Tomorrow is the day

Tomorrow is the day that we get to meet baby Elijah. Amy will be induced in the morning and we hope to see him by mid-day.

Prayer Requests – 

Pray for FAST, pain-free labor.

Pray for a HEALTHY BABY!

Pray for LOW ANXIETY for BOTH of us!

 

For the rest of the update, please enjoy some of the pictures from last week!  We spent most of this past week going in between are we having the baby and visiting Pastor Ed in Orangewalk!

The team this week was able to break ground on Pastor Ed's children's ministry  training center.

The team this week was able to break ground on Pastor Ed’s children’s ministry training center.

Our wonderful family of 4 (almost 5)

Our wonderful family of 4 (almost 5)

At Wednesday's fair, Madelne's favorite station was candy.  Here she is checking out what's available

At Wednesday’s fair, Madelne’s favorite station was candy. Here she is checking out what’s available

Pastor Ed's son and I

Pastor Ed’s son and I

Madeline LOVED Mr. Gabe and playing rocket ships!

Madeline LOVED Mr. Gabe and playing rocket ships!

Pastor Ed and his wife.  THE POWER Couple of Children's Ministry in Central America

Pastor Ed and his wife. THE POWER Couple of Children’s Ministry in Central America

Officially past due Amy!

Officially past due Amy!

Bad parenting = not putting sun screen on your son!  Look at that arm

Bad parenting = not putting sun screen on your son! Look at that arm

Jewel of the Caribbean to the Key to Central America

Greetings from a much overdo (I know same ol’ song and dance) update.  I was literally hoping to be writing this update telling you all about the arrival of Elijah James….BUT, as I sit at my desk writing this update, Amy is laying in bed, lamenting that she is in fact NOT in labor.

So no baby.  But a great update…keep reading.

How has God been teaching me? – Jewel of the Caribbean to the Key to Central America

When the British came to Belize, discovered, founded it whatever, they were immediately taken in by the beauty of the country.  They were enamored with the crystal water, white beaches and massive mahogany trees.  Reports were flooding back into the motherland about the immense BEAUTY and GLORY of this Jewel of the Caribbean.

What does this have to do about what God is teaching me?  Well, I’m glad you asked.

I was sitting at church and chasing after Jojo and after giving up keeping him quiet inside, we went outside.  Jojo played and I was flipping through the minor prophets and stumbled on Haggai.  Take the time right now to turn to Haggai.

Waiting….

Don’t be a hero…..

Likely, unless you are a church-goer your whole life and a SWORD drill master (guilty – your’s truly), you don’t know where Haggai is in the Bible.

Anyway, the Israelites, after being in captivity, were tasked with rebuilding the Temple.  The same Temple that was pillaged, ransacked, and destroyed many years ago by the Babylonians.  All the “smart, skilled, talented, strong, etc” of God’s people had been put to death or forced into the king’s labor by the Babylonians at the time of initial capture.  So all that was left at this time was Zerubbable (side note….great name.  Amy still doesn’t think it would be a good middle name….UGH!) and others.

Well God tells them in Haggai 2:3-5

Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes?  Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts,  according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.

They had everything to be fearful of: ridicule, physical challenges, morale.  But the Lord said “Fear not….Be Strong…Work….My Spirit remains in your midst”   The Lord continues…

And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts.  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’” – Haggai 2:7-9

Well, Zerubbable and friends rebuild the temple and the Lord does restore the glory…more than the first.  In fact the the book of Haggai ends as follows….

I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 On that day, declares the Lord of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a[c] signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts.

The Lord placed HIS PEOPLE as the standard, the signet, the place for His Glory to dwell.  He brought them out of physical captivity and set them up and the Glory of HIS PEOPLE, CHOSEN to do HIS WORK….is GREATER than any physical glory of the Temple.

Back to Belize…

The British destroyed this land, they took a lot of the physical beauty away…animals, mahogany trees, eventually polluted beaches, people, etc.  Satan continues this day to destroy this land in new ways: breaking down families, drugs, gangs, violence, lack of male Christian leadership, etc.  Some of the Lord’s people here may feel in captivity to these forces.

