It's hard to believe that today marks one week since I left the US. In some ways it feels like just yesterday and in others it feels like we've been here for much longer. This past week has been full of once in a lifetime opportunities including a riverboat cruise at Lamanai where we had the opportunity to feed a spider monkey. (Lesson learned: when given the opportunity to feed a banana to a monkey, don't worry about waiting to take your turn because you will miss your chance! Needless to say, “feed a banana to a monkey” has been added to my always-growing bucket list.) We toured ancient Mayan ruins at both Lamanai and Xunantunich and climbed temples at both places. The view was absolutely incredible! We went to the Belize Zoo, which was set up in a way that made you feel like you were walking through a jungle despite the animals being caged. We worshiped with our brothers and sisters in Christ at a quaint Nazarene church in Succotz and were reminded that though we are from completely different contexts we all serve one God. Yesterday we had the opportunity to visit an elementary school and I loved that! Kids are a huge part of my heart for missions and I can see God maybe using me to serve Him through children somehow in the future.
This trip has been an awesome adventure so far and God has been teaching me a lot from it as well. I've been reading a book called Kisses from Katie (cheesy title, but it's been very good so far). It's written by a teenage girl who went to Uganda for a short-term mission trip and then responded to God calling her back to work there long-term. In her book, she discusses Psalms 37:4 - “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” She writes, “It is not about God making my dreams come true but about God changing my dreams into His dreams for my life.” This also reminded me of a quote I heard a few years ago: “We plan. God laughs.” I have so many dreams, desires, and plans...but the fact is that God often works in ways we would never expect Him to. With graduation just four short months away and still no clue about what the next chapter of my life will hold, the future has been on my mind a lot. I'm realizing that I can make all the plans that I want to, but, in the end, the only thing that's going to matter is if I am seeking after God's will for my life and following Him wherever He leads me.