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Ann Arbor Christian Reformed Church

Serving In Belize
July 31, 2009
Community: San Ignacio
Staff: Jennie Pakan

Ann Arbor CRC in BELIZE!

by Jennie O. | August 1, 2009 1:34 PM

After a full day in airports we arrived in Belize City. It’s beautiful here! We loaded up two buses (Ann Arbor CRC and St. Paul’s Episcopal together) and headed west. We stopped for a delicious dinner of chicken burritos and lime juice. Afterward, we kept trekking through the country until after dark. We arrived at the school that we will be staying in and blew up our air mattresses for an early night to bed. We were ready to sleep! This morning VBS began with 40 children coming to the church for our first day here. The rain held off for just long enough for us to play games outside and then go inside for crafts. The children loved it! We are excited to get to know them more this week. After lunch, we went to clean up a couple of parks in the community and had some time to play sports afterward. It’s really hot and humid, but we are adjusting. WARMest regards to you all back home.


by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:28 AM

Here's a picture from our intense game of wiffle ball. Every time we switched from infield to outfield, another child had joined us from the community--ready to play! It's great to connect with the people here.

Sunday School

by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:41 AM

After some singing and worship together, we had Sunday school with the children and the youth classes as the adults held their class in Spanish. The kids are all so lovely. They are so thankful for just one sticker—any sticker! We encouraged them in their lesson and in their play. The youth class shared some deep conversation across cultures about being tempted into sin, being ridiculed for your faith, and trusting God to take care of us when we do the right thing. It was awesome!

On Ancient Mayan Land

by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:45 AM

After lunch, we went to the Mayan Ruin site, Xunantunich. It was so cool learn about the Mayan history and to climb the largest structure.


by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:46 AM

Check out the view from there!

Heart Check

by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:48 AM

In the evening all three of our teams combined for a worship service at San Ignacio Baptist Church. There many students shared testimonies: Theresa, Bill, Peter, Allie& Alex! What a beautiful night to celebrate all that God has done in our lives. Andy shared from the Parable of the Sower about the four types of soil that represents how our soul responds to God and His Word. We were challenged to look inward and see which soil represented our lives today: the trampled path, the rocky soil, the thorns, or the good soil. How are you receiving the seed of God’s Word today?

Sweet Smiles

by Jennie O. | August 3, 2009 11:51 AM

This morning the children were excited to hear and learn about Jonah. We talked about the importance of listening to God. They are so wonderful, it’s hard to believe that tomorrow is our last day with them!

Goggle Girls

by Jennie O. | August 4, 2009 11:21 AM

We scraped (and scraped!) the burglar bars on the windows so the rust would be removed and we can paint a fresh coat on them tomorrow. It's really important for the security of the church to keep these strong. The ladies (and some guys) worked so hard! Our arms were covered by the end.

Tedious Tiling

by Jennie O. | August 4, 2009 11:22 AM

Our group raised funds that went toward tiling a Sunday school room in the church. It is going to be so nice!

Lifting Others from the Mud

by Jennie O. | August 4, 2009 11:28 AM

Paula's house is such an important project. Her house has been lifted out of the mud that was rotting her floor. Yesterday, after lots of digging and mixing cement, we jacked up her house and set it up on a brick foundation. Today we are painting it too! It is so rewarding to be a part of this!

A Lasting Impact

by Jennie O. | August 4, 2009 11:35 AM

VBS this morning was great. We shared the Gospel and talked about loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength. The kids wanted to keep talking and playing with us. It was hard to say goodbye to them. This evening we will be saying goodbye to Pastor Bardalez (Pastor B.) and the San Ignacio Baptist Church. Pastor B., Paula’s family, and the congregation are so blessed that we came to partner with them this week. It is so humbling to be the answer to someone’s prayers. Tomorrow morning, we will head to Caye Caulker to reflect on everything we have done and seen here. This trip has gone so quickly, but God is using this experience to make lifelong changes in us and in the people we have met. All praise and glory to God for what He has done!

