The beginning of the end
It's February 23rd, 2015. The end of our journey. We have been counting days, planning and prepping, anticipating, feeling nervous, feeling excited, feeling emotional about this trip for hundreds of days. And now, here we are. At the end. It was an incredible blessing and gift. We learned things about ourselves, about God, about each other, about serving, about patience, about unconditional love, about gratefulness, about faithfulness, about laughing, about crying, about stepping out, about telling the truth even when it's hard. We have learned that we can love people that we have only just met. We have looked right into the face of Jesus through the cute little faces of our little friends. We have learned what it feels like to be exactly where God wants you to be. We have felt frustrated. We have felt strong. We have felt weak. We have felt sick. We have felt restored. We have sometimes lead, and sometimes followed. We have heard from God directly. We have eaten a lot of rice and beans. We have conquered fears. We have been on adventures. We have done and seen things that we could never have even imagined. But I think that most of all today we have felt grateful. This trip was not our doing. It was a gift to us from all of you. None of this could have happened without your support. God has used you to give this gift to us. We don't have enough words to say thank you. This experience has changed. us. It has changed the path of our lives. We will be able to look back on the last 2 weeks as the beginning of something new. And that is because of God's faithfulness and your willingness to support and love us through this. How can we thank you enough?
Our debrief weekend was incredible. It was much needed, and God had many things He wanted to do and say to us in the last 2 days. Our friends Omar and Alyssa (and their son Elias) ministered to us in really amazing ways. They were the voice of God to us, and helped us process through what we just went through in Belize. Thank you Oms and Lyss for being so faithful to God, and willing to serve our team. You changed us. We are better now having known you.
We are all checked in at the airport in California, ready to head home. I think there are mixed feelings about heading back to Saskatoon today. Some of us feel ready, some of us don't. But I think we all know that it's time. It's time to start a new chapter, and come back home and try and live out the lessons we have learned while we were gone. Please be patient with us. We want to come home and face you with smiling faces and happy hearts, but it's not always easy. We miss the jungle. We have been through a lot, and are still trying to work through what we have learned. We are tired, and happy, and sad. We need your hugs and your love and your patience.
We arrive in Saskatoon on West Jet flight 276 arriving at 12:58am. We are excited to see you! Just a heads up, we are going to take a few quick minutes together as a team before we come through security to see you. We just need one last moment together as a team, to say our goodbyes and feel ready to face the reality of home. We will be as quick as possible, keeping in mind how late it is. Thanks for your patience with that.
Thanks so much to all of our faithful readers. We felt a strong sense of community through this blog, and we appreciate your kinds words and encouragement so very very much. I'm glad that you could share in this trip with us.
To the team, who finally gets the chance to read the blog. We love you and are immensely proud of you. You served with all of your hearts. You loved richly. You did all the right things. You never complained. Thank you for being amazing and inspiring young people. It has been an honour to share this experience with each and every one of you. True.
With the fullest of hearts,
Austin, Ryley, Kim, Tyson, Taylor, Sarah, Terry, Emma, Kaden, Adonica, Jaima, Bobbi, Taryn, Ali, Whitney, Nicole, Taylor, Jackson, Jesse, EJ, Jake, Brett, Corwin, and Kristin
PS... a special Birthday shout out to Adonica today. Love you girl.