Sunday, May 20, 2018

a short word about the heat

Here is a list of things we have done to cool down:

Take multiple cold showers
sit in front of a fan
stay inside during the heat of the day
drink cold water
freeze a hat and put in on our heads
go to a place that has AC (restaurants are really the only places)

Deciding how we will push the van

When it's hot all of the time you start to get creative with ways to keep cool. The fact is most of the time we don't keep cool. In our time in the US, my body had to adjust to sweating less. My skin felt paper dry. For some reason, the lack of sweating gave me acne for months.  (figure that one out!)

Zion and Zephaniah do printmaking for art Ni likes to save on wash for me and uses the least amount of clothes possible

Why am I mentioning this?  Other than the fact that it's hot here, pretty much year round... I had an incident on facebook last week that bears mentioning. Apparently in Pa, there was a hot day. Some people couldn't sleep because it was over 80 at night. Others had to turn on their AC.I had no pity for them.

A glass of cold watermelon juice shared among sisters

 For full disclosure we do have an AC unit here. we put it in our insulated trailer with a TV. We have used it twice since the set up. Electricity is just too expensive.

Back to my post on Facebook. I was annoyed because it is hot here: Hace Calor. That being said, I have friends around the world who have to live in much hotter climates than we do.

Passion fruit vines with some blossoms

I have been reading the book Humble Roots as a part of the Velvet Ashes book club.  It is so good that I need to re-read it at least twice to digest all of it! The chapters I had been reading that week were on pride. Pride teaches us that we are more significant than we are. My upbringing had me believing I was "deserving" of a certain level of comfort. Humble roots humbled me in thinking that there was some level of personal importance involved. The author talks about a thankfulness being paramount in the battle against pride. Not one that stems from what I have that others don't; but a thankfulness that stems from the fact that I come from dust and return to dust. All things are gifts, even the unrelenting heat.
Abigail and I did a workout and this is how we looked when we finished

So to all of those I offended by my facebook post, I am sorry. I am still learning and growing in this. The hot humid climate is growing me in ways I didn't imagine. The last thing I will leave you with is a quote from Humble roots:
Zion doing her school work on the floor

"The problem with privilege is we rarely see our own." I am starting to see the privileges I personally have. All is a gift.

This past week we had the privilege of having our pastoral care team from CTEN visit. I posted some pictures here from their visit. Since the responsibility of pastoral care changed hands while we were in Belize, this was our first time meeting them. Marcia and Randy went with the flow!  They really took whatever was happening and stepped right in, including us helping the Spanish church push their van.  It was neat getting to know them for a few days and having them participate in weekend activities with us. (and apparently the only pictures we took of them were us pushing the van!)
(The van for Spanish Church has transmission problems and won't switch into reverse)
May your week be blessed!


Saturday, May 12, 2018

Exciting new thing happening here

In church we have started something different. Every Wednesday we have a "focus group" as Nathanael has termed it. He has started a group for the youth, women and men.  (and one free week where we do a "fun Friday)
the youth that met 2 weeks ago

While he is currently leading all 3 groups, the goal is to have a church member take the reigns in the future.
The men's group learning to play chinese checkers

It is a good opportunity for growth and informal activities like game playing and discussion.
Some kids playing around on the 3 wheeler, not a focus group picture but still cute! 

Please pray for and with us as we start up this new thing. Also for people's hearts to be prepared.

Thanks so much!


Thursday, May 3, 2018

Exploring other cultures

the sand-fly bites have just started to heal. They ceased being itchy. This is a good thing.

When I first asked Julie Groff what was the most difficult about her move to Belize. She said sandflies. After spending an extra 4 days in Stann Creek District, a week and a day in total, I can understand where she is coming from. I also have less patience with bug bites than she does. They got itchy and I couldn't stop scratching them.  They got bloody and swollen.

We stayed longer in Stann Creek? Why yes we did. Tim Groff suggested that since his parents would be in Guatemala, we could make use of their house for a few days. We were able to go to church with them, hike, enjoy Hopkins, and shop in Spanish Lookout on the way home.

One of the most interesting things we did last wednesday was have two cultural experiences. Tim had a friend cook us a traditional Garifuna meal.

As we pulled up, he was mashing the Hudut.  It was neat to see him in action!

Nathanael and the kids also tried their hand at it.  Mashing required strength and skill. We were told a hungry Garifuna could make it in less than 15 min!

The children were given rice and beans.  

Nathanael, Tim and I ate hudut. Here is a video of me trying it: 

It was a lovely meal with just as lovely people. It was wonderful learning a little about Garifuna culture.  

That evening we spent time with our Nigerian friends. It was another cultural experience.  The food was wonderful as was the company. We learned a little about Nigerian culture. Through our eyes, they appeared even more "warm culture" than Belizeans. I went home with a full satisfied stomac and heart.  

What a blessing it is to be on this journey in Belize!  

If you would like to learn more about the Garifuna people of Belize here's a website  you can visit

I am hoping to finish the newsletter and have it to you in the next two weeks.  Hope you have a great day