“I have taken you from the ends of the earth and called you from its most distant places. I said to you, ‘You are my servant. I’ve chosen you; I haven’t rejected you. Don’t be afraid, because I am with you. Don’t be intimidated; I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will support you with my victorious right hand.’”
Isaiah 41:9-10, 13
This is what I told myself when I woke up and a stray cat was sleeping on my suitcase. I don’t know how it got into my room or why. But it had fleas. And it hissed at me when I tried to shoo it.
It’s a funny story, yes. But if I had a picture for how this week has panned out, sure enough, it would be a stray cat sleeping on my suitcase.
I’ve struggled with what to write—how to balance optimism with realism, how to express the needs of the village without compromising the privacy of families, how to express concern and let it not be confused with discouragement, although, at times, the burden of daily life for many of the school kids and families is hard to watch—so I’ve just decided to compile a list for those supporting and praying.
At times I was encouraged this week, because I could tell the kids were really absorbing things, or, at the very least, having fun. Other times, it just seemed like I was dropping spoonfuls of water into an enormous canyon. Not even INTO it—a few inches to the left, maybe.
The schools can’t do PE or Art or Music because they don’t have supplies—no scissors, paper, crayons, glue, soccer balls, jumpropes, wiffle balls—nothing. And it’s not like they don’t know the difference. Everyday someone says to me: life in Belize is hard, Brooke. The San Marcos school didn’t even have bathrooms, a water tank or ceilings—ceilings—before CFI began working in the community.
Next week we’ll begin doing the AIDS/STD prevention curriculum in the Standard 6 class, which I think is good, and in March I’ll get to do an Art lesson in each class for two weeks, since I packed more art supplies than I realized—apparently, a perfectly artsy plan existed before I ever even stepped foot here.
The good news: He’s got the whole world in his hands.
To quote my new friend Rachel, “We are his workmanship and that is often a very messy thing.”
On the upswing, everyday someone tells me how blessed they are by CFI, how they are sure God is working, providing for them, and loving them through everything CFI does, and how usually, the exact thing they need shows up right when they need it—even if it’s just a phone call.
Also, one of the teachers invited me to go to Xunantunich (a Mayan ruin) this weekend with her family, so I am looking forward to that!
Finally, here are some pics of classes this week. It was my first week with Standard 5 & 6: