Saturday morning Kim's friend Biggs stopped by and had breakfast with us and visited briefly. We spent an hour out by the pool, just decompressing and unwinding after the previous day's travels. After a bit of sun time, Kim went across the street to the vegetable and fruit stand and picked pineapple and papaya for our lunch. We rounded out our feast on our balcony with cheese and crackers from the evening before.
Our view from the balcony.We walked up the beach to The Tides, where Kim has stayed previously, and met with some of her friends from there. Sagrai invited us to attend church with her Sunday and we accepted.
I am amazed at how Christmas decorations are still all over the place in Belize.
View of the beach from The Tides.
This morning we arose and took a taxi over to Living Word Church as it was much too far to walk--at least for these women not used to that level of walking. Our taxi driver provided us much useful information regarding Kim's stay on the island.
We were warmly welcomed by a number of people, and soon Sagrai came in. The first hour was praise and worship, which was most meaningful to me on this particular day. The congregation was a mix of peoples--young and old and in-between; black, Belizian, white; people in shorts and tee shirts and people in ties.
There were three praise leaders, and the sheer joy of the singing of the congregation amazed me and lifted my spirits. The Holy Spirit was in this place, and moving among us, healing and releasing chains all around us.
Following the praise and worship was the sermon, on being keepers of the Word. I had looked up a passage that is especially meaningful for me prior to the service beginning, in Isaiah 58, about the kind of sacrifice God wants: not to prostrate ourselves in sack cloth and ashes, but to do justice, to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, free the prisoner. As Pastor Ian spoke, the meaning was so simple and clear, and yet, of course, it is hard for us as the price is sometimes heavy. The end of the service was a special blessing, and Kim and I would talk later in the day about the experience and share some personal revelations with each other.
After church, we walked several blocks from the church to the main street to catch a taxi back to our apartment. We purchased barbequed chicken, rice and beans from a street barbeque near the store across the street. It was incredibly delicious.
After lunch, we went out to relax a bit by the pool, and I got industrious enough today to swim laps. The water was cold, but felt wonderful. It began to rain just as I got out of the pool, which is not uncommon, but does not last long. We sat on the balcony and enjoyed a glass of water. I noted it was already 4 by then, which surprised me at how quickly the day had passed. We showered and walked up the beach to Lily's where we enjoyed another incredible meal.
We share fish ceviche, rice and beans, and fish fingers, all of which were just amazing. Yes, rice and beans is a staple here, but unbelievably good. The rice is cooked in coconut milk, and then the black beans are added. This time, we had leftovers which will be enough for a meal tomorrow.
We sat outside on the beach and the view of the night ocean was just beautiful, with the cool breeze blowing. Several of Kim's "kids" came by and came over to talk to her and I met them. One young man, Tevin, who is Bigg's younger brother, I had met last night when he stopped by the apartment on his way home from work. He is works for the tour company that goes to the Mayan ruins, and tonight he told me where to go to get my arrangements set for the day I will go.
Kim had an email from the director of the school and she needs us to come early in the morning and help with getting the children ready for class--helping them with their vitamins and hand sanitation before class starts. After that, I do not know for sure what the day will bring. The overall goal for Kim's work is to help them set up a data base on the types of problems the children experience in order to develop interventions. I will simply do whatever it is Kim assigns me in the two weeks that I am here. It may be counseling, it may be helping in the classroom; one thing I am sure of at this point: it will be needed and welcomed, and will be a blessing to me.
I am amazed at how there is now room in my heart for San Pedro, next to St. Paul and Khayelitsha and Eersterivier.