Oklahoma students from several churches joined together on a GoStudents trip July 20-27 to share the Gospel with several villages in Belize, which is in Central America.
The group of students split into two teams, and each group would start the day by traveling to a village to lead children in a Vacation Bible School (VBS). In each village children were able to participate in songs, watch skits from stories in the Bible, make a craft and play games.
The Belize team visited six villages, holding a Vacation Bible School at each location, and performed the ‘Freedom’ drama in five of these villages.
“In Belize we shared the good news of Jesus to some of the most remote places in the country,” Brian Baldwin, GoStudents state director, said. “We were so excited to be in Maya Mopan for the first time.”
GoStudents was the first mission team to ever do VBS and the Freedom Drama in Maya Mopan.
“In Oklahoma there is about one Baptist church for every 1,200 people. In places like Belize there is just not as much exposure,” Baldwin said.
GoStudents allows churches to send out groups or individuals to participate in missions. On the Belize trip, for many students, this was their first time to even travel on a plane, while others had participated in GoStudents trips before.
“I’ve been on a trip with my youth group and this is my first time to go on a GoStudents trip as an individual,” said Colby Johnson, a student from Henryetta. “Every time I go on a GoStudents trip, I get to make personal relationships, both with the team I am going with and with the different people in the community as well.”
Both of the GoStudents trips Johnson experienced gave him opportunities to build deeper relationships with other Oklahoma students.
“I’ve gotten to know some people I would never have met all across the state on this Belize trip. And when I went with my youth group last year to Seattle it was all kinds of fun,” Johnson said. “We get to hang out and spend time and really build relationships you can’t build in your hometown. (GoStudents trips) are well worth it.”
Raylee Conn is a youth group member at Duncan, New Hope, which brought several students on the Belize trip.
“This was my first GoStudents trip,” Conn said. “My favorite part about the Belize trip was making relationships with the kids and getting to talk to them about Jesus.”
A student outside of Oklahoma also joined the Belize trip. Jesse Srader is a student from Amarillo, Texas, who joined the group of Oklahoma students in Belize.
“My favorite part about this trip is definitely the fellowship with the people from this country we have made, like the people from the churches, the villages, the children,” Srader said.
The final location the students performed the Freedom Drama was at the Belize Central prison in Santa Cruz. The prison, which holds men, women and youth, is the sole correctional facility in the country of Belize.
The drama was performed by partnering with the Kolbe Foundation, which has managed the prison since 2002 “to provide a secure, humane facility geared toward meaningful rehabilitation.”
The opportunity to perform the Freedom Drama in this prison meant about 150 men and women were able to see and hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The students on the Belize trip hope other Oklahoma students will prayerfully consider a GoStudents trip.
“If someone was considering a GoStudents trip I’d say pray about it for sure, and if you feel like God is telling you to go wherever it is, go, throw yourself into it. Do the very best you can and have fun,” Conn said.
“It is a once in a lifetime experience and it changes your life forever,” Shrader said. “Just go for it, it’s worth it.”
“GoStudents is a way to help students be able to go on mission, whether it is in Oklahoma, or around the world,” Baldwin said.
To find more information about GoStudents or to sign up for a GoStudents trip visit GoStudents.org.