It has been awhile since I have written because I have yet to be able to put into words what this summer has meant to me. I was able to go to Belize and do a series of Ladies Conferences, complete with gift bags and door prizes!! I was overwhelmed with the response of the women there in this very, very poor country.
When we landed and were on our way to the camp that was to be our home for 10 days, I began to see the "homes" of the people to whom I would be ministering. It was then that God spoke loudly to my spirit these words, "Don't you dare treat these women like they are poor! Treat them just as you would any woman in the US! They don't need your pity, they need ME!!" I almost lost my breath as physically these words came alive. I knew it was God and I knew I had to change my attitude if He was to be glorified. Through the Holy Spirit, I was able to look beyond the situations and relate to the hearts of these women. I discovered once again that ALL women are alike...as C.S. Lewis names us in the Chronicles of Narnia...the daughters of Eve! We all have the same hopes, needs and desires and yes, many of the same insecurities. We want our kids to turn out ok and we blame ourselves if they don't. We all want to be beautiful. We all have dreams. And most of all, we all want to be loved and cherished. The Belizian women I encountered wanted all the same things and it was there I began.
I didn't go and "talk" to them. I began "sharing" with them my own dreams and little by little they opened their lives to me so I could pour in what Jesus had done for me. By the end of our time, they became girlfriends. We shared cooking tips, teenage problems, and life in general. Those who were not believers began to ask questions and by the end of our time, came to salvation.
Had I treated them with pity because they were poor, I would not have gotten to know these wonderful women. I learned from them so much. At the end of our time, they brought me gifts: a piece of ribbon, handmade pictures, plastic flowers and notes expressing how they felt about the time we spent together. The last was a gift from all of them. A butterfly. As they gave this to me, their words were, "These are the wings that will bring you back to us." New life...for them but new perspective for me!
Please pray for Lydia and Stephanie as they struggle to live their new lives!! It was a most UnBelizable trip.