Greetings! It’s Wednesday evening here in Belize and as I listen to the frogs and bugs talk outside and look at the Gecko (not geico) on the wall in the living room I am reminded again that I just love this country. We are so blessed to be here. We have had a very full week this past week.
On the work front….
I have had the incredible opportunity to meet with pastors for the last two or so weeks. The pastors and I sit down and they share their heart for ministry, their testimonies, and what they feel are the challenges for the Belize church and the needs of their local community. I then get to talk to them to learn how a Praying Pelican Missions team can serve them and encourage them in the ministry that they already do. Two quick stories:
- Invitation – I was sitting down with Pastor Gillet in Belize City and he was sharing about the largest problem in his mind is the lack of men in the church because of their perception that soft men go to church. He said to combat that he started having a breakfast for men once a month in the city where working guys get together, shoot the breeze, and then someone shares a brief testimony. Pastor Gillet extended an invitation to me and asked if I would share my testimony. So last Saturday I was able to sit down with about 15 men, many of whom don’t go to church and think that God cannot redeem them from a life of alcohol or sin. I was able to share my testimony of my own redemption through God’s grace and then answered all their questions (and boy where there a lot of questions). What a blessing it was to encourage the pastor in this ministry and have the audience with these men!
- Sharing – I sat yesterday with a man of God, Pastor Magna. I asked him to share his life story and at the end of it, Burton, a coworker of mine who knows Pastor Magna really well said “Pastor I have never heard that story before.” I was blown away that Pastor Magna felt comfortable, safe, and secure enough to share the intimate details of his personal testimony with me and Burt. Praise God for these opportunities!
On the home front….
We had a great week! Amy made her first batch of stew chicken which was excellent! I can’t wait to try it again! Also, just tonight she made homemade icecream! She is full of fun ideas for Madeline and Joseph. This past weekend we had a full calendar.
- Thursday night – Pastor Mark and his family came over for Amy’s chicken and dumplings. It was soooo great to have people over at our house and fellowship with friends. We look forward to many more nights like that!
- Friday Night – We had a date night in the city AWAY FROM THE KIDS! Our sweet friend Jenecia babysat and we went for burgers and ice cream
- Saturday – was a slow rest day and we watched college football.
This next weekend is full too. Amy has a women’s night on Friday night. Saturday she is going to a Baptist Women’s conference for all the Baptist churches in Belize. And Sunday I am going to be teaching a portion of Pastor Ed’s Children’s Ministry Teacher’s training. Hopefully, Friday too we will take Amy over to the youth hostel to talk about volunteer / ministry opportunities once / month! We can’t wait to share with you all about our weekend.
How God is teaching us?
It really seems that I am doing a lot of study on prayer right now. I am reading another book from Pastor Bradham (Red Moon Rising) about a 24/7 prayer movement. People all around the world in prayer rooms all around the world are praying 24/7 365. This model was loosely based off of the Moravians who prayed for 100 years nonstop! I have taken this challenge / conviction on prayer quite seriously and I am working to up to praying nonstop without interruptions or distractions for 1 hour every day for a year. Just yesterday and today I prayed both days for 30 minutes straight.
Quick Math Lesson
- 1 hour / day X 365 days / year = 365 hours
- 365 hours divided by 24 hours/day = 15 days or 2 WEEKS!
We are expecting God to move but we don’t spend enough time talking to Him about it. We expect answers but we are not petitioning. Even our church services are skewed toward music and preaching when there are more references to prayer in the Bible than there are about music. Jesus himself taught on prayer not on praise and worship styles!
Stats Average American spends
- A minimum of 16 minutes on Facebook daily
- About 3 hours on average in front of the TV per day
Challenge – take a half hour from watching TV and facebook time for a week and spend those 46 minutes in prayer this week (note 46 minutes x 7 days a week = 5.3 hours in prayer!). See if he doesn’t transform your heart, mind, and life. Pray without ceasing and the Lord will draw near to you. As you pray, please share stories of how you are growing closer to the Lord and seeing him break down walls you thought were not possible and reveal himself to you in ways you only dreamed.
Praises and Prayer Requests:
AND…If you think to yourself well I don’t have anything to pray for, I wanted to provide you with our prayer requests for the week Only Belize prayer requests this week.
- Eustace –Praise: they had their second granddaughter this past weekend. Eustace is one happy man right now! Continue to be lifting up his job situation.
- Pastor Ed – teacher’s training is this Sunday. He has 94 teachers registered, representing 40 churches. Please be lifting up the details for Pastor Ed and his team!
- Nurse Lupe – I met with her on Monday. She shared with me that her son was murdered in June of this year and she is still grieving.
- Pastor Magna – He lost his mother three weeks ago after a third severe stroke. Pray for him and his family as they grieve through that as well.
- Pastor Pop – I just sat down with him today. He is going blind due to an eye condition. He cannot work anymore and he and his family live off of <$100USD / month. He needs 300 USD for an eye operation to save his sight. Pray for the Lord to provide these funds for him to receive this life changing treatment so he can work again.
- Men – Men simply don’t come to church. They think church is for the week. Pastors are trying to change this mindset. Pray for a shift in mindset for these men. Pray for healing in the homes. Pray for men to honor their wives and not spend the nights out with other women. Pray for people to realize you don’t go to church when you have given up your life; you go to church to receive life to it’s fullest
- Pastor Mark – He has been asked to lead the Belize Baptist Association’s effort to reach men in Belize. He is weighing that assignment and request. Pray for wisdom as he makes his decision on accepting this position.
- Women’s Conference – Pray for this to be an opportunity for the women who hold up many of the churches to be encouraged. Pray for Amy specifically that she would be able to find community amongst these women of the Lord and find people who she can be in accountability with.
Other highlights of the week for the kids…because I couldn’t NOT write these:
- Madeline’s best friend is Jesus…she tells us that often
- Jojo is officially cruising around on furniture
- Jojo is saying “ball, dada, mama, uh-oh, and thank you”
Thank you for your continued notes of encouragement and love. Please share stories from your prayer times this week. Check my facebook and twitter as I keep y’all posted on my prayers! Draw near to the Lord and he will draw near to you!
Because They Haven’t Heard,