And the crying begins . . .
Hello faithful readers! We have truly been taking advantage of every second of our time here in Belize, and have been crazy busy for the last couple of days. Yesterday it seems like we did about 100 things. Trying to fit in every experience we can. We started off with breakfast at the local market. . .eggs, beans, fry jacks, and fresh squeezed juice... YUM! We then had a chance to go and visit the old King's Children's Home. I think we were expecting to stop by for a quick tour, gain some perspective on where the kids have just come from, and carry on with our day. We arrived and entered into a very different situation. I was expecting to feel quite emotional. That home is where I watched the kids grow up. So many awesome memories inside those walls. I was expecting the team to be quite shocked at the size of the home, but I was curious to see their reactions beyond that.
As we got off the bus and walked into the home our team walked around in complete silence. We moved from room to room, just looking, sitting, marveling. Before the KCH kids moved out they wrote many messages on the walls of their old home. And some signed their name to show they were there. The team just moved from room to room, each individually finding spots to sit and read and reflect. There were two things that were very obvious to all of us. The old home was way way WAY to small. And even though the kids have just moved on to a far better place, they still loved that old tiny house so much. There were messages of love and thanks written all over the walls. Many of the team were very emotional taking it all in. We spent about 45 min. just quietly walking around and crying. I could tell that even though most of the team had never been to that home before, they knew how special it was. It was a safe place for kids to go who had no where else. It was a home with a mom who loved them and was willing to look after them. It was run down, and so small. It was not good enough for them. But it was home.
We ended our time as a team standing in the backyard on the old basketball court. A broken cement slab that's about 10 feet by 15 feet. We held hands and cried and prayed... so thankful to God for all He had done for those kids, and all of the amazing things He has gifted them with in their new home. We stood back and look at their new home, noticing that in total it is about the size of the basketball court we are currently building. Wow. Perspective. It was an incredibly moving experience, and I am so glad we were able to reflect and celebrate both the old home and the new, for all they have provided for some pretty awesome kids that we love. I think the attached picture says it all.
The rest of the day included some souvenir shopping and a fantastic time at the Kids Club in Unitedville. The kids in that village are just SO FUN to be around! They love to play and play and play, and the team was more than happy to chase them around.
Today we took the day off and headed to the Cayes for some snorkeling and island living. We swam with sharks and sting rayes! We got a little bit of sun. We drank milk shakes and laughed with each other a lot. Such a blessing to have some fun together today.
Please be praying for us tomorrow. It is our last full day in Belize. We are heading to the Children's Home for our last work day and supper with the kids. Leaving them is always impossibly hard. The question "will you come back?" will be rinigng in our ears as we leave. There are 90 of them and 24 of us who are truly not looking forward to saying goodbye.
Thanks in advance for the prayers you are saying, the good thoughts you are thinking, and the hugs you are imagining giving us soon.
Kristin and the gang.