Belize 2019 - March 8-14
Athletes in action + filter of hope
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13-14
Day 3 & 4 – Reflection from Sarah, 2nd year volleyball
Yesterday (Monday) was fun. And when I say fun, I really mean it to the fullest extent. Since Belize had a National Holiday, students had the day off from school, and what better way to spend a day off than hanging out in the beautiful weather and playing sports all day long! Despite the wrath of the sun on some pale and practically luminescent bodies, we enjoyed playing soccer, sharing our own personal testimonies, crushing it in volleyball, tumbling with Avery, pelting water balloons at Dillon, and more with a big handful of the local children. We. Had. A. Blast!!!
After grabbing ice cream from a local dairy shop, we headed back to camp grounds to spend time reflecting on the day and spending some time together in the word as a group. The ladies and the gents split up into groups and discussed. In the girls group, we spent our time talking about the word “hidden” and how it relates to our relationship to the Lord. Not only was it incredibly moving to realize the freedom that we can experience by simply admitting our need for a Savior and owning up to our brokenness instead of hiding away sin, but the coolest part of the whole discussion was experiencing the evidence of the Spirit permeating every ounce of our conversation. After that sweet time with those girls and seeing the Spirit move within every single one of us, it caused me to take a step back and realize how evident he has been since the moment we stepped foot in Belize. With that perspective shift, I could hardly wait to get back out there and install filters just so I could more diligently see the Spirit at work…
…And let me tell you, the Spirit WORKED today. The very first filter that my group and I installed, we had the opportunity to pray over this incredibly kind man and his family. What I didn’t realize was that he was going to pray aloud as I prayed aloud. I had never experienced anything quite like that before. I’m not going to lie to you, I had a general outline of how I wanted the prayer to go just so I wouldn’t freeze up and look silly. But let me tell you, as soon as we both started lifting up the name of the Lord at the same time, I could no longer think straight. The outlined prayer that I had clearly in my brain quickly became just a jumble of words in a discombobulated mess. So I simply had to let my heart lead. Better put, I simply had to let the Spirit lead. I had to let my guard down, let my need to control dissipate, and just let the Spirit speak. And that’s exactly what happened!
There are SO many unbelievable stories that go alongside with this where the Holy Spirit is clearly evident, so please stay tuned as we finish out our time here in Belize enjoying this beautiful country!
Day 1 & 2 – reflection from betsy, 4th year women’s soccer
Here is a snippet of our day from our 4th year soccer player, Betsy!!
“Today we experienced Jesus’s love in more ways than I will ever be able to put into words. But the entire day was such a beautiful experience that I want to do my best to share it with you. We began the day with a devotional, where we broke down Revelation 7. In this passage, a diverse group of people come together to praise the Lord. There is a unity among diversity, because God created each of us as unique individuals (race, ethnicity, gender, language) and then sent his son Jesus Christ to unite us to Him through Jesus’s death on the cross. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb, we were given the greatest gift known to man: Salvation. Eternal Life. A perfect place to forever glorify and praise God. And the passage in Revelation was a passionate and joyful act of praise to God. Through small group discussion, we delved deeper into God’s word and reminded each other that the purpose of our lives is to glorify God. We have freedom when we accept Christ as our Savior, and all of the distressing things in our life that seem SO significant slowly dissolve into such insignificant things. My life is not about me. My life has lasting power when I use it to bring glory to God.
In church we learned about the three R’s: restoration, revival, and refocus. Restoration of our lives and our hearts can only be achieved when we humbly surrender entire control to God. Revival of our passion for the Lord is only possible by God’s grace. And when we refocus our minds on God, and God alone, we discover an enduring peace in our hearts.
Lastly, we delivered water filters. But it was far more than that!! We delivered water filters with love as we opened our hearts and boldly shared our testimonies with strangers. I am so proud of myself, as well as every single student-athlete on the trip, because we stepped into a new culture full of unknown people, not knowing how they would receive us or the Word of God. But through our preparation and growth together over the past month, our group was able to enter into homes and pour God’s love into new hearts. We totally failed at times, but we also had some emotional and beautiful moments — both reminding us that our journey here will only be successful when we completely surrender to God!!”
We invite you to follow our team of 18 student-athletes and 3 staff leaders as we spend our spring break serving the people of Belize through our partnership with Filter of Hope! We are so beyond excited for this adventure and to watch God show up in big ways – both in our lives and in the lives of the Belizeans. We will be sharing water filters that last up to 10 years with proper care, as well as sharing our common need to become spiritually clean through the good news of the Gospel! Feel free to stay updated through this blog, as well as following our Instagram where we will be having daily “takeovers” from our student-athletes: @uvaaia.
Please join us in praying that all of our hearts would come in a humble posture, only bringing our testimonies of Jesus as our Lord and Savior!
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” - 1 Corinthians 2:2
Pray through our daily schedule:
Saturday: Travel and orientation
- safety and to become acclimated quickly
- team unity
Sunday: church and handing out water filters while sharing the gospel
Sunday Evening: men's and women's time
- boldness in sharing the gospel; good conversations
- for our athletes to grow in their understanding of God's love and purpose for them
Monday: Sports Camp for kids ; Belize National Holiday
- high energy and love for the children
(possibly as many as 150 kids will come)
- a few of our athletes will share their testimony
Tuesday: Distributing water filters / sharing the gospel, athletes sharing their testimony
- boldness in sharing the gospel; good conversations
- Kate will be leading a Bible study in the evening
Wednesday: Distributing water filters / sharing the gospel, team bonding / unity
- team unity and patience within the team
- the athletes will reflect over their few days and have seen God move in their lives and those they had conversations with.
- that our athletes will continue to share the gospel with those that come into their lives even after their time in Belize is done.
Pray For Individuals By Name
Football: Bryce, Gladimir, Dillon, Ryan, Mikey, Hayden
Soccer: Betsy, Laurel, Michaela, Ashlynn, Diana "D"
Volleyball: Sarah, Christine, Grace, Kristen
Field Hockey: Anzel, Carolyn
Staff: Kate, Connor, Amy