Friday, June 22, 2018

Spring's sister visits

a visit to Maya Ruins (Altun Ha)

The busyness continued. I know you thought the Mexico trip was "it". I actually arrived in Belize Sunday night (at about 12 am). Monday at 11am, we picked up Summer from the airport. It felt like a wirlwind of emotions. How awesome to see my family after 9 months!  It took much emailing, planning, and messaging on all of our parts to make this happen. It was nice to hug the person instead of staring at a computer screen.
We had to get this picture! Emily, Summer, Mackenzie, and Isaac

Summer and Isaac and their daughters Emily and Mackenzie spent 10 lovely days with us.
We were able to do toursity things with them. They even funded us to go on vacation with them to one of the islands.
Snorkling while on the island, seeing nurse sharks

We spend a lot of time just enjoying catching up. We talked and supervised children.  We learned a lot more than one can learn from a one hour Skype chat.

A visit to the place that serves Bubble Tea, and Monopoly Deal

I contracted a stomach bug. It was probably the sickest I have been... in a long time. I went to the local clinic for fluids. Fortunately since I live here, lying around felt like vacation enough.(and I did end up having to lay around a lot)

2 hours, 3 liters of fluids, and I felt much better! 

Summer's family got to do weekend activities with us. It was nice to let them into a little part of our world.

Friends had ALL of us over Sunday night. We enjoyed Fry Jack and fellowship

We are so thankful to have had my family visit. It was so difficult to say goodbye! (more on that next blog) We hope they enjoyed the "taste" of our lives.

A visit to an Iguana sanctuary. 

Nathanael took on two iguanas at the same time

Hope you all have a lovely week,

Friday, June 15, 2018

A quick trip to Mexico City

For those who don't know, Mexico City holds a small part of my heart. I lived there for 8 months while on a YES team, (20 years ago). It was my first cross cultural experience, first time away from home, first time living with others who weren't my family. It grew me. It put a fire in my heart for cross cultural ministry.  It was a part of the reason Nathanael and I are in Belize today.
we went to the Mexican border 2 years ago as a family

Three years ago I was able to go with Shirley Hackman for my first visit to Monte Maria Tierra Prometida.  It was a wonderful time. I felt honored to be a small part of their women's ministry.

one of the many lovely decorations, it says Bienvenidas (welcome)

For two years, it just wasn't possible to go. This year, our neighbor mentioned it wasn't expensive to fly from Chetumal Mexico to Mexico city. As I looked into it and discussed it with Nathanael, it seemed possible for me to go to the women's conference again.  I got the plane tickets and didn't put too much more thought into it.

This came into play when I got up at 4am to get the plane. Nathanael drove me to the bus station and I sat, and sat. The bus didn't come until 6am. Apparently it is the first bus that goes to Chetumal. I am accustomed to time changes after a flight not before.  The long bus ride, which lead to a very full bus,  continued on. At the border crossing from Belize, I came to the horrific realization that I had already missed my 9am flight. We are one hour before the time in Mexico. My gross miscalculation cost me my flight, or so I thought. I knew there was nothing I could do, more than pray so that's what I did.
view from the plane, always causes me to cry

At the border the bus driver helped me find a taxi driver. In the taxi I discussed the best way to get pity from the employees at the airport. We both felt that crying might be my best bet. This was a comfort since I was already crying.  When I got to the airport, the taxi driver asked if the airplane had left yet, it hadn't.  God delayed the plane for me!  I arrived safely in CDMX about 3 hours after my scheduled time. I was just so grateful to not have missed my flight.
SO many eggs!!! 

The airport brought many feelings. I really haven't ever traveled alone. I also was navigating in my second language all day. Thirdly, I am accustomed to "small town" everything. The man who dropped me off at the airport knew the plane hadn't left because there is one plane that leaves to Mexico city. There is one waiting room, 3 guards at security.  The entire population of Belize seems like it could fit in a tiny corner of Mexico city.  Thankfully, I was picked up at the airport by natives of Mexico City.
Note card on one of the special gifts from the women at Monte Maria

I had a fast but fruitful visit. Friday Shirley and I got to spend the day together, I actually got to hug her and have a latte! It had been almost 9 months. :)  Let me tell you that the "in person" is so much better than Skype.
Latte Cup emptied. I also drank gads of tea, enjoying the cool weather to it's fullest!

