But God is Faithful

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you…the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:5, 6

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning we have about 30 – 45 minutes of worship. Every so often, there’s special worship days. A few days ago, the moon was out and it reflected brightly on the water. A dozen or so of us gathered on the dock and had a night of worship. We played music on a speaker and praised God in the dark. And again tonight, YWAM had a special night of worship.

I crave every second I can get in worshiping God. At home in New York, I only have one day of ‘worship’ which is Sunday. To have 3 days a week, plus going to church here in Belize, and then another one or two times at night, I fall even more in love with the God I serve.

The past few weeks since being here in Belize, I have sought God on several things. I came with questions and needed answers and in the past 24 hours, I have been told so many things my brain is still trying to unscramble everything. Nothing was spoken in fire and thunderstorms. But that still, quiet spirit of my Father has been resounding in my soul. His voice calls and as his daughter, I listen.

During worship this morning, I really sensed that God wanted me to trust him with something of the future. For me, placing certain things in his hands is a challenge. I don’t like giving them up. And in this season of my life, He’s asking for it, not just half-hearted, but complete surrender.

As I sat, listening to the music, half singing, he brought to mind all the times I’ve placed other things into his hands.  I had to trust him that he would show me whether to apply to Mission Nanny. Then trust him when he told me what three places to choose. And trust him again when he told me to prepare for Belize. And trust him for funds, tickets, and prayer support. I had to trust that he wasn’t bringing me into a war zone, or into an unwelcoming environment.

But God is faithful.

Every area that I placed in his hands, that I have sought him in and talked to him about, he has seen me through ever step of the way. Oh, I will admit it wasn’t easy. My walk with God never is. I was nervous months before I knew where I was going and cried my heart out because of it. I’d never flown on a plane (out of the country) by myself. And I had trouble with customs. (Goodness, that was very nerve wracking) Plus I thought I lost my suitcase. I felt silly asking people what buildings to enter and where to go and how to do this or that. And then I got here and got sick.

But God is Faithful.

I am here in Belize, and I am alive. There are no guns or raging wars, nor any hostile people here. I had nothing to worry about, nothing to be anxious about. He’s provided my every need, and gone above and beyond anything I ever expected. He turned my fears to joy.

With all this being explained, let me get back to this morning. Once he showed me how he had been faithful, I realized that I can surrender my future to him. He can take my hopes, my dreams, my plans and hand them to him. And he will turn them into something I never imagined. Something I never thought I’d ever dream possible. His plans are so much bigger then mine and I’m willing to give up my small dreams, for his huge adventures.

I went through my day with all this in the back of my mind. This evening, we had our special night of worship. I was pretty excited and praised God for what he’d shown me. I felt like I was on a mountain and all I wanted to do was spend the rest of the night worshiping God.

It was getting close to being done, when we sang a song about being in valleys. I don’t remember the exact song, but it hit me hard. I had to sit down and calm myself. Something my pastor at home has told us many times is that after a spiritual high, we will usually go through a spiritual low.

Because of the situation and what I’m placing in the hands of God, every worst possible situation raced through my mind. The future which suddenly seemed to be so full of light and hope and possibilities was now turned upside down. It was dark, hopeless and nothing seemed to be as possible as I thought it would be.

I was honestly super scared. I was terrified and wanted to snatch back everything, and take it back in my own hands. I hated the thought of having it in his hands, where I couldn’t control it or see what he was doing with it.

But God is faithful.

I have nothing to fear. Because Christ has already promised me that he will provide for my needs of the future. The one who has named the stars knows the number of hairs on my head. The one who spoke the world into being is my Father, he has a personal relationship with me and loves me and wants to be close to me. He wants this. And I’m learning to willingly give my future to him.

A verse from Proverbs 31 came to my mind while I sat there on the floor. “…she can laugh at the days to come.” And while I can’t exactly laugh at the dark, scary days that seem to be looming around the corner, I can smile, because I know I’ll be safe. God will walk beside me. He’ll hold my hand if I’m scared. If I can’t make it, he’ll carry me. He’s not going to let a valley keep me from his love, and I don’t need to worry that it will either. If I let it, I can come out stronger through him.

There was so much more that came to mind while singing. But this was the most important part of my day. And I am excited to see how God brings me through this.

But God is faithful.

><>Heidi<><

Daily Routine

I thought it would be good to share how I serve down here and what I do with my time. While  I would like to give a day-by-day schedule of what goes on here, it’s a little more complicated then that, as I don’t have 9-5 hours. So bear with me as I may jump around in my explaining.

Weekly schedule
Breakfast is 6:45 am – 7:45 am. Many days I *try* to get up at 5:30 and head out to the dock to have my quiet time. It doesn’t happen every morning, but I’m fairly consistent with it.
Monday/Wednesday/Friday I’m with the kids from 7:20-8 am. At 8, we head to worship. That ends a little before 9am. I am then with the kids (roughly) from 9 until 4:30 pm.
Tuesday/Thursday I start at 8 (as there is no worship) and go until (roughly) 3:30 pm.

Lunch is at 1 until 2 pm. Everyone eats together in the palapa, so I usually have an hour to eat and then I’m off again. (Unless it’s Tuesday, then I have to leave at 1:30) It’s a good time for me to talk with people and catch up on what they’ve been up to that morning.

Dinner is 5:30-6:30. After that time, I’m usually free to do anything, except once or twice a week when I hang out at the house while the kids sleep so Alyssa and Israel can go to meetings.

Activities/schedule for the Kids
While I’m with the kids, I usually have an hour or two to spend time playing with them. Faith usually gets much of my attention during this time. We play with her train set, have snack, spin in circles, hid in a box, sing songs, do puzzles, sort shapes, and read books. Josiah is pretty content and will follow us around and grab toys (usually cars) and stick them in his mouth. From about 10 – 12, the kids take a nap and will wake up any time after 12.
In the afternoon, I have them another hour, before Josiah lays down, usually around 3pm. While he’s napping, I take that time to do things with Faith that is harder to do because of Josiah. We’ll go outside and play in the sand. We’ve found some hermit crabs a few times. We’ll color together (She’s in the habit of calling every color pink or purple…) or we’ll do painting, or I’ll let her watch a movie.

Free Time
Being the introvert I am, I find myself spending a lot of my free time on the dock or here in my casita taking it easy. I read books (currently I’m going through Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge, The meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller and Life As A Vapor by John Piper)
I will also write! I have two journals I’m currently writing in. I have a third that I write in to keep notes from the books I’m reading.
Occasionally I will go into town. I have been twice and love seeing people and buildings, other then sand, palm trees, water and more water! People around here ride in golf carts (maybe I’ll explain that more another day) and the price for things in here in Belize is a 2:1 ratio (I think…) For example, if it’s priced as $20 Belize, then it’s only $10 American.
Along with the golf carts, I’ll have to tell about my Sunday church adventures (I have fallen in love with the church here in San Pedro) And once I get pictures, I’ll tell you all about it!

Here are pictures of the fun I have with the kiddos!

20160716_143013
Faith coloring
20160722_120355
Snack Time!!!
20160722_153529
Playing with a hermit crab
20160711_151348
Playing in the sand
20160715_121342
Josiah, always content!

And that is a rough, weekly schedule of my life here in Belize!

><>Heidi<><

Between Fleas and Wind

Before I start out, don’t worry, I do not have fleas 🙂

In the book The Hiding Place by Cory Ten Boom, she and her sister, Betsy are sitting in their flea infested room, reading from the Bible, and praying, thanking God for all things… Cory writes,

“I looked down at the bible. ‘Yes! Thank you dear Lord, that there was no inspection when we entered here! Thank you for all the women here in this room, who will meet You in these pages.’ ‘Yes,’ said Betsy, ‘Thank you for the very crowding here. Since we’re packed so close, that means more will hear!’ She looked at me expectantly. ‘Corrie!’ she prodded. ‘Oh all right. Thank you for the jammed, crammed, stuffed, packed, suffocating crowds.’ ‘Thank you,’ Betsy went on serenely, ‘for the fleas and for-‘ The fleas! This was too much. “Betsie, there’s no way even God can make me grateful for a flea.’ “Give thanks in all circumstances,”‘ she quote. ‘It doesn’t say “in pleasant circumstances.” Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.’ and we stood between the piers of bunks and gave thanks for fleas. But this time I was sure Betsie was wrong.”

Cory later found out that due to the many fleas, the guards didn’t come into their room to do regular inspections. If the guards had, they would have found the bible that Cory and Betsy used to share with the women in their room.


I, like Cory, couldn’t figure out why God would want me to be thankful for things such as the winds, here in Belize. They roll off the coast in gusts and bursts and toss my hair in my face. While I eat, it blows my hair in my mouth. walk it whips it around. Sitting or reading outside, it always blows strands this way and that. It’s hard to keep napkins from blowing away off the tables. When I read a book or write in my journal or read my bible, pages are always blowing and I have to hold them down with my arm, or hands. Why would I ever want to be thankful for the wind???


I got my answer earlier this week. The wind was dead. I thought it would be the best day ever. I could do anything with my hair and it wouldn’t blow everything, I could eat with a napkin by my plate, not under my plate. Hey, I could read and write and not have to hold the pages down with my arms.

I got up for breakfast, only to discover bugs flying around me. During breakfast we were getting eaten alive by sand fleas (similar in size to gnats, but bite) and mosquitoes. I ate quick and made a dash back to my Casita. Bug spray helped a little, but not much.

Learning to be thankful in all circumstances, especially with the little stuff, such as wind or fleas, causes me to see God in a different light. He does protect those he loves. Maybe not in a comfortable way. Maybe it’s hard to see at first why little things such as fleas or wind or sickness or pain are placed in our lives. But for me, I’m going to praise God through it and learn to be thankful for the wind.

><>Heidi<><

Photo Gallery #1: Favorite Places

Here are some pictures of my favorite places at YWAM. For a little back stories on some of the pictures:

  • Casitas are the little rooms we all stay in (some have bunk beds, where my room has 3 separate beds) each with their own bathroom.
  • The Dining Palapa is open to air. The only downside to eating outside, is all the wind.
  • I like to go out onto the dock in the early morning and read the bible, pray and write in my journal!
  • Because of all the paths that have sand, I don’t wear shoes anywhere!

Enjoy the beautiful scenery of Destination Paradise, San Pedro Belize, South America!

DSC_0058
My Casita
DSC_0136
My little bed and desk in my casita.
DSC_0137
Directly outside my Casita
DSC_0066
Dining Palapa
The dock where I like to have my quiet time.
The dock where I like to have my quiet time.
Other end of the dock.
Other end of the dock.
Heidi on the dock!
Heidi on the dock!

 

Heidi on the dock
Heidi on the dock
DSC_0139
Casitas (Mine is the 1st yellow)
Palm trees and Casitas
Palm trees and Casitas seen from dock
DSC_0158
Dive shop (Red flags with the white strip means a dive shop) This is also the one that I went snorkeling with.
DSC_0131
Beautiful clouds

Past few days!

Happy Wednesday evening to everyone!!

I wanted to tell you all a few stories on my past weekend and what I’ve been up to this week.

So First, on Saturday I went snorkeling for the first time. I got to wear fins, mask, a snorkel and lovely yellow life jacket around my waist! We had two groups, one lead by Sam and the other Joe (both who work at the Dive shop) My leader, Joe, took 7 of us out to the reef 20160703_161250(the waves are super big out there, but they get smaller as they come into land) I saw some coral, blue fish, yellow and blue striped fish, big and little ones. I felt like I was doggy-paddling for most of it as I don’t swim that great, which made me super thankful for the life vest, even if it was around my waist. I got a taste of salt water in my eyes, and felt the sting in my eyes. So then I was thankful for my snorkel and goggles.

Once we got back to the boat after swimming for about 40ish minutes, everything began to roll. I tried drinking cold water, but my stomach would not settle and neither would the boat that kept bobbing in the water. I finally laid down and felt better. The 2nd group lead by Sam came back and they drove us out to another sight to go snorkeling. I was exhausted and couldn’t keep myself upright, so I laid down again and fell asleep for thirty minutes. We then drove back to the island, where I mentally kissed the dry ground!

20160710_093846
Mandy, Heidi, Adam

Sunday morning I woke up to find out that my roommate and another staff member are now dating!! After much giggling and contrats, I went out with my three new friends (Mandy, Jeremy and Adam) sailing. We got off shore and had the first wave crash over us and I learned why I shouldn’t bring my phone with me when sailing. Not want to risk it getting soaked, Adam stirred us back to shore and I put it back in my casita. We went back out into the water. It was very relaxing when waves weren’t splashing all up me! I enjoyed it a lot though.

My last story happened Tuesday. Faith is currently being potty trained. When I lay her down for nap, I have to put her diaper on backwards because she knows how to take it off. Unfortunately, she learned how to take it off, when it was on backwards yesterday. I had a small mess I had to clean up and after using a thousand wipes to get Faith and her crib clean, her dad came in and gave her a bath. (Yes mom’s, you can give me any life tips that might work for potty training, this is my first time really going through this…other then helping mom/babysitting a couple times) I will like to add that we started a reward system with her, but have yet to see if it’s doing anything.

And lastly…myself! I believe it was Monday, someone (don’t know whether on purpose or accidental) poured gasoline into the water pipes. Then to clean that out, the poured bleach down to clean the pipes. And no one informed Heidi of either of those liquids. I only had a sip, but it seems to be enough to send my body into shut down mode. In the past three days, I’ve been having an achy feeling in my arms and legs. And the lymph nodes in my armpits are swelling, which adds a little more pain. This morning during breakfast I was getting super chilled so when I went to nanny for the day, I took some medicine. Since taking that, I have felt much better and haven’t felt bad at all. I’m hoping tomorrow afternoon (on my time off) I can take a nap and try to kick this infection.

A random side note…I haven’t worn shoes in nearly 10 days! My brothers would be so proud!

As for prayer requests pray for:

  • Health as I get over this infection
  • Patience in the potty-training process
  • Continue to seek God about the future.
  • Finding things to be Thankful everyday.

Any questions?? Want me to write about Something?? Let me know!! I’d love to get new ideas 🙂

><>Heidi<><

Address!!!!

I forgot!!!!!

I have an address for anyone who would like to write me a letter. I wish I could write you all one, but I’m still not sure how to do that yet…so we’ll see if that happens on my end.

My address is:

Heidi Southwick

YWAM DP

PO Box 110

San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye

Belize, Central America

I’d love to receive snail-mail, but just keep in mind that anything sent at the beginning of September may or may not get to me…I hear it truly is a “snail” pace.

Much love,

><>Heidi<><

First Week

Dear friends and family,

I survived 1 of 12 weeks! 7 days out of 83. Whoohoo!

I have had the opportunity to nanny two adorable children this week. Here we have Faith and Josiah.  20160704_141747

Faith is 2 and 1/2 years old. She loves playing with her train set, cooking, and digging in the sand. I found a baby hermit crab and when he finally came out of his shell and tried to crawl away, she began to giggle and giggle. I love that she can find the smallest things humorous.

20160708_122057

Josiah is 10 months. He’s got the stomach the size of a blackhole. This boy will eat a 5oz bottle, small bowl of cherrios, and plate full of mashed potatoes and he will still be hungry. He’s crawling, has about 4 teeth and thankfully still sleeps twice a day for 2-3 hours!

I love it a lot down here. It’s not easy, as children are children. Climate is different and it’s much windier then I thought! Haha. But I am enjoying myself and learning to get out of my comfort zone in talking to people.

Christ is teaching me a lot about overcoming the things of this world. I’m praying for his guidance in what my next step is and that he will begin preparing me now.

I miss family and friends, but knowing I come home in 76 days help. And I really haven’t been gone that long. My adventures are just beginning!!!

Like going snorkling for the first time today! 😀

><>Heidi<><

Arrived in Belize!!!

Hello all my faithful followers! Sooooo, I do have Wi-Fi, but not a strong connection, plus some computer problems with it, so many posts may be shorter due to me having to type everything on my phone.

With that being said, let me share some adventures!!!! I left about 12:10pm on Sat from Atlanta, Georgia to Belize. The lady next to me has lived in Belize 30 years! She got this picture for me.

20160702_115243

We landed into Belize at about 1:00, nearly 10 min early. (That is my time in Belize. It was a close 3 hour plane ride, but due to time change, I’m 2 hours behind many of you)

I went through customs…only to find out I had to have an address!?!?! I was able to call Alyssa (the mom of the kids I’m nannying) and she gave me an address. I got through that and went to pick up my claimed baggage….only to discover it wasn’t there! Once again, I asked someone for help and found it hidden behind a security guard.

After gathering my things together, I went through another security check-point and the man asked again where I was staying. I explained once again and he waved me through. I went through the door to purchase my Tropic Air plane!! 🙂

After receiving the ticket, I walked through another security, removing shoes and my computer from my bag. Then I gathered it all back up, went through another door and walked allllll the way back to my gate. When I arrived I found the kind lady who I was sitting next to in the airplane into Belize. She was glad I had made it through and I told her my troubles of getting in.

I showed my ticket to a guy, as I had no idea what time it was and it said my plane left at 2:10. The man saw it, tore my ticket and said, “we’ll send you now” Talk about quick and fast! Ha ha!

I got in line and waited about 5 min, then they directed us outside into the hot and humid day, to a tiny 8 seater plane. As you can see, I got to sit directly beind the pilote.

20160702_140837

20160702_141113

We had about a 30 min ride over the water to San Pedro island. It was beautiful clear, light blue water. And islands dotting the water, with white sandbars and green palm trees.

20160702_141039

20160702_141948

20160702_142027

20160702_142233(Runway onto San Pedro Island)

We arrived at the little runway (gripping tightly to our seats, anticipating a bumpy landing…only to have one of the smoothest landings I think I’ve ever had) and we got out. I followed everyone else, because I had no idea where I was going, and there before me was Alyssa!! 😀

We got my baggage and she drove their car over. Yes it was a golf cart. Ha ha! That is the main mode of transportation they have here. She drove to the store quick and I waited while she got some stuff.

After a few min, a little boy walked up with a bag of things and asked if I wanted to buy something. I declined, and he rushed off. It’s common for Parents to have their children sell stuff for them. Alyssa said that sometimes they are as young as 4.

We drove the rest of the way here to Destination Paradise, YWAM (Youth With A Mission) I got unpacked and settled into my room. I have not only one roommate, but two! Mandy is sweet and kind, she’s an amazing decorator and draws soooo well. She’s from an island off the coast of France! Rachel is a super smart girl from Navada.

Everyone here is so sweet and welcoming. They are all very curious of course and ask the usual questions. I have only told one person though about the large family I come from.

Saturday night I went with some of them to get frozen Custered. It was wonderful and worth the $3 I spent. That night we had a booming thunderstorm over us. I woke up for part of it, then rolled over and went back to sleep.

Sunday is a day to relax, so I did that. I read and slept, and wrote, and read, and slept, had brunch, read and slept some more, and wrote again and listened to music, had supper and finally got to meet Faith!

Sunday night (last night) I woke up at 1:30ish and felt wide awake. I almost got up to shower, but looked at my clock and realized my mistake. I woke up at 5:30 and after showering, went out to the dock to have a quiet time. It is rather windy here.

I had breakfast and then went with Alyssa and Israel and their kids to the house. She gave me a schedule (it’s a bit confusing, so I won’t explain that) and she left me with the kids.

Faith is about 2 & 1/2. She loves to laugh and smile. Josiah is about 10 months and he seems pretty content to stick anything and everything in his mouth.

I was only there for about 30-45 min, but I can say I am going to enjoy myself immensely with these two children.

As for now, that’s roughly it! I am missing family, and friends, but I’m keeping busy and making new friends. Thanks again for prayers and encouragement! God has guided me through much these past 2 days and I’m excited to see what another 80 days may hold!

><>Heidi<><

Ready To Fly…

Jamie Grace – Ready to Fly (Avery’s Song)

There’s a feather in my hair
And a wing around my neck
I’m ready to fly away
There’s a feather in my hair
And a wing around my neck
I’m ready to fly away
DSC_0006
And I’ll gather wishes from all of my friends
Hugs and kisses from my mom and my dad
There’s a feather in my hair
And a wing around my neck
I’m ready to fly away
DSC_0014
There’s an open sky above my head
That no one else sees
And it’s calling, it’s calling for me
It’s bright and the lights and the kites all get stuck
It’s brighter than anything anyone’s seen
DSC_0023
And I’ve got the wishes from the ground below
Hugs and kisses from all that I know
There’s an open sky above my head
That no one else sees
And it’s calling for me
DSC_0040
The score of the night says
La-de-dah-de-dah-dah-dah-dah
But the score of my life says
Lah-de-dah-de-dah-dah-dah-dah-dah-oh
DSC_0046
I see cards and such of written love all there for me
To leave in just a few weeks
They will sit and wait to be weight
To be sent away, away, away
DSC_0056
And I’ve got the wishes from the letters they hold
Hugs and kisses from the ones who wrote them
There’s a feather in my hair
And a wing around my neck
I’m ready to fly away
I’m ready to fly away
CSC_0055
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEuUf9ARl5c
><>Heidi<><

Completely out!

I’m officially completely moved out of the apartment!

20160621_162131

(Other then the table, dresser and bookshelf that my brother and sister-in-law are using)

20160627_163824I want to say a biggggg HUGE thank you to my dad and brothers for helping me move my large furniture and thank you to my parents for storing it for me while I’m away.

20160623_094212

My little storage  space slowly filling up with boxes of 20160623_095454books…I love my books!

20160627_18402720160627_182731I spy a brother!!!

><>Heidi<><