|Only with friends, ready to fly out!|
Today I put Only on the plane to Belize, a country in Central America, where she and
19 20 others in this group, will join Oldest, Steven, and our youth minister, Tim, as they serve on a short-term mission trip. You can read about their experiences here.
Almost immediately when Oldest landed, I started receiving emails and Facebook updates. His fan ceased to work sometimes in the flight, and they quickly learned that the area they are in was receiving an incredible amount of rain - making it a mud bath adventure. He requested that Only bring him a new fan, his work tennis shoes, more triple antiobiotic ointment, and more bug spray. Good thing he had a sister joining him to bring this to him! I told Only last night that I had no way to bring her anything she might have forgotten! She just rolled her eyes and giggled.
So with eager anticipation, she started packing on Thursday, and was anxious to begin this journey. Something different about this trip, is that it is mainly for evangelism, unlike the trip last year, where a group of men built a church. She was overwhelmed at first, not knowing what exactly to pack. She likes to know how many shirts, skirts, etc, to take, but all she had was a general list.
|Farewell hug from the Princess|
Long story short, Princess Izzy returned this week, so Only was thrilled to see her before she left. She didn't quite understand Sissy leaving on something called a "plane".
I didn't get to stay around until they prayed with the group before they walked through the loading gate like with Oldest. I had a Hearing test, since mine came back slightly abnormal last month. Turns out, I couldn't take the test today because I had The Princess with me and the test would take over an hour and I couldn't move, or be distracted, or have her in the room with me and they didn't want me to leave her in the waiting room with Youngest (totally understand)/ *sigh* Rescheduled to take it in a few weeks.
One wonderful surprise was our senior minister, showed up this morning, and it didn't surprise us that he was there, as we expected him to be there to pray with our kids. What surprised us is that he had his own BAGS packed and had been GIVEN free passage to Belize and back by a family from church whose dad is a pilot!!! What a blessing! Central Christian has been exploring Belize as a possible mission field to connect with the current missionary there, support, and help establish a thriving congregation. We are so excited for the opportunities to reach and work with the people in Belize!
With the wonders of technology, I was able to track her plane as it crossed the Gulf of Mexico and knew immediately when she landed! The plan was that both Teams would be at the Belize airport at the same time, one coming, the other leaving, and would take a HUGE group picture at that time.
JUST IN via Text from Belize! There have officially arrived and are on the road in Belize, but stopped at Cheers - AGAIN!!!
Saturday, Oldest posted on FB: Snorkeling off the coast of Belize in the second largest barrier reef in the world with sharks, stingrays, barracudas, and other fish. Now if only our bus will start...
Later: Swam with sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and lots of fish today. Saw a moray eel and had raw conch for lunch. Pretty good day.
Sunday: Could really stay every sunday in Belize just to hear a sermon like today again. It was really good.This update was posted Wednesday by a friend who .
Thank you for just reading through this long post, and if you have a moment, can you say a prayer for this group of kids. They've worked very hard all summer to have this opportunity, and some of them have turned down jobs just so they could go. My prayer is that not only will God allow His work to continue there, but to really work in the hearts of these kids, that they will be influenced to not look so much to themselves, but to serve others, and that this will influence their decisions on where and how they will work after college!
Team 1 landed in 8:45 p.m. they were on their way to their first destination. It rained that night and he said the rain was very loud because the place they were staying had a tin roof. But he did say it was beautiful there, but a very poor place. Mon., Aug. 2 around . (they are an hour behind us). They started toward compound, where they were going to be staying. On their way they stopped in a village and ate at a restaurant named "Cheers" according to Tim Beasely it is named after the 1980's sitcom. He said the food was good and cheap; he had a quesadilla and a bottle of water for $4. When it was time to leave the bus wouldn't start and ended up needing a mechanic which took a few hours because the closet one was an hour away. So aroundYesterday he worked on building a block bathroom for the building that the team last year built. He said he has bug bites all of him (bug spray is only working for mosquitoes), there is a bug that bites you and you don't know you've been bitten until you see your arm or leg bleeding. It was hot there but not to bad. He drank water from a coconut, he cut it open with his knife, and he also ate a fresh lime from a tree. He said it was good but drinking from a coconut was a little strange. He said the food has been good; fresh tortillas for breakfast and then for dinner they had a stew chicken and beans with rice (it's not like our rice and beans) it's a traditional Belizian food. The little kids there make him very sad and he says we don't know how good we have it. He said God is opening his eyes to a lot of things while he is there. He didn't get to share with people yesterday but he said he witnessed other sharing and it was a humbling sight to see the children being receptive.The village they stayed their first 2 nights was one hour from Belmopan and is one of the oldest villages in Belize. They speak mostly English. It is very muddy, dirty and poor. The children play in very nasty water and with chickens. The men in the village walk around at night with lit matches, he said it was very intimidating at first, seeing that a lot of the village has houses with thatch roofing others have tin roofs. He said there are a few nicer houses and some slums, but our house would be a mansion. The sun rises around 5 a.m. and sets around 6:30 p.m. One funny thing is that he's learned geckos bark and the monkeys make a loud funny noise. He said it's pretty funny. The evenings have been nice and cool.Today they are leaving for the southern compound which is 3 hours south of Roaring Creek. They have to travel over a low water bridge which is the only way in and out, so pray that there aren't any floods because if the river floods they can't get back out until the waters recede. The village where they will stay makes the Roaring Creek compound look like the ; it's very remote in the mountains and jungle.