I realized that I haven't written a blog post about my experience serving through missions in Belize! The photos that I will share may not be what you are expecting.
Belize is a gorgeous coastal country. From top to bottom it's eastern edge follows the ocean. It is tropical. Beautiful. Tranquil.
Yet, all that cruise ship or resort visitors ever see is the beach. You do not see the real Belize.
The one that lies outside of the high rise hotels or crystal blue water.
I got to see what lies beyond.
The wide eyed faces. The gorgeous brown skin of Belizeans. Their amazing smiles.
My pale white skin was definitely not the norm, but the people saw me as a friend. Most of the children wanted to know what the dots were on my arm. :) They had never seen freckles!
Every mission trip I have been on the people have done more for me than I ever have for them!
I came home to a house with air conditioning. One that is way too big for my husband and I. I think heavily about those kinds of things now.
I have purged my house about 3 times since returning to the States. Belizeans put life back into perspective for me.
I don't have to have stuff. I am blessed to have what God has given me.
I spoke with a beautiful Belizean mama and told her that I feel guilty for my reliable car, air conditioned home, closet full of clothes, and full pantry of food.
With some of the kindest eyes I have ever seen she said, "You no need to feel guilty. For God has given you blessing in America. He put you there so dat you come here."
A woman with so many children, struggling to keep them fed. Saving every extra penny so that she can have an indoor toilet one day. Told me not to feel guilty.
Her sweet face has never left my mind. I can pray for her more now because of her sweet words of comfort to my emotional heart. Her kind words however, keep me in perspective when I feel that I "need" something when I really don't.
So many Belizeans have taught me that my life should be about serving more than receiving. I should spend my days looking for how I can help someone rather than hurriedly getting to my destination.
I should look people in the eye, know their name, and love.
That doesn't take money. Prestige. It takes time.
Time, something we seem to have so little of here in America. Yet, while in Belize I felt like we were there for a year. Seriously.
Time went by slowly. We didn't have stuff to consume our time. Our purpose was to love on the people and serve. End of story.
We had the time. Even if we were late. We had the time.
To eat mangoes with a mama who had nothing else to give.
To sit and talk with a child that really wanted love and attention.
To walk to a corner shop with a teen who wanted to know more about America.
To take pictures of two mamas who had never held a picture of themselves before.
To love and serve.
When people ask me about my mission trip to Belize I tell them, it was heartwrenchingly beautiful.
Not just because of the poverty, decline of the family, injustice of the government, or the violence of men towards women. But because of the poverty in my soul.
I am so blessed. Yet, I am not thankful enough. I am so loved. Yet, I forget to appreciate it.
I have so much to work on and I pray that the beautiful faces of those in Belize never leave my mind. They are always there keeping me straight and telling me "No worries. It's cool mon." each day. :)