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grandma & grandpa dalman

August 6, 2009 4:11 PM

Tim & Michael, We hope your experience was wonderful as you were helping those with great need. It's a great feeilng from inside when you do mission work. We pray your flight's were both great and time in Belize will stay with you. We love you both very much and are very proud of you both. With much love

Ron & Martha Ruit

August 5, 2009 8:48 AM

Tom and friends, Time flies! We are looking forward to meeting you at the airport tomorrow night. Enjoy your day of fun (hopefully in the sun) on the island. You all deserve the break for all of your hard work and time invested. Have a safe trip home. We miss you!


August 5, 2009 8:09 AM

Keeping you all lifted up in prayer--May God bless each one of you! Love and hugs!

Henry and Janet DeVries

August 4, 2009 6:16 PM

Dear Amelia and Colleen and all your team mates! We've been praying for you everyday. Trust you are a blessing as well as being dearly blessed yourself. Praying for life changing memories. Have a safe trip home. Flying is great, right Colleen?! Love, Gramp and Grandma DV

Paul & Sue Warmbier

August 4, 2009 5:51 PM

Wow!! It sure sounds like you've all been working your fingers to the bone! Isn't it great to serve God by serving others? Although you must be pretty tired! Have a fun time tomorrow and a safe flight home. Looking forward to seeing you soon, Megan. Love you. We're praying for all of you. Paul & Sue Warmbier

Paul Holtrop

August 4, 2009 5:23 PM

Hi everyone. Wow, it's hard to believe that your work is done already and it's time for a fun day on Wednesday. Stay safe, have fun, and have a good trip back on Thursday. We are looking forward to seeing you. By the way, the Tigers won last night (Monday night) on a walk off home run by Clete Thomas in the bottom of the ninth. Bye!

Melanie Bolhuis

August 4, 2009 12:04 PM

Hi team! What a blessing for us to see a little more of your experiences and how you must be impacting the community there. The faces of the young people are so precious...make sure you take lots of pictures and journal your memories! We're ready to ask lots of questions about how it was so be ready with your stories! Lots of prayers lifted for your snorkel trip tomorrow...looks like some of you are all ready with the masks! :) Love and prayers we miss you tons!

Rachel Bush

August 4, 2009 5:24 AM

Hello all! The Bush family is praying for all of you! It looks as though you all are having an awesome time. Hope that VBS continues to go well & that you all continue to grow in your faith through good works. We are so proud of all of you!

Lorri Vander Roest

August 3, 2009 9:00 PM

Hello team! What a great trip to the ruins. I am so proud of you and what you are doing! Be sure to write down your experiences and look for God's hand in everything that happens. I am lifting you all up in prayer this week.

The Mitchells

August 3, 2009 8:00 PM

Hi kids and leaders! It was so great to see updates about your trip today! The skies looked pretty dark in some of the photos... hope the stormy weather isn't dampening your spirits - maybe the rain is cooling things down a bit :) We are so proud of all of you for giving your time, talents, and love to reach God's precious children! We know He is using you in amazing ways, and that He will bless you for being a blessing. Can't wait to see you all Thursday night and hear about your adventures! Keep cool! Love, the Mitchells

Matt and Mary Admiraal

August 3, 2009 7:29 PM

Thank you for keeping us updated on your trip. It is so fun to hear about what you are doing. Keep up the good work and continue to enjoy the children you are working with!

Ken & Rose Swets

August 3, 2009 6:10 PM

Howdy, Missionaries! We are so happy to know of your safe arrival and your already-successful missionary work! (Isn't it great to [1] be a missionary, and [2] know that the folks back home...AND FOLKS THERE...recognize that what you're doing is mission work for our God? CONGRATULATIONS...and, as is often said, "Godspeed!") On the lighter side, we can't send the photo of a weird little homely elf looking in on y'all, but these are his words:"Thought I'd look in on you to see if you're all right. Yes, you are. AND YOU LOOK BUSY. Have a nice day!!! P.S. Nice outfit!" And we can agree with that last part after seeing your photo on this site. What a good-looking bunch of young people...missionaries all! - TTFN.

