We are down to our last week of Core Team Training month! Everyone has been hard at work and laser-focused in learning everything to take summer camps head-on. As we finalized our training this week, we interviewed some of our past core team members to see what was their experience in the previous years to allow us better insight into the whole core team experience. So I talked to Amrie Forman and Nadeesha Robinson, current interns and part of this year’s Core Team. I got them talking about what the core team has been like for them in the past and some takeaways from their time of serving.
Amrie Forman recalls the year he decided to join the core team, he was “on fire for God”. Eager to find ways to serve and channel his newfound passion for Christ. At the time he thought Belize didn’t have a place where young people could serve and grow. But he would be proved wrong. When Ms. Blanco visited his church for recruiting and pitched him the volunteer opportunity, he quickly knew this was where God was calling him.
Little did Amrie know how those months of Core Team would challenge him. He didn’t know it would be so stretching for him. He would often feel drained during the process. He recalls the high standards and expectations the leadership had for the Core Team. They would put him in a position that he never thought he would be – leading different camp activities and helping train the volunteers. Amrie was skeptical about the whole process and never felt quite capable of this role. But he preserved. According to him “It was beautiful to see your work when all the core handles their responsibility well”. He didn’t notice when he became fond and excited about camps and grew more connected with the youth and children he got to meet during the process.
Amrie especially loved visiting the churches of different members and seeing different aspects of his country and the church here too. He thinks that the year he was first on Core Team they had an especially strong team and that it was purposefully that way. He feels that being in the Core Team was a privilege and gave him experiences that he would also appreciate.
Nadeesha got to experience what summer looks like at B.C.E during one week of volunteering. She felt that it wasn’t enough. During that experience, she made some connections with people while serving and got a glimpse into what responsibility and high standard Core Team entailed. Weighing her options, she hesitatingly decided to join the core team the next year.
Nadeesha recalls her experiences as being, “both challenging and fun”. She appreciated the diversity in culture and the different personalities she was exposed to in her summer of serving. She was challenged to make relationships that year with the people serving alongside her. The leadership tried to facilitate their strengths but she felt also they were pushed a little out of their comfort zone. Even though there was this challenge there was some easing into the role, and they walked alongside her to grow, so they wouldn’t “feel like a deer in the headlights”. She built people skills and built relationships at the end of her time as the core team. What was also special to Nadeesha was the fact that some volunteers were from her church. That summer of serving together saw them grow together and she cherished the time she got to learn more about members of her church.
For Nadeesha her year of core team saw her grow exponentially in her faith. She was surrounded by like-minded Christian leaders and that was fulfilling for her. Nadeesha felt often overlooked due to her age. She was only at the time. But this experience in leading and seeing that she could put away her insecurity and lead gave her the confidence to go back home and shake her church a bit. It taught her commitment. At the time she was dealing with finishing up her final year of high school which made her miss some key moments in training. And also the fact that her mother fell ill that year. Despite these pressing things in her mind, she was able to “push through” and call it a successful summer of ministry.
As this year’s core team warms up to tackle a summer of ministry, we can only look and appreciate the people who have come before us. We are looking forward to another summer of growth too in all members of this year’s core team. Pray for us as take the challenge that this year of ministry brings.