Wednesday, November 25, 2015


We're over halfway through our DTS which is CRAZY!! In so many ways it feels like we just stepped onto the dock here. Seven weeks in, and I have yet to spear fish, I still occasionally forget to show up to my work duty, and despite our weekly cooking duties, I think the kitchen here will always be a mystery to me. 

On the flip side, it feels like I've known these people so much longer than seven weeks. I'm kind of fond of them if I forgot to mention that before. :)

Also, my sand volleyball skills are improving immensely. Although I still make a weird grunting noise when I need power in my hits, and I can't serve overhand to save my life. 

The downside to my newfound love of sand volleyball is that there are little bugs that live in the sand that fly, and they have followed us into our casita. They apparently don't bite, but they have acid on them, so when they land on us, it's a sudden stinging feeling, and they're so small it's hard to kill them! Ugh! We're living through it, but I want the little bugs to die. All of them. Be in prayer for that, if you wouldn't mind. ;)

Last week was called RRR week which stands for.. Something about recharging?? The students from the last DTS were back on base after their outreach all of last week, so we used the time to meet them and reboot our systems in a chill week without lectures. We got to know around 25 other students (who were such sweethearts) and hear all about their outreaches. They went to Uruguay and Mongolia. It pumped us up for our upcoming outreaches! DECEMBER!!

Last weekend held the long-awaited ADVENTURE DAY!!! We started the day at  5:15 AM with a [rainy] two hour long boat ride to Belize City where we then hopped in vans and rode another hour or so to a rainforesty area where we got to go on lots of ziplines!!! It was GORGEOUS! And tons of fun.

Then we went to the Belize Zoo. Way different than American zoos. We touched a lot of animals we probably shouldn't have been able to touch, but it was a really neat place. We had fun. 

We took a break for lunch before going to climb all over Mayan temples! That was way cooler than I expected it to be. And our tour guide was hilarious. "Come, white people!" And "We're walking." Were common phrases she used to get us moving. We were cracking up. 

In other news..

Monday night there was a base-wide worship and prayer night for those who were still lacking in funds for outreach. At the beginning of the evening, they still needed more than $4,000 USD. An hour later, all funding needs were met! This was such a cool time of prayer and celebration as we came together as a family to lift those up who were needing help and doing what we could to fill in gaps. $4,000 seems like a lot of money to us, but God has such a huge wallet. And he LOVES providing for his children. The whole thing got me really emotional. Guys.. God loves us SO MUCH!!!

I hope everyone at home is doing well!! I still miss my family and friends, but now I'm starting to miss things like hot showers, Starbucks (I know.. classic white girl), and Taco Bell. So eat a burrito in the shower while brewing Starbucks coffee in memory of me. I'll be home to do it myself soon enough!! :) 

Love you all!! 
[Potentially. Depending on who reads this.]

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Hello again! I'm writing you from 80 degree temperatures on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Belize. :) It's hard to believe that it's November. I miss fall!!! But I truly enjoy the consistency of the weather here. Aside from the torrential downpours that bring armies of mosquitos with the intent of sucking our blood till we die. 

Not to be dramatic or anything. Ha!

The last week and a half have been crazy. Busy, but also restful in a weird way. I've been learning a lot from God, and it's been awesome to see the things that he says to me during my quiet times confirmed throughout the day in other conversations and through the teaching. Often times what he says is word-for-word what others will say, and every single time, I'm blown away by how cool that is. I'll never get used to it. But I really don't want to either.

A week ago on Friday, I was baptized in the Caribbean by two of my [many] favorites on staff. I have felt a push to be baptized over the past year, but because I had done it as a child, I didn't really feel the need to. 

During freedom week, we went to God in prayer to ask who we needed to forgive. Forgiveness is something that I didn't realize had such a negative spot in my mind, but God quickly showed me that I've only ever forgotten about being hurt and never forgiven those who have hurt me in the past. I always viewed forgiveness as excusing actions. Like saying "it's okay", when it actually isn't okay. I didn't want to be fake about it, so I never forgave people. I just decided to move on and get over it. But doing life that way caused me to go numb. 

Numbing is something that I also overlooked. Instead of feeling sadness or acceptance for what happened in my life, I went straight to anger and stayed there. I felt that sadness was the same as weakness.

When I made the list of people I needed to find forgiveness for, I opened wounds that had been numbed and covered up - some since I was a little kid - and saying the things out loud that I thought I had "gotten over" brought feelings that I didn't even know existed to the surface. It was raw. There was a lot of praying and handing it over to God and offering forgiveness aloud and crying that took place in a super short period of time. It was mentally and emotionally exhausting, but afterwards, I felt physically lighter. I can't describe it any other way. I felt like I was almost floating. 

In an effort to embrace the forgiveness and freedom that I experienced, I decided to be baptized. It was a visible way to show that I am no longer in the place of numbing and heavy anger, but that I am free! I declared aloud to my new family that I am a new person and won't go back to who I was.

I fully believe that I will be used to teach others how to find freedom at some point in my journey because I can so easily relate to holding onto unforgiveness, yet was able to experience the intensity of freedom when I gave it to God. I let it go!! (Elsa status!)

Every week challenges me in a new way. I'm sure I'll have more to say next week. Stay tuned. :)

Love you all!!!