Paul & Sue Warmbier (Megan's grandparents)

August 3, 2009 5:38 PM

Hi, Megan, Nicholas, Lauren, and all the rest of the AACS group, We sure hope you all are having a great experience and are having a Godly impact on all of the people you're working with. This is such a wonderful opportunity for you to share your faith with others through your conversations and your actions. How are you all surviving the heat? We hear it's quite warm there! It's going to be very hot and humid Tuesday here, but I'll bet you've got us beat!! Have a great time, and remember that all of us at home are praying for you. This next part's for Megan-------We love you and can't wait to hear about your trip!!! Nana & Grandpa

Lily Wallinga

August 3, 2009 1:03 PM

Dear Tim and Michael, I hope you are well. I hope Vacation Bible School went well. I miss my big brothers and I love you. Love, Lily

Grandma & Grandpa Doornink

August 3, 2009 12:50 PM

Hi Kevin and Eric. What a wonderful experience you guys and the rest of the team are having. Awesome pictures. Praying for all of you.

Leanne De Vries

August 3, 2009 11:34 AM

Hey Colleen and Amelia! I hope you're having a great time! I miss you guys a lot!

Lily Wallinga

August 3, 2009 9:31 AM

Dear Tim and Michael, I hope you are well. I hope Vacation Bible School went well. I miss my big brothers and I love you. Love, Lily

Norma Verhey

August 3, 2009 9:00 AM

Hello all you dear people. You are in our prayers and thoughts each day. It sounds like you had a great start. May the Holy Spirit guide and direct you in all you do and open the hearts of the people to really hear the good news you bring. We'fe eager to hear about your trip to the Mayan ruins because we were so impressed with them. with love in our Lord, Roger and Norma Verhey

Grandma&Grandpa Riet

August 3, 2009 8:05 AM

Hello Nicholas Glad you had a good trip and arrived safely. We pray that the week will go well--that you'll accomplish alot and have a lasting impact on the people you come in contact with. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Our Love, Grandma&Grandpa Riet

Lily Wallinga

August 3, 2009 7:45 AM

Dear Tim and Michael, I hope you are well. I hope Vacation Bible School went well. I miss my big brothers and I love you. Love, Lily

Beth Wallinga

August 3, 2009 7:35 AM

Hi all, glad to hear of your safe arrival. Since you've gotten so many notes of prayers and encouragement, I want to add some advice to just the teens on the trip: remember to give your Housing Officers and Health & Safety Officer a little grief, just to make their trips memorable. But not the Customs Officers. Tim and Michael Dalman, we miss you guys!

Ron & Martha Ruit

August 3, 2009 5:37 AM

Hi Tom and Belize Team! We miss you and hope that you are having a great time. We are anxious to hear about all of your experiences. We hope that the Mayan ruins were as impressive as the pictures! Eat well (remember, Snickers bars to not constitute a health meal!!!), take care and God bless. Malinda, Johanna and Will all say "Hi".

Michelle Machiele

August 3, 2009 5:05 AM

Many people told me of the team photo and first day's trip log on the web site. Know that you are in our prayers and thoughts daily. Sure all you runners are enjoying the scenery as you keep up your miles. Happy adventures! Blessings to all, with love from the Machieles.

Dan Herrema

August 3, 2009 5:03 AM

Good to hear the trip is off to a great start! Praying for all of you. Dan

Kara Vyletel

August 2, 2009 7:24 PM

Hey Matt, I love you. Have a great time. And have fun with the VBS!

Melanie and Bob Bolhuis

August 2, 2009 6:45 PM

Hi all! So glad to read the first post and see all your smiling faces! You didn't get to experience much heat here in MI during the month of July so I guess you'll be making up for it this week. We're lifting lots of prayers for you and can't wait to see more pictures and hear more about your trip. Love to you all...double dose to Greta and Maia! :)

Paul Holtrop

August 2, 2009 4:18 PM

Hi everyone: I hope your trip is going well and the heat isn't too daunting. I'm curious about how those long runs in the morning are going. Tigers fans, they have lost two of the last three. Friday night they lost in 13 innings, Saturday they won in 12 innings (after Rodney blew his first save of the season, almost wasting a gem by Porcello), and today they got beat 11-1. Going into today's game they were still in first place by 1.5 games, but I don't know what Chicago did today. Stay safe and have fun.

