Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Big Return

Team Costa Rica set our alarms for 2:30 on Monday morning so we could eat breakfast at 3:00 and start our whirlwind of a journey back to Belize by 4:00 AM. 

We got a taxi to the bus station. Took the bus to another city. Then ran to catch our next bus. It was a successful ten hour journey, although we almost had to leave two of our teammates at the Nicaragua border when the bus took off without them. Luckily, they caught up to us before we got too far. It was stressful though. 

We slept in Managua, Nicaragua in the bus station hostel, then woke up at 3:30 AM to eat breakfast and catch our next ten hour bus ride to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. (This is the sketchy city we stayed in extra long on the way to Costa Rica. While in Costa Rica, we learned that we were more likely to die in Honduras than in Iraq during the war. God totally took care of us though.) 

Shoutout to Brady, my bus buddy, who put up with me for 20+ hours of bus time. He sat on my feet when I was cold, didn't wake me up when I pinned him to the window in my sleep, and even scratched my back at one point upon my request. This guy is top notch, let me tell you. 

While we were at the bus station waiting for the man who owns the hostel to shuttle us, we met another English speaker! Jasmine is a 22 year old girl who is traveling Central America alone. Circumstances shifted for her and she found herself looking for somewhere to stay for the night. So we adopted her. She came to the hostel with us, ate with us, and had bible study with us. It was really cool seeing how our team welcomed her in and helped her feel safety in such a stressful circumstance. 

We woke up at 5:30 AM for our 6:00 breakfast so we would be ready by 7:00 for our ride to take us to Guatemala. However, they were on Central America time and ended up coming at 9:15. We stuffed fifteen of us into a nine-passenger van (two seats taken by backpacks alone), rushed through the border, and made it to the city we were scheduled to boat to Belize from with ten minutes to spare.

We got through customs and went to load the boat. When I was stepping in, I didn't realize there was a dip in the bottom of the boat, and I twisted my ankle. My lovely team laughed at me (mainly the leaders) but I was fighting tears. It was throbbing, and I knew we still had a lot of walking with heavy bags to do. When Travis realized that it was actually hurt, he laid his hand on it and prayed for healing. Nothing changed the first two times he prayed, but he was persistent. After the fourth time he prayed, it felt significantly better. When I got out of the boat, I had no pain at all. In the words of Lauren, THAT'S the kind of God we serve! It was so cool to experience God's physical healing first hand, and I felt really encouraged to have a leader who put into practice what we've been learning all of outreach - that we have the power of Christ in us!!
It's a good thing that God decided to heal my ankle because I definitely had to use it in our two mile walk to our destination for the night. We got to the missions base by Punta Gorda, ate soup they made for us, and headed to our cabin where we had a little friend waiting for us. 

It's a scorpion.. In Aud's hand. No big deal. 

There was also a huge one in the bathroom teaming up with a spider the size of a handball. They were all hanging out by Shahnee's shower, and if you were in the country, you heard screaming from that bathroom. We had no chill. 

After another early morning bus ride and a taxi, we are waiting on the ferry to take us to base on Ambergris Caye. Hallelujah!!!

I want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who prayed for our travels back to Belize. God was all over our trip "home". :)

Our team has gotten really close in the past two months, and while we tend to get on each other's nerves often, there is so much love between us all. It's hard to think about doing life without them, but there's also a lot of excitement as we anticipate the arrival of the rest of our DP family.. TOMORROW!!! 

Ten days left of this beautiful season. Here I go to soak it in. See y'all soon!!!