I’m impatient and stubborn. I suppose it is something that I was born with. As I child, I remember sitting in the car, stomping on the horn trying to rush my mom to go to the beach. Mind you anyone that knew my mom, knows that she was always an hour late. I think it was God’s way of trying to teach me patience back then. But as often happens, the lessons you refuse to learn you get to learn over and over.
There are certain things that you just can’t rush, like the tomatoes in my garden that have not turned red yet, or baking a cake (when you try, the outside burns and the inside remains raw).
Yet still there are those things in life that your dream about, then put on a shelf, or maybe even forget about entirely. Then, several years later, you find yourself doing exactly what you said you wanted to do. That happened to me. When I was a young mom I used to work out to Denise Austin on T.V. She was an instructor from my hometown who would go to different resorts around the world and teach fitness. I remember saying, “I would love a job like that.” Three years ago, while on my very first Fitness Vacation Exchange, I was walking down the street in Playa del Carmen and the light bulb went off; God had put this dream in my heart 20 years ago and without even knowing, He brought it to pass. I was teaching Aqua Zumba and Zumba at a resort in Cancun, Mexico and sending other instructors to resorts to do the same.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Thirteen years ago, my husband and I were walking the beach and he shared with me his dream. He wanted to have a bed and breakfast for “burned out” pastors. A place that pastors and their wives could come to rest, reflect and recharge. As a pastor, he’d been there and understood the demands of the position and the need to get away and connect with the Lord. His dream, like mine, was put on the shelf, and then God, in his glorious timing has opened the door.
A few years ago we moved to Cozumel, Mexico to serve as full time missionaries. We fell in love with the people. God has given us a passion for them that rivals our youth ministry days. We train up local pastors for ministry. We serve the local congregations in various ways, train and love people in the gym and dance world, practice and teach sustainable agriculture, aquaponics and soon beekeeping. We have chickens, turkeys, parakeets, a dog, tilapia, fruit and vegetable gardens and as mentioned above, bees. Like many things that one delights in, we want to share our world with others. The Lord has put it on our hearts to welcome pastors and their wives for a retreat that will hopefully serve as a spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual catalyst.
There are several different options, but they would all begin with a delicious, homemade breakfast with ingredients straight from the farm; eggs, turkey bacon, fresh fruit, breads and coffee. After breakfast, you can chose to relax at the pool, take the bikes to the beach for a snorkel, paddle board, workout at the gym or do aqua Zumba. All activities are led by members of our Christian communities. You can go on a historical excursion, tour, scuba dive, take a Spanish class, assist in an outreach, help at the orphanage or Sober Living House, learn aquaponics, sustainable agriculture techniques or do nothing at all. This retreat is designed for you to learn and experience something new. It is our goal is to help meet pastors’ needs, and provide an environment for them to rest, recharge and learn something about Mexico and its greatest treasure – the people. Please contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
In the photos below: Turtle Rescue, Horseback Riding, Pool, Outreach, Snorkeling,Beaches