However, Praying Pelican Missions is working to strengthen and encourage the local church to fight through to Fear not….Be Strong…Work….My Spirit remains in your midst” We have seen the Lord reward this steadfastness.  Listen up to what he has done…..

  • GLORY – Life-change – 283 people this summer have put their trust in Jesus as their Lord and SAVIOR!  CELEBRATE!
  • GLORY – NEXT STEPS – 6 girls have decided to be Baptized as a public declaration that they FOLLOW JESUS!  CELEBRATE!
  • GLORY – ENCOURAGE – Pastors have literally wept in gratitude and have BOLDLY PROCLAIMED their Village for Jesus! CELEBRATE!
  • GLORY – GROWTH – A ministry, after years of waiting, is breaking ground on a new building that will further the outreach from impacting 5000 – 6000 children annually to 10000 kids annually in 2 years!

The greatest blessing of this summer is receive report after report from our Trip Leaders.  Like the trip to Pastor Pop’s (modern day Zerubbable) where his greatest joy was showing the Jesus Film in Ketchie Maya to his village and the three others where he has planted churches.  Just last week in those villages when the group was there 150+ came to know the Lord!

We have had our fare share of trials…logistical challenges like showers not working, burst toilet pipes, food problems, physical problems – sicknesses, whatever.  But we have continued to work without fear….The Spirit remains in our midst here.

On the Home Front – Update / Prayer Requests

  • Baby – no baby yet. Next appointment is early next week.  Due date is THIS SUNDAY.
    • Pray for PAIN FREE Labor and HEALTHY BABY.  Pray for Labor Today!!
  • Help – Corinne, a family friend, is here for the month of July to help with the kids.  It has been GREAT!  Mom and dad come when Corinne leaves!
    • Praise God for such great friends and family willing to sacrifice and help!
    • Pray for Corinne and our family to have a great time in Belize and see God move in ways here they don’t get a chance to see in the States!
  • Tour de VBS – We have been traveling the country from VBS to VBS to do “crafts” as Madeline says.  It has been a blessing to hang out with some many wonderful people and have our kids loved on.  HUGE JOB PERK!
  • Next Steps – Amy and I had a GREAT date last night and began to lay out next year plan.  The Lord was in our presence last night as we both were filled with wisdom.
    • Pray for continued Wisdom and for clarity as we begin to implement what the Lord has laid on our hearts!
    • Financial Support – The Lord continues to bless us.  Praise GOD!  We are in a good spot right now! If you feel the Lord calling you to financially support us, please visit here: http://www.prayingpelicanmissions.org/donate.

On the Work Front Update / Prayer Requests

  • Trips – One more month until summer trips are finished
    • Pray that we Finish Strong.
    • Pray for protection from spiritual warfare!
    • Pray for our teams and local pastors to strive after God’s will and respond to His Spirit among us!
  • Life change – We began this summer praying for 100 people to choose Jesus.  I thought to myself that was a GREAT Miracle that only the Lord could do.  Fortunately, he has shown me “this is an EASY thing for the Lord”.
    • Pray for 500 people to come to know the Lord this summer!  We are already at 283!
  • GROWTH – We are having conversations about growth within Belize and outside of Belize in Central America
    • Pray that opportunities would be opened up and that we can move on those THIS FALL!

As we look to wrap up this summer and look towards next year, I believe more than ever the Lord is breaking through the kingdoms that are holding Belize back…broken homes, drugs, violence, etc and positioning in this country His GLORY to be displayed in LIFE CHANGE of HIS PEOPLE allowing them and the country to move from the former glory (Jewel of the Caribbean) to His new Glory ( the KEY to Guatemala to Mexico and to Central America).

Let’s CELEBRATE what the Lord is doing but Let us continue to EXPECT GREATER…Jewel of the Caribbean to the Key to Central America!

Jewel of the Caribbean.  Thanks for the pic Leah!

Jewel of the Caribbean. Thanks for the pic Leah!

Jewel!

Jewel! Thanks Leah again!

So thankful for Corinne!

So thankful for Corinne!

Jojo spitting mad game!

Jojo spitting mad game!

Playing in the mud!

Playing in the mud!

