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Embed code for: Belize Info Packet 1
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DECIDING TO GO
Mission: “To be the hands and feet of Christ to all we serve.” The main focus is to serve, minister and share the love of Jesus Christ. Specifically to serve through construction projects, ministering to children/teens through Marla's House of Hope and the neighborhood, and partnering with Margaret Mooney (a missionary we have supported who is also a foster parent).
We have previously assisted with building a missionary home, building a preschool, ministering to those at MHOH, and held VBS. Through this we have made contacts and support other missions there locally.
Belize is bordered by Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea and has the lowest population in Central America. Belize District (including Belize City where we usually fly into) has the highest violent crime rate—however, we will be in the Cayo District over 70 miles west of Belize City where the violent crime rate is low.
Belize has a tropical climate with wet and dry seasons. Plan for hot and humid.
The people are friendly and the official language is English, although Belizean Creole and Spanish are also spoken. You will feel safe and comfortable in your surroundings being able to communicate, order food, or ask questions.
US currency is accepted.
The time zone is 2 hours earlier (8am here, 6am there).
The school system is subsidized by the government, but there is tuition per child which can be cost prohibitive. Uniforms are school specific.
We will be working, traveling and lodging together in groups. While Belize City is gang oriented as you may read, we will be in the countryside around San Ignacio and Belmopan.
It is, however, a third world country and you will not want to wear expensive items that would attract attention or create a “desire.”
The tap water is not purified, but you will have plenty of bottled water available to you (boiling water also works). You may want to avoid eating large amounts of plant based items like salad as they have likely been washed in the water. The food there is fresh and delicious.
We will have a list of family contacts and emergency numbers both for you and your family. There are internet connections available at different spots during the day.
If you choose to use your cell phone for calls, you will need to check with your carrier for international calling and the expenses incurred will be yours.
Most team members do not get “travelers vaccinations” but you can check with your doctor if you prefer them (also most medical insurance does not cover). One thing to bring is a bug repellant with DEET as you will want to protect yourself from mosquito bites as much as possible and avoid disease transmitted in that manner. Antibiotics are readily available without prescription at a local pharmacy.
Paying for the Trip/Fundraising:
The personal expenses you will incur are:
The cost of your passport (needed for travel outside of the U.S.).
Any gifts/keepsakes you would like to bring back with you.
Your cell phone usage while there that is not internet based.
The total per person should AVERAGE about $1,500 each to be raised individually.
This total for each individual on the mission trip is all inclusive of transportation (including flight and ground transportation), food, lodging and any incidentals.
(The money will be managed by a present team member, you will just insure deposit of the $1,500 into the Crossroads fund annotated with Belize Trip and your name). Note that some of the money is used for projects we are engaged in.
A sample fundraising letter is included in the left pocket. Send a request to your friends/relatives/acquaintances to support you financially, providing supplies or through prayer. Do not limit God’s reach by denying anyone the opportunity to support you...it may be a blessing to them to do so—allow God to work in any and all directions He chooses. There is no limit to God’s bank account—if you are to go, it will happen!
Will I be helpful:
We are all gifted in different ways and in different areas. That is by God’s design!
Can you show others the love of Christ? Yes!! ...then you are always useful.
Construction—if no special skills in this area there is always painting, carrying, clean-up, sanding, etc.
Children—the girls at MHOH just need a hand to hold, someone to sing along with them, help during crafts, a game partner, etc. Also there are babies being tended to at Margaret’s and a helping hand is always a blessing.
Organization: Administrators are always needed for the projects we do at MHOH, VBS and other items.
General Care—clothes will need washing, food will need preparing, shopping will need to occur for construction, for meals and in general.
5 MYTHS about mission trips:
It takes someone special. FALSE (Or true, because we are all special.) There are no special talents, skills, knowledge/wisdom needed for a mission trip. God uses ordinary people to do the extraordinary. To God be the glory! While training isn’t a must—there may be some prior to going for the programs we plan.
As an American you are going to bless those less fortunate. TRUE - to share God’s love, but in the end the greatest blessing seems to be your experience and how He allows you to be a part of His blessing!
You can’t afford to pay for the trip. FALSE - because you are not on your own for that. God’s bank account is limitless. There are many people that can’t go for one reason or another, but are willing to be a blessing by supporting you so that someone can go. We will help you in how to approach your fund-raising.
Mission trip means going to a foreign country. FALSE. There are plenty of areas in our own United States where the people have not experienced the love of Christ through service/action.We always need people to do prep work here, for us to take there.
Mission trips are glorified vacations. FALSE. Very different than vacations. We plan on working and serving those around us while sharing Christ’s love. To allow Him to use us in any way He chooses, being salt and light to others.
PLANNING TO GO
Make sure to apply for your passport as soon as possible to avoid rush fees!
