A Non-Traveler’s Reflection on YWAM Belize
Leaving a legacy is about investing my time, energy, and resources into worthwhile projects that outlive me. As a writer and editor, this often means helping ministries take the ingredients of their story and crafting them so they can be shared with others. This storytelling can usually be done from the comfort of my rocking chair, which is perfect for this homebody. This year, however, YWAM Belize needed someone in-person to help them tell their story. My goal was simple: travel to Belize with a list of questions, hear their story, and write a narrative that showed the history, passions, and dreams of the ministry so they could build a team of global partners.
Anyone who has had the pleasure of meeting Santie and Lilly, the keepers of YWAM Belize, knows what a dynamic couple they are. Pad and pen in-hand, I saw Santie’s eyes light up as he shared his life story, leading to life as the spiritual and athletic coach for countless young men who are hungry for a father figure. Lilly’s desire to reach the youth has helped transform what was originally intended to be an after-school sports camp into what is now a full-time ministry. Together Santie and Lilly have trained countless other leaders who have each gone on to their own ministries within Belize. The couple was fundamental in connecting Wonder Voyage Legacy with a small village where we built a kitchen to feed kids at a local school this past summer.
My three-day tour of Belize allowed me to get a feel for the YWAM Belize, their extended family, and the breadth of their ministry. As I wrote their story for their new website, I was struck by one word that lies at the heart of everything that YWAM Belize does: love. They love the people of their community. They love the youth they serve. They love the partners that come to see their work and be a part of the process. As I returned to my happy little homestead, I prayed that some of Santie and Lilly’s zeal for simple living and contagious love would rub off on me. Though I’m most comfortable with my passport being locked away, I’m honored to know that its first stamp went to help an amazing couple share their story.