I promise that I am not going to write every post about Belize for the rest of my life… though I could. 🙂 I just still have a lot in my head that I need to get out!
This whole adventure started when I met David and Karen Rhodes a year and a half ago. Our church hosted a one day conference that Bro. Jim and Roger Fields were doing and the Rhodes came with them. This was the first time I really heard about Belize (I had to google it to find out where it even was) and their ministry there. I loved their vision of connecting children’s ministries in the U.S. with children’s ministries in Belize. We signed up with Kidz Konnect soon after that and beginning last January our children’s ministry offerings go them to support Light of the Valley School every month. David came to our “One Mission Celebration” last February and that is when God made it very clear that Westwood’s first family mission trip would be to Belize.
Here are my reasons why this ministry is a perfect partner for our children’s ministry:
– Belize is a feasible trip for kids and families to make. It is three hours by plane from Atlanta. I can’t imagine taking kids on a longer trip than that. The people there speak English, so no translators required. We stay on the beach, so after a long day of ministry the kids get to play in the ocean. Karen and David do a great job of making sure that everyone is safe and that we experience challenging, yet not dangerous, situations.
– Our kids can physically see how their offerings make a difference. A very powerful moment for me while we were there was when I reminded our kids that their offerings go directly to the school. I told them that because they and their friends were faithful to give, these kids had the few pencils and paper that they had. How often do our kids get to see how God tangibly uses the money they give? I can’t imagine how God uses that truth to impact their view on giving long term.
– There was real, practical ministry the kids could do. Our kids’ jobs were to hang out with the other kids and build relationships and share Jesus when they could. They also helped tutor in the classes (they thought they were pretty cool), distribute food and supplies and helped in practical ways. Every family member was involved in ministry all day.
– It is a long term partnership, not a short term emphasis. We have learned the names of kids and teachers. We have fallen in love with the people. We will go back and until we do we will have updates from Light of the Valley and they will get updates from us.
– David and Karen Rhodes are super. They are missionaries who view life and ministry through kidmin eyes. It can’t get better than that? They are real and fun and love Jesus. Those are the types of people we like to partner with.
So, if you made it through another Belize post and you are in kidmin, I strongly encourage you to pray about partnering with Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus too.