Ten pastors and ministers of the New Beginnings International Ministries (NBIM) embarked on a week-long Christian mission from Brooklyn, New York to the village of Camalote, Belize on Tuesday Oct. 28, 2014.
The group provided bags of food that was sufficient to feed more than 50 homes in the village of Camalote for over a month, conducted evangelism and spiritual leadership workshops which were done in Camalote Baptist Church and went into Camalote Primary School where they evangelized and engaged the young students in arts and crafts. NBIM hosted a barbecue at the Blue Thumbs Missions compound where the entire village was welcomed. Inspirational messages were preached by the ministers to bring hope and encouragement to people who at times have very little to hope for.
The purpose of the mission was to present Jesus Christ in a way that was relevant in the lives of people in the village. It was also about meeting the people where they were, but not leaving them that way. For the NBIM team, relevance is determined by the need you are able to meet and the problem that you are able to solve.
This type of trip was a first for many of the participants in the group. It was quite a learning experience and lives were definitely touched on the part of the ministers as well as those being ministered to. “Ministering at the school stood out the most for me, it’s not like teaching in Sunday school,” said Pastor Xiana Lopez. “It was bigger than that and it was also very humbling.”
Many NBIM members expressed the view that they received more than they gave and that they were changed more than the people they went to serve. When it was time to leave, there were more than a few sad faces and tears on both sides.
Belize Mission 2014 was a narrative of self-transformation, personal growth and Christian service that became a pilgrimage. It was more than a cross-cultural experience, it was trip with a specific mission to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. “What led me to go to Belize was the Lord. The Lord told me that he wanted me to do this missions trip to Belize in order to reach lost souls there,” said Pastor Lenny Lee. “He told me that there was a need that needed to be met and I am honored to be called and chosen for such an assignment.”
It became less about handing out church tracts or even providing food for the people in Camalote village and more about how they could connect with what God was doing in other parts of the world through real connection with people. “We are thankful for everything and we had a marvelous time with you guys. Please keep us in your prayers,” said Keneshia Sutherland, a resident of Camalote village. “Come back soon and next time please stay a little longer!”
The experience reconfirmed to NBIM that the objective of any mission, quite simply, is the glory of God. It is not so much about building a house or learning what it is like to be a “real missionary” for a week. It is more about joining the Lord in the work that he is doing in the world.