Belize (MNN) — It's time to start thinking about a new year, and Worldwide Christian Schools wants you to consider all of your options.
WWCS needs short-term missioners to make their way to Belize this year. Belize is a vacation hotspot for many, but the needs there are abundant.
"As a tourist, you see the golden beaches, the beautiful coconut groves, the palm trees–everything that you could imagine about a paradise is there in Belize. But you step away from the paradise, and you see people who can't afford the increased costs even that are related to some of the tourism," explains Steve Geurink, Service Project Coordinator with WWCS.
The poverty in the area is severe. 118th of the world's countries in terms of per capita income, Belize's GDP is only $8,400. The tropical paradise is slightly poorer than Peru.
Hope is still found within the walls of Christian schools in the area, though. "Our work in Belize is to come alongside of national groups that have a passion for Christ-centered education, a passion for evangelism to reach children in their communities," explains Geurink. "The Christian schooling that we're trying to provide has to follow a national curriculum, but the key is that it's being taught by Christ-centered, Christian teachers."
The Christian message children get in Christian schools will undoubtedly help many of them become educated followers of Christ. Still though, poverty can cause setbacks. Many poverty-stricken people fill what is known as the "graveyard" area. A WWCS school operates atop graveyards in the midst of the impoverished region.
"We have a school in the graveyard region that needs a second floor put onto it, so the pastor there can reach more kids in his community," says Geurink.
Here's where you come in.
WWCS is looking to send teams to Belize, beginning now through the fall of 2011 to work on the construction of the school's second story. Teams can be from high school age up. Building experience is not necessary, but those with carpentry and masonry skills are certainly more than welcome.
As teams give of their time to help fellow believers in Belize, as well as children who have yet to accept Jesus, their main prerogative will be to build. Teams will, however, get the chance to visit a few sights in Belize as well.
So as you're making plans for 2011, prayerfully consider adding this to your list. Get your youth group, small group, or even family (if they're all old enough) together and serve believers in Belize. WWCS will try to accommodate you for whatever time your group would like to serve.
For more information, call WWCS at 1-800-886-9000 and ask for Steve Geurink directly. Learn more about WWCS at their website, www.wwcs.org.