Well we have now been here in Belize for almost two weeks and what a time it's been already!
Two days after we got here hurricane Earl hit Belize. Thank you everyone for the prayers during that time! While we were expecting this storm, no one expected it to be as bad as it was in just the course of a few hours. Wednesday (the day after we got here) everything closed early as people prepared for the incoming storm. We bought water and food and then waited with the rest of Belize to see how bad it would get. David and I had a hard time tracking the storm as our internet was out for the whole first week we were here (unless we sat in one spot on our bed down stairs, didn't move, and practically held our breath as we tried connecting to the local internet store's free wifi down the street). Well, the day went by with only a few downpours so we settled in for the night. By 11:30 that night I was woken up to the incredibly loud sounds of roaring winds, torrential rain, and tree branches banging around. Pretty much the entire night I kept waking up as it continued to get louder and louder. David was pretty tired (hehe) and only woke up once to shut some windows we had forgotten upstairs. The next morning when we got up it was still raining, but quickly passed. This storm only lasted the night. As far as damage for us, it was very minimal. We had a few branches down in our backyard and about three puddles in the house, but otherwise we made it through the storm safely. Thank you for your prayers! Belize itself was hit pretty hard.
San Ignacio (where we live) had major flooding from the river. The river had swollen at least forty feat higher than normal, covering a bridge (that got destroyed in the flood), and making it all the way to one street over from our house. Many homes and shops were underwater and lots of damages occurred. Thankfully people came together and helped one another put their lives back together. While there are still many things being repaired throughout the country (the Cathedral in Belize City had to be hosed down on the inside by a fire truck), things are starting to get back to normal.
The rest of the past two weeks here have been pretty normal (or at least a new normal!). One thing that I haven't quite gotten used to yet are the bugs... I have always been a mosquito magnet, but I swear they think I'm candy. I'd appreciate some prayers that they find other prey! Other bugs/critters will have to become more normal, I think. In our house we have many geckos and lizards that like to roam around (the one in our bathroom as been named Sammy) and I love them because they eat the bugs. Well, last week when we were coming home from an evening church potluck I opened the door to our dark entryway and saw things run into hiding as I flipped on the light. My first thought was that my lizards (yes, I've claimed them as my own) were just running away....well that was only half true. Yes, one of the runners was a lizard, but the other one was a HUGE yellowish spider. That was it for me. After screaming and pointing to where it was hiding (since I decided there was no way I was squishing a spider, while wearing flip-flops, that I would still be able to see under my foot once it was dead!), I then resigned to live upstairs and never come down again. Well, thankfully I have an amazing fearless husband who actually got down on the ground with a broom and dug it out from under the stairs so he could squish it. Good news everyone: I was able to come back downstairs. Now I realize that there will be many more spiders in the house, and I even realize that I will get to a point where I won't think twice about just smooshing the thing myself, but until that point my husband is the official spider killer for this house!
I know I said the past two weeks have been pretty normal, but I do have to point out a couple more things that happened that weren't quite normal (maybe). This, David and I have both decided, is going under the caption of spiritual warfare. We had many little things go wrong during the past week. Our fridge started freezing things and then switched to not cooling anything, a water pipe burst in town and the water went out as I was shampooing my hair, and then we had quite the adventure yesterday... As I said, while it has been a good first two weeks here, many little things were going wrong this week (I won't mention them all). David and I decided we needed to get away for the day and spend time just the two of us (we tried the day before but that is when the fridge died). Yesterday we loaded up the truck with waters, bathing suits, and Narnia books on the iPad and headed up to the mountains. It had been looking a little cloudy, but we thought we'd chance it anyway. As we got higher (and made it onto the dirt roads) it started to rain. We still thought, "It'll pass"... We got to the top of the ridge and barely could see through all the rain, but we knew we were close to our destination and could just wait it out there (we wanted this so bad!), but that would not be the case.. As we were driving on the ridge we hit a particularly slippery mud spot and slid off the road, running into the bank. It was at this point, unfortunately, that we blew a tire. It was also at this point that the lightning storm started. Bolts of lightening were striking down around us with thunder loud enough to shake the car. Yeah...we decided this was a good place to wait out the storm...seeing as how there was no way we were getting out of the car at this point. Two hours, and The Silver Chair finished, later we were able to get out and fix the tire (with some help from a nice man that stopped in the middle of things). We were very wet (David, very muddy) and we were tired after a sort of failed get away/day off, but we laughed and God got us home safely.
So all in all there are the little things that go wrong, but as a whole it has been great getting (back into ministry for David) starting this new ministry for me. I was able to to accompany for choir rehearsal last Wednesday and play for both church services today! While I'm loving getting back into music ministry, I think my favorite part of ministry here so far has been visiting people throughout the towns and villages. I love getting to know people and talk to kids! I also love getting to see how well David knows these people and loves them! Our ministry here together has just started and I'm so excited to see what God has for us in the weeks to come! (hopefully not spiders...!)