Ken & Rose Swets

August 2, 2009 4:17 PM

Greetings from Texas! We hope you all are having a blessed experience as you serve and witness there! This whole endeavor can be...IS...a life-changing esxperience, and we hope that that's what is happening with and for YOU. Stay well, stay happy, and know FOR SURE that you are doing great things! Heartfelt best wishes, y'all...ALL o' y'all! Meat Loaf, Us'ns (Let Tim and Michael Dalman explain that closing...if they can.)

Cheryl Dotinga

August 2, 2009 2:31 PM

Zac,It was nice to hear from your group. We were glad to hear that your trip there went well. Dad, Brad and I mowed your 13 yards on Friday. Dad decided that the lawn mowing business is not for him. He doesn't do so well maneuvering your mower around the landscaping. He was pretty sore on Saturday and thought a desk job was better for him. Enjoy your time with the kids during VBS and playing sports.

Art and Elaine Henke

August 2, 2009 10:17 AM

Wow, what a great opportunity for you "kids." We never had a chance to go on a mission trip like yours. I love the name of the mission you are with. Does that mean there are pelicans there? Soak up the beauty, the culture, and the goodness of our Lord. Also enjoy one another and those special adults with you. We are praying for good health and safety for all of you. Hi and hugs for you, Lauren and for all the rest of you, as well!

Brenda Vyletel

August 2, 2009 6:02 AM

Hi Everyone! We read that everyone made it to your site safe and sound. That brought a smile to our faces! The site looks beautiful. What a blessing that you are can be there working for the Kingdom. We will pray that your efforts are rewarding (and that you don't overheat :)). Have a great time at the ruins today. We can't wait to hear all about everything. What an adventure!

Bethany Vogel

August 1, 2009 4:57 PM

So glad to see that you arrived safely. Hope you had a good first day of ministry. Hey Lisa, I took care of that errand you asked me to do for you. We're looking forward to reading about your activities and seeing pictures of all that you're doing. Hope you get to know each other better and enjoy this unique opportunity. We're praying for you!

Rose & Ken Swets

August 1, 2009 8:03 AM

Hey, Tim and Michael Dalman! Think maybe YOU'RE having a bad day? When Nick Krupp got home he saw his house severely damaged. He called police, and they told him he wouldn't believe what happened. Two women were driving the Oscar Mayer "Wienermobile" to a public appearance when they made a wrong turn onto a dead-end street. The driver pulled into Krupp's driveway, and the other woman got out to help her back up and turn around. But the driver hit the gas while still in "drive," and slammed the super-charged sausage into Krupp's house...located in Mt. Pleasant, WI, just south of (ready?) Franksville, WI. The foundation, deck, and garage door suffered serious damage. A neighbor said one of the women was very emotional, starting to cry, and said, "This is the wurst day of my life!"

Carla Byma

August 1, 2009 6:52 AM

Glad to hear you had a good and safe trip to Belize. Hope you first time fliers enjoyed the friendly skies. :) Blessings to all of you this week. May God touch each one of you in very special ways as you minister to those around you. What an awesome experience for you. Our prayers are with you. Have fun and be safe!

Paul Holtrop

July 31, 2009 7:06 PM

Hi everyone, I'm glad to hear you had a safe flight down. I just want to update the Tigers fans. They traded Luke French and a minor leaguer for Jarrod Washburn, a left handed pitcher from Seattle. Washburn's got a great ERA this year, but it's not much better than French's and I hate to see them give up a good young arm. Stay well, drink plenty of water, and be nice to your leaders.

Matt and Mary Admiraal

July 31, 2009 11:17 AM

We hope that you had a good trip and that you are looking forward to what God has in store for you this week. We are praying for you.

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