Student Summer Ministry: Belize Camping Experience
Emily Dyck is going into her third year of study in BA Christian Studies program with a minor in Counselling Ministry. She spent her summer serving in Belize at Belize Camping Experience, an organization founded by SBC alumni Alexander and Leah Perez.
This summer I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in the beautiful country of Belize serving with Belize Camping Experience as part of their Core Team! I arrived at the camp base 3 weeks before camps started to gain leadership training, camp training, team building, and a good spiritual foundation. It was also during this time that our team of 7 were able to build strong connections and relationships with one another which benefitted us during the camps season.
Each week at BCE, counsellors arrive at base and are divided into teams who then get sent out to different areas of the city and surrounding areas to do Vacation Bible School style camps. Each team will have at least one Core Team member to lead, direct, and teach the counsellors to lead small groups, skits, worship, and games. These camps run in the mornings, with the afternoons as free time, debrief, and camp prep time. It is during this time that the Core Team spends time speaking into the lives of the counsellors who have come for the week. In a way it is like we run two camps every week, morning program, and afternoon program.
I was drawn to this experience for a few reasons.
First, I had been to Belize a few times before and always enjoyed my stay. It is a beautiful country and the people there reflect the beauty of their country. Second, I was strongly encouraged by my Care Group Leader from my first year at SBC to consider the possibility of working with BCE for a summer. That encouragement gave me the push to pray about it and give it some deep thought.
After getting some more information about the ministry and seeing that it would be something that would stretch me out of my comfort zone, I decided to apply. Throughout my life I have always been interested in missions and ministry so it seemed to me that going to Belize was my natural next step.
I have been so blessed by the last 2 years that I have spent as SBC, learning about servant leadership and having the opportunity to practice it as a Care Group Leader, as a member of the Social Committee (Student Council), and with many wonderful role models around me. These experiences have been super helpful to me during my time with BCE, having an idea of what true servant leadership looks like and being able to again practice the principles that I have learned in classes like Peer Mentoring and Experiential Leadership.
I have also seen how some of my other experiences with Mission Xposure have helped me to humble myself in a new culture. At BCE, their slogan is “Belize changing Belize.” As a foreigner coming into the organization, I have been humbled and so encouraged to see the work that is going on here that is all completely Belizean run! In the same way I was able to begin learning this lesson during my time up north in Nelson House, Manitoba (MX2) and seeing God working in the lives of the Christians living there.
My time at BCE has been a great opportunity to grow and challenge myself in my Christian walk. While at SBC I was able to gain many great tools and truths. Now, working with a ministry, I actually get to put those tools and truths into practice. To anyone who is looking to take on an experience like joining a cross cultural ministry, I would highly recommend it. It has been challenging and stretching for me to put into practice the things that I have learned at SBC and use them in real life situations. I am thankful for everything that I have learned at SBC and I know that it has been a significant asset to my leadership here at BCE. Don’t miss the chance to challenge yourself spiritually, culturally, mentally, and emotionally by passing up the opportunity for a summer ministry!
Emily is receiving the Summer Ministry Bursary for her time serving throughout the summer. This bursary is meant to encourage returning SBC students to become involved in some form of summer ministry on a full-time basis and will help make it financially possible to continue studying at SBC while serving in summer ministry.
Emily is going into her third year in the BA Christian Studies program with a minor in Counselling Ministry in Fall 2019.