For the past few days I have been in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye Island. While in the previous two years I have stayed at Youth With A Mission: Destination Paradise (YWAM DP) that base is sadly no longer on the island. The Esquivel family have since moved to a house in town, about 15 min from where the base was located.
This house is such an adorable place. It stands next to a river that little motor boats come down on, and is off the main road, giving less traffic and people. It’s less then a 5 minute walk to the ocean, but it does involve crossing the main road. At the end of the drive is Casa Pandulce Bakery, full of delightful smells and temptations.
Getting to see the children and family in their new environment, and ministry has been a great blessing, as I’ve been a little out of how they do life now that they have switched to the ministry Shine (See here for more details: http://shinebelize.org/ Side note, they are also in the process of making a new website)
While Alyssa has been called at this time for the ministry of her family and being a full time mom to her kids (Not to say she never was, but compared to where she use to have me as a nanny) She still does weekly women’s bible studies, encourages the workers at Shine, and helping to coordinate meetings and try new ideas.
Israel has been meeting up daily with men to counsel and mentor them. Getting to go to the RTF training (Restoring The Foundations) has been a blessing as he continues getting with other men of the island.
Watching the Esquivel’s in this new place and new ministry, I think has been good. They seem to be thriving so well. Where at YWAM they were constantly on the go, here they are more relaxed and can spend more family time together. With their old ministry, they had to be up early and sometimes out late. Here, Alyssa can be with the kids most mornings, but other mornings Israel can let her sleep in and watch the kids until he has to leave in the morning. They have their own yard they can play with the kids in, a house that is their own to paint, decorate and build in the way they dream, and probably much more.
I don’t want it to sound like they weren’t thriving while at their old ministry. They had a lot that the base offered (unlike a house bill) They were able to go out to the beach, right outside their house (unlike walking 5 min down the road to a sea-grass covered sand and no dock to jump off) But seeing them in a new space, with more family time, there is a new sense of freedom, love and adventure that flows through this family.
I love watching the devotion this family has for each other, Christ, their new ministry and house. It’s such a beautiful thing and I’m super thankful to get to see this side of their family life, in ways I never have before.
Enough about the family that I love so much. I’m loving their new place. The showers are cold, but toilets are behind closed doors, not curtains (Thank you Jesus) My bedroom has A/C and I don’t have to share with five other people. There are fresh banana’s, amazing tortillas that Alyssa makes and lemonade, cold from the fridge. There’s a balcony/porch outside, which is shaded in the afternoon, and recently has been having a refreshing breeze.
I got to town the other day to catch up with another friend, who happened to be in my school and Casita when I was in the Discipleship Training School at YWAM DP. It was so nice to catch up on life and hear all that she’s doing to serve the Lord here. God has blessed her with perseverance and love and courage and she has always inspired me and still does.
Before I met up with her, I took a 10-15 minute walk through town to the Artisan where there are many vendors selling homemade touristy items (bags, blankets, shawls, jewelry, wood carvings and more) I was looking around for some necklaces for my sisters and I to share. The creativity these people have in their booths kept making me gasp. So many beautiful items and only so much money. But it was fun learning different kinds of stones, seeds and wood that are used to make the different items.
While I have been helping in small ways to watch the kids since arriving on the island, I’ve had a lot of down time and have been using that to scroll through social media, reading books, playing with the kids and talking to Alyssa. It’s been nice to relax after a long week of nannying.
While I’m looking forward to returning home, I’m thankful for this time with this beautiful family. Being a nanny, watching relationships grow and flourish, getting to explore this beautiful island and country, it’s all been a blessing from the Lord. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that God has given me over the past few years. And to be a blessing, that brings Glory to Him, that’s the greatest opportunity of all.