"Adventure On The High Seas"

Adventure on the High Seas!

(A Few of Our Pictures are available by clicking "September Pictures")

On Monday, September 14, 2009, a group of thirty-plus people set sail on the Enchantment of the Seas cruise ship (out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida) for Key West, Cozumel, Mexico, and Belize City, Belize! This group was one of the most unusual groups on the ship to be sure! We ranged in age from twenty-something to seventy-something, came from several different states, and all walks of life. The one common thread was that each one had a connection to EDUF (Education United Foundation), and the house project on Victoria Isle, Belize. Some of the group had been there on Work and Witness trips, some were responsible for the financial aspect of the project, others stayed at home and prayed for the groups that went, still others just wanted to see and be a part of something so grand.

Key West was nice.  Cozumel was interesting (this particular member went snorkeling; a pretty big feat for someone who doesn’t swim and is afraid of water!). But, the best part, and the whole point of the trip, was stepping onto Victoria Isle, Belize. To get there, however, was an adventure in itself!  Because Belize has one of the largest barrier reefs in the world, the ship couldn’t dock to let us off. On a tight schedule, we took one of the first tenders to shore. There we were met by the crew of a smaller boat that would take us to the island. Everyone boarded the boat and we started our hour-and-a-half ride. Before we were a mile out, the engine started having trouble. We returned to shore and waited in a local café for another boat. After a short time, the crew discovered the problem and we were off again. (Thankfully, this happened while we were still close to Belize and not on Victoria Island where help wouldn’t have been available.) The ride was, to say the least, a very bumpy one ? at least for those of us in the front of the boat! The tide was in when we arrived, and as we had been warned, we were in for a “soft” landing. Since we had already lost valuable time waiting on the engine repair, we opted not to wait on the pontoon boat that would have carried us to shore. Not a problem for this group! We just rolled up our pants and waded in! The house is a two-story, five-bedroom, two- and one-half bath, vacation home right on the beach. A lot of man-hours and many dollars have been given to make this dream a reality. It has mahogany cabinets in the kitchen, a mahogany staircase and catwalk, and even a custom-built mahogany china cabinet! When the house is sold, the proceeds will be given to EDUF and used for the education of pastors in Africa and Belize.

Some of the local Nazarene ladies prepared a typical Belizean style lunch for us. It consisted of broiled/boiled chicken, red beans and rice, and coleslaw. The meal was delicious, and we were very thankful ? even more so when we learned the ladies had had an accident that morning on the way to the island and almost overturned their vehicle. They lost some of the food and had to remake it. But, Praise the Lord, He had His hand on them, and no one was seriously hurt! 

After the meal, Rev. Ken Walker led the group in prayer. After some sad goodbyes and a little more wading (the tide had gone out some by now), we were off again. After another hour-and-a-half boat ride back to Belize City, we caught one of the last tenders back to the cruise ship.

There is no way to describe what this trip meant to us ? to me. No way to thank the Lord for all the details He worked out. Not just this trip, but all the ones in between ? from the beginning to the completion of this project. He does, after all, see the end from the beginning. He is Alpha and Omega. Praise His dear name!

May he bless each one who had any part in this project, and may he richly bless the pastors who will receive the training from this and other projects conducted by EDUF.  Thank you, Rev. Walker. Thank you, Tom Pound. Thank you, Lord, for letting us be a part of Your hand extended to a lost world.

Mary Ann Garner

Fitzgerald, Georgia