Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to Belize on a mission trip with my family. In case you’re wondering, Belize is located in Central America, just north of Guatemala. Bordering the beautiful Caribbean Sea, Belize is known as a diving and snorkeling hot spot. Our journey took us far beyond the tourist district and deep into the jungle, where the living conditions are widely considered third world. The villages where we spent most of our time were Golden Stream and San Marcos, deep in the southern tip of the country. Both were tiny towns comprised of several hundred villagers living very simple, but content lives.
Our purpose while there was to lead Bible School at the villages over a period of several days. The local children we met during those days were curious, sweet, shy, giddy, lovable and ornery, in fact they were just like our own children…we quickly learned that kids are kids where ever you go! Our trip was physically demanding- really, really hot, dirty and buggy (as in, scorpions in the bunks and mosquitoes that nearly ate us alive). We had no electronics or email and cell phones were worthless because there was no service, so most times we were completely disconnected from the world. Despite the simple living conditions, or perhaps due in part to that fact, it was the most emotionally and spiritually exhilarating experience of my lifetime.
Now that I’m back in the states, I’ve turned my focus to a mission project that we have undertaken right here at Morey’s Piers – A Closer Walk Christian Youth Event. This year we’ll be celebrating our tenth anniversary of this amazing event. At a recent prayer meeting, the team reflected on the past ten years and how this powerful ministry has grown. I’m sure many of you are wondering what is the connection between an amusement park and a Christian ministry.
The idea formed in 2002, when Will Morey, our CEO, had a vision to utilize the piers and waterparks for a Christian ministry specifically for young people. Because of Will’s commitment and faithfulness, A Closer Walk has grown into a major Christian event drawing thousands of young people each year. Ultimately, A Closer Walk exists to provide youth pastors with a unique format to reach out to their youth as they guide them in their spiritual journey with Christ. And for every participant we hope the event will be a positive life changing experience.