The story continued from yesterday:
When we got to Cancun I was feeling nauseous from the pain (of a kidney stone), and I could hardly walk, but God gave me the strength I needed. I was able to lead our team to yet another bus which took us to within a half a block to our hotel. We were definitely ready to rest, but I was a little worried. I was feeling so awful...
All I can say to wrap up yesterday's story, is that God is greater. I was not feeling well at all, and when everyone except for my husband went out to get dinner without me, I was desperate to feel better. I began to just talk with God, and then I talked with the kidney stone, telling it that my God is bigger and He was going to take care of me. For some reason, I thought a hot shower might help with the nausea, and as soon as I stepped under the hot water, the nausea left. When I got out of the shower, I realized that all the pain was gone as well. Again I say, God is greater! Enough said. :)
We didn't check into the hotel until almost 9pm on Wednesday night, so everyone just ate and went to sleep. I had been a little nervous about the hotel, as I made the reservation months earlier going by the reviews on the Internet, but again God was looking out for us. The hotel was a steal- we only paid $38 US dollars per night, per room (and each room had 4 occupants), and it was clean, comfortable, and perfect for our needs. On Thursday we woke up to the free breakfast (well, the kids had to pay, which I still don't really understand, but it was still worth it), and then set out to find the nearest public beach, Playa Tortuga (Turtle Beach). It was an easy 15 minute walk, and we had fun seeing huge iguanas alongside the road. We spent most of the day at the beach, and it was a beautiful, relaxing day.
Thursday evening, Noe and I went to downtown Cancun to try to find a place that would change our Belizean dollars back into Mexican pesos (you will remember that we didn't change the money at the border because the bus had left us behind, and we were in a bit of a rush to find the rest of our team). I was so sure that we would be able to find an exhange place- after all, Cancun is a pretty international city. I was amazed when we went to 5 exchange places, and NONE of them would exchange Belizean dollars. We finally found one place that would do it, but they would only give us 2 pesos for every dollar (each Belizean dollar is supposed to be worth 7 pesos)! After going to about 10 money exchange businesses, we finally found one that would give us 3 pesos for each dollar. We exchanged some of it, taking a huge loss of course, but at least we had enough left over to get home! Lesson learned: ALWAYS exchange money at the border. Although, I must admit, if the same thing happened all over again, I would probably still be more worried about finding our team than exchanging our money!
Thursday night we had our last official team meeting. It was bittersweet for me- after meeting together once a week since January, and then spending 11 days, full of adventure, together, it was a little hard to believe it was coming to an end. It felt very surreal- thinking of all the prayers and planning that had gone into the trip, at times doubting that our dreams would ever become a reality, and knowing that it all exceeded our expectations and was now almost over. Yet, it was a beautiful meeting. I held my breath as I asked our team members if it had been worth it all. Every single one answered with a resounding YES, accompanied by tears in their eyes, and asking if we would ever be able to go back to Belize. I had a huge smile in my heart- and on my face. This is what it feels like when your dreams, or rather God's dreams for you come true!
Friday, the 29th, was a beautiful day. We took it easy, played with the kids in the pool, and then repacked all of our things once again. We left the hotel before 1pm, and must have been quite the sight as we walked down the main street of Cancun's hotel zone with all of our luggage, in search of the bus stop. We got on our bus, which took us to the main bus station,. and there bought tickets for a bus that would take us to the airport. Our flight left Cancun just before 4pm, and thankfully it was uneventful. We arrived in Guadalajara, where the same vans that had left us there almost 2 weeks earlier were now waiting to pick us up. The drive home took almost 2 hours- and we were home just after 10pm. We were all so tired...but so at rest. God is good. All the time.
If you think this is the end of the story...you are wrong! The trip was over- but in some ways, it was just beginning. At home now, we had time to process everything- and share what we had learned with everyone around us. If you want to listen-in on what we learned on our mission trip to Belize, stay tuned for tomorrow's blog post...
P.S. I made a video with the pictures from our Belize trip. It's sort of long, but for those of you who have been reading along and have heard the full story of our trip, I think you would enjoy seeing it. The link to the video on youtube is: