There’s no place like home….fortunately for us and our family that is where we are. Belize just feels like home to us. We aren’t sure when it started probably for me it was sometime this spring or summer, for Amy it started when we received our household goods. I KNOW that it continued when we got internet and felt like we could freely communicate with our friends. And now we are starting to get a routine to our days and make new friends here as well. Sure there are challenges and definite frustrations, still getting used to the heat, the Belizean pace of life is a thing to adjust to as well (especially for two adults who are doers) but we are really feeling at home here which is we know only from the Lord.
Man we had a full weekend and start to this week. For starters….
- We got internet on Friday! YAY!
- Then Saturday we went to Orange Walk to visit Pastor Ed Perez and the children’s ministry that the Lord has laid on his heart.
- Let me take a moment to explain to you how dynamic this ministry is and revolutionary to the country of Belize. Pastor believes that he can change Belize and all of Central America one child’s life at a time. The Lord gave him that vision and he started in June 2011 hosting kids every Saturday at his house for games and Bible story. That grew into what is now 3 children’s ministry sites with between 120 – 150 kids every Saturday. Pastor has held training conferences for teachers from over 36 churches and trained over 200 teachers in what he has learned in doing children’s ministry. And it’s not just programming that is amazing (which it is on a budget of nothing at that!); it’s the organization and record keeping. They have information and track by hand every person who attended where they are on their spiritual walk, who their parents are, where they go to church, etc. It is amazing! In fact he is holding a teacher’s training in October where he is expecting 50 churches to attend with somewhere between 120 – 150 teachers! Praise God for this man!
- Saturday night we ate Fry fish, fry beans, tortillas and cake with Jenecia (a PPM assistant trip leader) and her sister and sister’s family. Amy, the kids, and I had a great time! They had a 2 year old Xander that Madeline played with the whole time (well when she wasn’t eating fresh tortillas….we lost count after she ate the fourth one)
- Sunday – we headed to the Hattieville Park thinking that we were going to go watch a futbol game but it ended up being the day for the Hattieville Carnival (think Rio de Janiero Carnival, big costumes, loud music, dancing games). We stayed for a little bit and grabbed some BBQ for dinner that night. Carnival was an experience that’s for sure! We then went to church that night to listen to our friend Pastor Mark bring it!
- Monday – after taking Amy around in the city for groceries and touring we came back and our neighbors invited us over for dinner! So we ate with them!
As you all can see the Belizean hospitality is shining brightly. Amy and I are learning to make Belizean dishes. Amy learned to make powder buns from the women at church on Thursday night (think of a southern biscuit but with sugar and really flaky) and just this morning she made her first batch of flower tortillas! Our Belizean friends are teaching us to cook but have asked that we teach them our favorite American dishes. Please send in your suggestions for what we can teach our Belizean friends to cook (so far we have chicken and dumplings, snickerdoodle cookies, and meat loaf!)
- Are doing great. Madeline talks ALL the time. She loves to talk and ask questions. Her favorite questions are “What is your name? How old are you? And where do you live?” Joseph and Madeline play chase all the time in the house which is a riot to watch and they love 4-5PM every day when they have dance party while Amy and I fix dinner! Praise God for such amazing children!
How God is teaching us?
Amy and I are reading through Thessalonians together. As I read those letters I was amazed by the encouragement that the church provided Paul, Silas, and Timothy. The church was known throughout all of Macedonia. They weren’t known for their music or dynamic teaching or gimmicks; they were known by the love of Christ and their life change. Here is what Paul said…
- 1 Thessalonians 1:8 – your faith in God has gone forth everywhere…for they themselves report…how you turned to God away from idols to serve the living and true God
- 1 Thessalonians 1:7 – you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia
- 2 Thessalonians 1:3-4 – your faith is growing abundantly because of the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness in faith
I then thought back to the first church in Acts and how they were known through the region because of the love of Christ. And I was convicted and motivated. Praying Pelican Missions exists to encourage the local churches in the countries and communities that we serve. Encouraging the local pastors and churches is THE REASON our family is living in Belize. I don’t spend enough time thinking through what this means, not enough time in prayer over how to do this. I thought how awesome would it be if Hattieville Baptist Church was known from Belmopan to Belize City because of their love in Christ. How awesome would it be if all the churches in Belize were known for that? My prayer this morning and I ask that you pray with me is that the love of Christ would pour out of the churches in Belize and that the Lord would give our family the wisdom to encourage them to love more and more boldly, loving each other, real people where they really are and that Belize would catch the fire of Christ’s love through the local churches…just like Macedonia through Thessalonica.
Praises and Prayer Requests:
- Eustace – for our family to be an encouragement to him and his family. He is out of work and feeling down. Pray for Eustace to get a job that would allow him to continue attending Bible college.
- Pastor Ed – is holding a teachers conference in October. We are praying for 50 churches to be represented and 150 teachers. Also, he has asked me to share some of my kids’ ministry experiences as well at the conference…be lifting that up!
- Hattieville Baptist Church – For it to be a light to Hattieville for the love of Christ to flow out of them. Also, I am preaching this Sunday night at church so be lifting me up in my preparations this week.
- Pastor Mark Update – his family situation seems to have calmed down. He is getting ready to have some time off of work. Pray that this time is refreshing.
- Work – As I start to get my wheels going into work, pray for continued diligence and the appropriate work life balance (I tend to skew towards working too much). Write me and ask how I am doing in that!
- For accountability partners in Belize – Amy and I are searching for people we can have honest conversations with about how we are doing with everything on a weekly basis. Pray for wisdom as we meet people and start to seek those partnerships
- Support Raising– We are seeking to get more monthly supporters, either on board now, or pledged to be a monthly financial partner next year. We are praying to have 60% of our financial support come from monthly gifts by the end of next month.
- If you are interested in giving please follow this link – https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=ZZVK8FYCJXTS2
- If you cannot support now but want to pledge to be a monthly supporter next year, please email me directly at Joshua.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Crazy Granny – my grandmother, crazy granny as many of you know her as, fell and broke her hip. This is causing a great deal of anxiety and stress on my mom and dad. Please pray for my mom and dad that they would find time to rest in spite of this situation and that they would have wisdom in their decisions regarding Crazy Granny’s health care.
Thank you for your continued notes of encouragement and love. Amy and I read and cherish each one. We are so blessed to be home here in Belize! We love you all!
Because They Haven’t Heard