two men who live in Belize, help us with our project on the house has been a real blessing. They have helped and guided us when we have come to a dead end and do not know what else to do. They truly are answered prayers. They have been very patient and kind to everyone just like everyone in Belize is. It has also been a great pleasure getting to interact with them and Brother Peterson as we work. They all love to make jokes with us and tell us stories and information about Belize even though they probably get asked the some stuff over and over again.

This trip has definitely made an impact on not only my life but on the lives of everyone else here by showing that you should be content with God’s plan for you and always make the best out of what you have. 


Last Published: July 21, 2016 9:27 AM