Jesus often leads his disciples to quiet places. Away from the crowds. Of course, the ministry was important, but also rest and reflection were equally too. There is something about putting away the normal humdrum, and taking time to be together and intentionally seek to learn more about each other, that seems like it is meaningful and critical for the mission to keep its gears grinding.
This month sparks the beginning of an exciting new phase in the ministry calendar at B.C.E. With plans to still partner along with our usual children and youth ministry partners in and around the city, and also hope for new connections, the team is expectant for a great summer of camps and other ministries.
An Integral part of the work to be done is to select a core group of people who would be trained in all aspects of the elements of camps such as leading songs, gospel hand motions, memory verse, games, lessons, and much more that forms part of the summer curriculum. This “core team”-aptly named- will combine forces with our partners and work to carry out camps together.
Typically, the Core Team is made up of a few chosen youth and young adults from across Belize, (and sometimes a few international), that commit three months to leadership training and assisting in BCE’s summer programs. This year our current team of missionaries and interns will fulfill this role.
This month is a training month for our core team, and to begin the good work we started with a retreat deep in the mountain pine ridge reserve where we not only indulged in the splendor in nature but also in fellowship and learning how to approach this month of training for summers with a team mentality.
As we arrived we were awestruck by the picturesque view before us. The hills rolled down and they were draped with pine trees before us. The creek forced its way out the granite stones, composing a canvas in nature that only leads you to say “God outdid himself this time”.
We immediately set up camp, and began the work of living and surviving with each other for three days. Thankfully there wasn’t much conflict (someone in our team jokingly said they were looking forward to conflict) And if there was to be we had Mr. Edward Joseph and his family join us for this month of training. He and his wife Renata have been doing camp and team building ministry for much of their lives and were a perfect fit to encourage and point the team in the direction of growth and maturity. The team-building activities he planned were important as our team was hungry to learn about each other and how we can all move concertedly in one direction. I would like to think some characters were strengthened, some barriers crumbled, and even if just a little, and overall a spurt of growth did indeed happen. As we learned and lived with each other for those 3 days there was a spirit of camaraderie that I don’t think I have experienced before
Life seemed easy and simple, and with a backdrop like that, who would want to leave. But we had our fill of swimming, worshipping, eating, and living together. As we dragged our feet out, we knew the show must go on. There is another great task before and that is to be instrumental in learning all the material, building this strong bond and sense of teamwork to tackle summer camps and the ministry to come. But a step closer with all the growth that has happened in those three days.