Below is a blog posted from a couple who are in Belize for a few weeks working with Basil at the mission. I thought you'd be interested in reading his blog and what it's really like in Belize! Enjoy, I'll post more as he posts! Love you Mary and Brian for your heart that follows God! You are an awesome couple! Vera
You Wouldn't Last Two Blocks
Our early arrival to Belize City on January 31st was not only perfectly timed for helping our team arrive together, but also for ministry.
After being picked up at the airport by Basil DeKlerk, Founder and Director of Belize Mission and Retreat (BM&R) and Gales Point Village Pastor Kenny Welch, we joined John and Mel Bjorgen, BM&R missionary staff, for supper. Afterward, Pastor Kenny had arranged for me to meet 5 of the 11 young men who would be attending the men’s retreat Mark Gold would be leading for us the coming weekend.
After a short drive through the streets of Belize City, we came to Miss Myrna’s home, an elderly woman who offers her home as a refuge to the young men and women from the Brethren Church they all attend. Basil, Kenny and I enjoyed a time of fellowship with the 5 young men and I was able to explain the importance of our upcoming retreat. I liked these guys right off!
When I finished my retreat overview, I asked them if they had any questions to which one immediately replied, “is it unacceptable for a Christian man to wear his hair long?” I thought he was kidding until the next guy followed up with another similar question. These guys wanted to start the retreat right then and there!
During this Q&A session, Pastor Kenny slipped me a cell phone with the text message, “the guys are hungry. Can you feed them?” Absolutely, I thought! So, we spent the next hour watching the 5 men demolish several pounds of fried chicken before bringing them to their respective home “areas”. I say areas, because none of the guys wanted to be dropped off in front of their homes! I will never forget each guy slipping away into the darkness after I gave them a hug outside of the van.
After dropping off the last guy I asked Pastor Kenny why we couldn’t at least walk with them to their homes and he said, “Brian, you wouldn’t last two blocks before you would be robbed”. All these streets this side of town are dangerous, but especially for white guys. I thought about that for a moment and then asked, “was it bad that I stepped out of the van and gave the guys a hug in full view of whoever was around”? Kenny said, “no, but it will be more likely that they will be confronted by some of the gang members in the area and asked if they received any money from the white guys”.
“Two blocks, Kenny. Really, two blocks?” “Yep, two blocks, Brian, if you’re lucky”. The upcoming retreat just took on a whole new level of importance as we drove out of their neighborhood and back to the safe and comfortable Best Western Hotel.