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.
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!