If you are under 18 years of age you must have a notarized statement that you are allowed to go on the trip signed by your parents (
Margaret Mooney will be our emergency contact in Belize. Cell: 011-501-671-9898, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mary Ann's cell: 757-814-9194.
NOTE: We will not work on Sundays but take time to worship with the locals and have an opportunity to do some sightseeing together and learn about the culture and the area. (If you plan to go earlier or stay later to do your own sightseeing please make sure we are aware of this. Any additional travel expenses will be your own.)
Send out your fundraising letter and get your required amount into Crossroads. All checks are to made out to Crossroads Community Church (earmarked with your name for Belize Trip), but to be given to Jim, for record keeping.
Pray! (For team going and for those we will be serving.)
If you have a special gift or interest let Jim know (lead worship, electrician, etc.) Have your Passport ready and make a copy.
Prepare emergency contact (home) and medical info for mission team.
Have any shots you decide on at least two weeks prior to going.
Prep with team for any programs.
Assist with gathering supplies and packing.
Begin planning what you will pack. It will be hot and humid most likely with no a/c, bring clothes that dry quickly, caps, sunblock, mosquito spray, personal toiletries. Don’t overpack—we will wash clothes. There is no closet and you will be sharing a room/bathroom (not with your spouse). Ladies, be conscious of what you wear and that you are representing Crossroads and Christianity—walking shorts, sleeves on dresses - how will others perceive you? You will also have a share of the supplies we are bringing for our programs to pack with your items, avoiding extra baggage fees.
FINAL PLANS—On Our Way!
(Jim will reserve in advance for the best price and groups will travel on same flights or arrive at similar times in order for transportation ease.) Schedule:
(A tentative schedule will be devised based on who is going and which projects we are undertaking during the two weeks. These will include construction and repairs on Margaret’s house and school, a home for Pastor Robbie, covering a patio area at MHOH, Confident Kids program with the girls at MHOH, 5 Aspects with the girls at MHOH, VBS for local neighborhood.) Be flexible! Know that God has a plan for us.
Note that you cannot take pictures at MHOH due to safety reasons.
(Jim will have this scheduled prior to leaving.) ACTION ITEMS:
Continue praying! satan will try to attack.
Review “Belize Travel Guidelines” (in left pocket).
Have any “special” tools you will want to use (tools needed will already be there and available, but maybe a tool belt and gloves would be helpful to you).
Have any meds you will need in a bottle with current dated prescription labels. (Better to have these in your carry on.)
Have your Passport and a copy (you will need a copy on you at all times in Belize).
Have your flight reservations/boarding pass and a photo ID (and a copy of each). (Remember you cannot carry on any liquids over 2 oz and they all must fit in a quart ziplock.) No locked suitcases as they will be inspected. MUST check in at airport 1 Hour before flight time (5 minutes can cause you to miss the flight)!
Any extra money you would like for purchasing souvenirs. Remember to ask for a discount when purchasing anything other than food (barter system in effect!). The exchange rate is 2 Belizean to 1 US dollar.
Cell phone & charger—electrical is same as ours.
Make sure you’ve packed any supplies given to you to bring.
Customs form required/given out during flight: use the following address:
50 Palo Blanco Street, San Ignacio, Cayo (district), Belize.
SAMPLE FUNDRAISING REQUEST LETTER
I am par cipa ng in a mission trip to Belize around Easter and would like to get you involved either through prayer, financial support, providing supplies for our programs, or any other way you see fit.
I believe God has put it on my heart to minister to those in San Ignacio and Belmopan by assis ng with construc on projects and building rela onships with a girls home and neighborhood children. The girls that reside at this home are not orphans. They have been removed from their families due to neglect or abuse. These young women are protected, so no names or pictures can be provided. The neighborhood children we hope to reach out to through a Vaca on Bible School type program which our teams have had great success with on previous visits.
The construc on projects we intend to undertake involve finishing up a pre‐school that our church has built under a missionary’s home. Also to put a cover over a pa o area at the girls home. Along with beginning to build a house for a pastor that we have built a rela onship with there.
I need to personally raise $1,500 to assist on this mission trip. The monies will be used for transporta on, building supplies, lodging, program supplies for the girls home and the neighborhood VBS and any remaining monies will be used to support the food and care for these girls in the home. ANY amount you can give to support me in this effort of ministering there in Belize will be helpful—large or small. Please let me know if you have any ques ons.
THANK YOU so much for joining with me in this effort to serve as God’s hands and feet in Belize. Yours in Christ,
If you would like to make a dona on, you can use PayPal or send a check (made out to Crossroads Community Church with my name and “Belize Mission Trip” in the descrip on). This dona on is tax deduc ble. Please mail it to me at:
DECIDING TO GO (cont’d)
DECIDING TO GO (cont’d) s to pack with your items, avoiding extra baggage fees.
If you would like to make a dona on, you can use PayPal or send a check (made