a little and a lot

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Arrivals & Departures

So I've been a bit MIA. But this time there's a good reason for it!

We've been pretty busy the last few weeks with some really wonderful events:

1. Sophia Ray has made her long-awaited arrival into the family of our dear friends Brooke & Josh Ray. This tiny girl is so beautiful and sweet! I fear that I will never be able to have children now due to the fact that I can't have Sophie! It makes my heart overflow to watch Brooke & Josh reveling in parenthood. The way they take such joy in Sophie reminds me of how our heavenly Father delights over us. (Click on the link on Brooke's name to absorb her cutenes!)

2. Nick and I returned on Sunday from a 10-day trip to Belize, Central America with a group from Highland's youth ministry. This was my third time to travel to the village of Independence and Nick's first. I loved sharing the experience with him. We did a Vacation Bible School in the morning for children 3-18 in Independence, which totaled almost 700 by Friday. After lunch we did another VBS in a nearby Mayan village (Red Bank). In the evenings, our group joined the teenagers from the Happy Avenue Church of Christ in Independence for "Youth Night," a time of lively worship, heartfelt testimonies, and intimate prayer groups. Our travels and experiences on the trip reminded me that:

  • The seeds that you plant can make a difference. During Buster's Sunday School class at church, he asked anyone to share who brought them into a relationship with the Lord. Lydia Foreman, a wife and mother of 3 sweet children, stood up and said, "I am a Christian because of VBS." This one woman attended VBS as a small girl and as a result, she decided to follow Christ. Today she is one of the strongest leaders in the church there, a bright light in her community, and a spiritual mentor for her family. It is easy to see the swarms of children at VBS, some who lie to get another sweet or craft and get into fights with other kids, and think that all of your effort is being wasted. But it wasn't wasted on Lydia. And some of the seeds planted this past week will take root and grow as well.
  • God gives us everything we need to live a life that is faithful to Him. Regardless of how many times I've seen it, the poverty in Belize continues to, for lack of a better word, bother me. It is heartbreaking...and easy to feel sorry for everything they don't have. Many homes don't have electricity, running toilets, window panes, enough food. I look at myself and see that Nick and I have not only all of that, but we BOTH have cars, iPods, televisions, Tivos, computers... Poor Belizeans, I want to think. Poor poor Belizeans. Except not really. Because they have everything that matters. 2 Peter 1:3 has completely reshaped the way I view the poverty in Belize. Yes, many of them need help meeting their daily needs and we try to give that help. But in another way, they are in possession of greater riches than any of us could ever buy. This concept turns my world upside down.
Here are a few pictures of the trip:We went to a Mayan village (if you could call it that) called San Decito (sp?)
for our last afternoon VBS. It was in the middle of nowhere!
The church had never hosted anything for children.
(We're standing in front of their church building in this pic.)
This was probably the first time many of these kids had
seen a white person, let alone heard about Jesus!

With Jessie, Deborah, & Hannah at VBS
(Deborah & Hannah are Lydia Foreman's little girls)

Nick joking around with some kids at VBS

Hummingbird Paradise--we hiked through the jungle to get there!

Connor (L) and Nick's (R) coveted Chaco tans

Another shot at VBS
Those huge flavor-ice popsicles are called "Ideals"

3. We are about to depart again this next week for the renowned Camp Highland. I will experience my first camp birthday on Monday the 16th. The big boring 2-7. Woohoo! Luckily, camp cake is my favorite kind of cake.


Blessed said...

Glad you are back, well for a minute. I love reading about your trips and look forward to hearing about camp. :)

Mitzi said...

Cool pics! Glad you had a great Belize trip. Have fun at camp. Can't wait to read all about it too.

Kristy said...

good pictures! sounds like a fun trip. :)

Matthew said...

Glad you had a great trip, nice feet

Ashley @ pure and lovely said...

great pics. dont you just want to scoop them up and bring them all home with you? glad you had a safe trip!

Anonymous said...

happy birthday 10 days late!

Julie said...

I miss Jessers. More blogging more bloggin!

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