Week Three, plus a cat

“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.

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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.

(emailed)

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:

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10 thoughts on “Week Three, plus a cat”

  1. Brooke, I’m sure you are making a difference…just being there, letting them know you care and teaching them choices so they can change things. Awesome work you are doing. Keep your spirits up!
    love and hugs,carole

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  2. Brooke, I’m standing applauding you right now. You are doing an amazing job. Be encouraged!!!!!!! Will definitely continue to pray for you and the village, God has a purpose and that purpose involves you being there right now. Please be careful. Love you, thinking of you, praying for you. Becky

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  3. Brooke, have been waiting and looking many times a day for a new post. You ARE making a difference and God is making you differently. Relating these experiences so clearly is truly a gift which will bless the children in many ways for many years. THANK YOU..for being willing, for being compassionate, for being bold, for being the eyes, ears, hands, heart and voice of GOD! I am so privileged to call you my friend! You are living proof that God is LOVE! Hugs & Prayers! Suzanne

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  4. Yes, I say, adopt the boy! Steve and I will help you. Go ahead! What did you say when they asked you??? How can we help here in addition to prayer? more teachers? more families willing to addopt? more social services? Your heart must be bursting!what would make a difference? HAW CAN WE HELP=?

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  5. Brooke-
    “you are Christ’s ambassador, God is using you to speak to the people in Santa Familia as though Christ himself were there. He is pleading with them to receive the love he offers them …”2Cor.5:20 lisa version
    You are in your appointed place today, as His ambassador. It is your divine appointment.
    “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you” John 20:21
    Love you much.

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  6. Hey Brooke. Thanks for being there and for observing, understanding and feeling. Bless you for that. I think it matters that you are hurting on their behalf. Maybe the point is not being able to fix it but rather to walk through it with them. I think you’re a really good walker.

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  7. Dear Frank, uh…I mean, Brooke–

    “Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work in you, will continue his work until it is finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
    So it is right that I should feel as I do about you, for you have a special place in my heart.”
    (Phil. 1:3-7)

    I’m praying for you.

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  8. seriously, seriously, seriously love you. even though you’re always making me cry. my heart breaks for these beautiful people. you sweet friend hang in there. you are an encouragement not only to them, but to each of us reading. did you take your i loves my kitty t-shirt? if yes, will you wear it for some of these “snaps?”

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