I know that the blog posts on our trip have gotten drawn out over a 2 week period. I hope the anticipation makes it more exciting to read.
Thursday our day in Cayo district was "free" originally Nathanael had planned on visiting the Deaf institute that day. Since they were taking a trip, we re-arranged to visit Wednesday. The best part of this is Galen and Phyllis drove us, otherwise we could have had a few mile walk from the bus stop.
Since our newsletter had recently been sent, we got an email from Mr. Theisen. We originally met them at the Belize reunion. They are a part of the Spanish Lookout community.
I will diverge into a short history lesson: The Mennonites in Belize began their immigration by going to Canada in the late 1800's. After the first World War, Canada was not protecting the rights of these original German citizens(to not bear arms, to speak in German). At this point, many migrated to Mexico. In the 1950's Mexican politics made them desire to move to Belize. They have lived and settled in Belize since this time. They have their own communities, which vary in the level of conservatism. Some wear cape dresses, others have more "modern" clothes. Spanish Lookout community controls their governing, maintains roads, and cares for it's people. If you are interested in a greater study of this, there is a 2 part video on Mennonite migration to Belize on youtube.
Mr. Thiesen lives in Spanish Lookout. He owns a part in the chicken hatchery, the one that provides 80% of the chicken to the country. He and his wife Tina opened their home to us and we had lunch. They were willing despite the fact that this wasn't their plan for the day. Their hospitality was so welcoming. After lunch, at 12:30, when their children would normally return to school, Mrs Thiesen casually mentioned she should call the school to let them know the kids would be late.
After she called, we thought the kids would rush out the door.. nope.. they played and talked for another half an hour. Tina offered for the Davis children to go to school with the Thiesen children. I inquired if the teacher would be annoyed with a interruption in her day? No, she insisted the teacher would love for them to visit. Abigail and Zion braved the trip.
I couldn't help but laugh to myself. My homeschooled kids taking a trip to school. The mode of transportation? A four wheeler. Zion and Josiah weren't even wearing shoes! What a difference in lifestyle. Nathanael, Selah and Ni enjoyed touring their property, visiting, and looking around Spanish Lookout. The highlight of the trip for Selah was the ride to the bus stop. This one was taken with all of the kids piled in the pickup.
I really appreciated the approach the Theisen's had to life. They truly are of a "warm culture". They place much value on relationship and time spent together. It was helpful for this mom who rushes to "get it all done". It truly is a blessing to sit back and enjoy.
Sometimes this attitude frustrates us. Our taxi driver laughed at my frustration with the length of the visa process. It takes at least an hour to renew our visas(which has to be done monthly). Most of this is due to people socializing. Nathanael has had the blessing of approval for his work with the ministry of education. We have to remind ourselves though that we are not in the US;and the process of him getting the job (work permit, etc) is still taking a while.
It is good for us to learn to value relationship. It is an exercise in trust to continue working at relationships when all we want to do is accomplish tasks.
Things would progress with Nathanael's work permit and his job for the ministry of education
For us in relationships with each other and those around us
for us to find a hearing church to call home
wisdom with Spring's nursing license. (possibility of volunteering but how and what time of day)
language growth with Spring (look for a future blog post on this!)
opportunities to grow in friendships with those around us
Thanks so much for enduring this long post today! Thank you for praying for us!