This kid is a nut

This kid is a nut

Craft time is Madeline's favorite time at VBS

Craft time is Madeline’s favorite time at VBS

Building sand castles

Building sand castles

This is Pastor Pop.  29 years old, planted 4 churches.  Last week in his villages 150+ people came to the know the Lord.  Pastors like Pastor Pop are how Belize will move from the Jewel of the Caribbean to the key to Central America

This is Pastor Pop. 29 years old, pastoring one church, planted and overseeing 3 other churches in surroundng villages.  Last week in those villages 150+ people came to the know the Lord. Pastors like Pastor Pop are how Belize will move from the Jewel of the Caribbean to the key to Central America

Heart full

So our last post was written with pictures of a mangled car and literally Amy and I begging God and anticipating that God would do GREAT things.  He spared Amy, protected her, to allow her no to allow us to do ministry.   Well let’s just say the Lord did NOT disappoint.

Over the last 3 weeks the Lord has literally performed miracles.  Stories of countless lives surrendering to him.  Just know that in ONE WEEK on Praying Pelican Missions trips 89 people proclaimed Jesus as their Lord and Savior! 89 people!

Why measure?  Perry Noble (who many of you know I have A HUGE bro-mance on) says “Every number has a name.  Every name has a story and every story matters to God”

I would like to share a few of the stories from the past few weeks (names have been changed).

  • At the Youth Hostel – The youth hostel is a home for teens who have broken the law and need some rehabiliation (think harsher than a boarding school, less harsh, only slightly than a prison).  Student mission trip participants went in and engaged the youth there.  They played dance music, played games, and then looked these youth directly in the eyes and asked “so how is it really going?”  One by one the hard facade of the youth peeled away and tears flowed.  Love flowed over.  In the end many of those same harsh, hard, delinquents were asking, begging to follow Jesus.  Our staff (admittedly jaded) had never seen anything like this before and immediately started asking our Belizean experienced staff and they literally said “we have never seen anything like this.  The only explanation is the Holy Spirit”
  • Mr. E in Armenia – We had a Tropical Depression two weeks ago.  It was WET.  Very wet.  Our team in Armenia was NOT deterred and we went out on home visits.  We stopped at Mr. E’s house who gladly welcomed us in.  Now Mr. E is a HULKING dude, 6 foot 5 and 260 pounds.  He also is black in a predominantly Mayan Village.  He was sharing that he wished he could go to church but didn’t feel welcomed.  The team invited him to service that evening.  We told him our pastor in Armenia would welcome him in.  We told him that we would welcome him in.  Mr E. came and as the Group Leader preached about the Lord picking us up out of the mire clay and placing us on firm foundation, Mr. E responded.  He surrendered his life to the Lord. This huge man, sobbing heaves, and inviting Jesus to take control.  He was around us all week and that’s not all.  After finishing the pastor’s house project, some of the team went out on home visits again and brought Mr. E.  Mr. E was able to translate from English to Mayan for two women.  Mr. E went from unsaved to sharing Jesus across languages in a matter of DAYS!!  AND THE WOMEN RESPONDED…Surrendering to the Gospel!!
  • At the Hospital and the bus driver!– A team was up north visiting patients in the hospital.  As they prayed with the sick and helpless, people brought them in closer and asked to know Jesus.  This especially touched the team’s bus driver for the week who asked how he could surrender his life to Jesus as well!!
  • Life-change in a day – From just this week.  There was a participant who admittedly was only on the mission trip for his “trip the the private island”  After just one day at Vacation Bible school with children crawling all over him, he tells the host pastor “I know it’s all about the smile of a child, I have never been happier than today”.  Life-change in a day!  Praise God!

 

And these are just SOME of the stories that we KNOW.  Literally life-change, unlike anything that ANYONE has ever seen in Belize!  Are we on the cusp of a revolution?  Is the Lord going to claim Belize as His NOW?  Where is this going?  I for one have no idea!  And I can’t wait to find out!  Thank you for praying!  Continue to pray!  We can’t wait to share with you more stories from this summer and the weeks / months to come!  You are an ENORMOUS part of what the Lord is doing here!

Great expectations and a full heart indeed!

Kitchen in armenia

Kitchen in armenia

Hugo our translator and mango grabber

Hugo our translator and mango grabber

Sweet Ruth

Sweet Ruth

Armenia 11

wet futbol

wet futbol