Saturday and Sunday Shirley, Beth, and I attended the Congreso de Mujeres.  It was a time of blessing. It is humbling to worship with so many.  It is encouraging seeing what God is doing through them. It really is an honor to be a visitor to Monte Maria. It is one of the few times in my life I feel like a princess.
Some of the women who helped us and made us feel special this year

The speakers and prayer people stayed at the guest house. What an honor to meet them one on one. I had heard of Marta Estrada, she was just as lovely in person as her fame portrays. I am enjoying reading her memoir.  Walli, a native of FL who lives in the Bahamas is a dynamic speaker who has a passion for women's ministry. She is gifted in singing. She also encouraged everyone to go out for Taco's Saturday night. What a treat!
The display at the front of the church the sign says "Go in Peace" 

Sunday evening I again navigated the airport alone. I bid farewell to friends who feel like family, and a part of my heart.  I returned to a different part of my heart, a part that is growing on me. Belize holds our calling and our family. I am so thankful for the short trip, I am also thankful to be back in Orange Walk.

Edited to add: The Alabanza (worship) and preaching from the Sunday at Mote Maria.:

(if you look closely you can see me)


Friday, June 8, 2018

The Harvest is pleantiful

When we went to CTEN for training, I was told not to applogize for waiting so long for another blog post/ newsletter. My life has felt like I've been running since my trip to Dangriga. I am hoping to get into a regular "groove" again soon, but it won't happen this week.  Why you ask? Truth is I'm saving that for a different blog post (perhaps the level of suspense creates a readership?) This has been on my heart for a while so here we go:

I have mentioned the Spanish Church we attend: Koinonia a few times on the blog. I just "happened" upon the church as I was looking at Google Maps one night. Nathanael established a contact through Facebook. Pastor Ed returned the message promptly and they met.

The kids graduation after finishing the curriculum from samaritan's purse

The rest is "history". Koinonia is a church that has a passion for Children's ministry. They actually started as a children's ministry and the parents were coming so they could go to church.  We are thankful for the community we are finding through them.  I really can't praise them enough.

Spring was asked to pray over the children on a Sunday afternoon

One humbling thing they do that I probably mentioned is prayer. They pray every week for the pastors, children, and us. They bring us up every single week and pray over us. I can't tell you how uplifting that is.

Abigail went with the youth group to visit some Maya Ruins

They also have stepped into helping us.  They committed to coming once a month to work with the children in Sunday school.
Pastor Ed and his wife Dyna at the Sweetheart banquet in Feb

During April, they came while I was in Dangriga. They came in May while I was there. It was wonderful. I had an opportunity to observe Nathanael. It is also a great time for me to work on learning ASL, something I haven't been able to focus on this term.

Abigail participated in a drama at a local high school with Koinonia

The kids weren't just taken care of, or entertained. The teachers from Koinonia had a whole lesson planned out. The kids learned a dance, a verse and Biblical truths.

Why am I mentioning this in our blog?  A seemingly little thing, has made a huge difference.
We haven't found a homeschool helper yet.  I blame myself for not being clear that the person will have to raise their own funds.

Carla prays over our family on a Sunday afternoon

I am asking you to see the fields ripe for harvest and pray for workers, specifically for us. Nathanael and I can do this work alone. Nancy did it.  I don't believe that is how God would have us do it though.  We really feel that another individual or family would really benefit the community. We wouldn't be stretched so thin.  We are thankful for the support (unexpected) of Koinonia, but realize they are also entrenched in their own ministry.
Nathanael Preaching while I was in Church

So please pray with us. For someone. The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few