So first of all, summer is over. Well, mostly….we have two teams leaving this weekend and our final team of the summer season starts Saturday.
All US staff have left.
Elijah has been born.
Mom and Dad have visited and left.
Life is starting to come back to normal…
Now the next couple of updates may be a mandatory personal update, answering all the questions about Elijah, the kids, etc. And a review of the summer. And probably a year in review (it has been almost a year that we have been in Belize!)
This summer we saw…
- 50 groups
- 1300 participants
- 30+ staff
- 400 decisions for Christ
- Over 20 Baptisms!
God was so good this summer. Please take a moment and celebrate what HE did. I am personally still processing what happened and praying through how this positions us for later this year (follow-up) and next year (sustainability). I can’t wait to hear personal stories from our local pastors on how they were touched and encouraged this summer in ministry.
Anyway….Patience…..just a little patience….(insert Axl Rose groan or extended “yeah” note: not Lil John YEAH.)
How God is teaching me?
Patience, almost impossible for us. One of the things that has shaped us this year and me personally has been patience. One of my favorite things about Belize is that you can go anywhere and someone will say “I’ll get that RIGHT NOW!” and “RIGHT NOW” means 30 minutes (minimum). Patience.
Our whole married life we have tried to control and not have patience.
- We wanted to hurry up and get pregnant – 2 years later we are pregnant with Madeline – patience.
- We wanted to hurry up and have Elijah – 1 week after his due date he comes.
- We want to hurry up and go somewhere and Madeline wants to pick flowers, Jojo wants to sing a song – Patience.
This week I had two awesome lessons on patience.
- Lesson 1 – Went to pay the internet bill and locked my keys in the IGNITION! No big deal except in Belize there aren’t any locksmiths! There was only one and he lived in Belize City and couldn’t get to where I was. 4 hours later, I got in the car and headed home. Not without a healthy dose of patience!!
- Lesson 2 – I went to go pick up Elijah’s birth certificate. We registered him at the hospital but I had to go to the department of Vital Statistics and pick it up. The process was turn in my receipt and they go find the certificate and give it to me. A couple of unfortunate problems…I was there with 200 other people, and there was NO PROCESS. I am talking stacks and stacks of receipts turned in to get copies of certificates and birth certificates EVERY WHERE! They were NOT in alphabetical order or by date or really organized at ALL!! 4 hours later, I was handed back my receipt and told they couldn’t find the birth certificate and to come back tomorrow! just a little patience….
I bet each one of y’all could think of a situation that happened yesterday that required just a little patience. Our lives are full of them.
Our lives as Christians are no different. We are always wanting God to move immediately. When we share the gospel, we want a decision immediately. When we pray for something, we want an answer immediately. Many times our demands, fits, etc are met with a lesson in patience. God answered me this week in two stories and it reminded me that all I need is some faith, obedience and just a little patience.
- Story 1: Amy and I have shared in this space that community is our BIGGEST challenge. We have struggled getting to know people and have a specific burden for men to come to the church. After speaking with pastors in the fall of last year, we felt that a home cell group was the way to reach these men. We have been praying since for the opportunity and support from our local church. 10 months later, just yesterday Pastor Mark and I sat in my car and he shared with me how he wanted to start a home cell group! I almost started weeping!!! God you are so good! Timing so wonderful! Just a little patience!
- Story 2: Last summer I led a trip to Pastor Ed’s church. I wrote about a block party that we did where a Hindu man from Ed’s village came to his house for the party because he liked the hip-hop (Lecrae) that Ed was playing. He asked Ed for that CD and Pastor Ed of course gave him that. Over the course of the year, the man’s daughter started to come to Pastor Ed’s Saturday children’s ministry. Pastor continued to run into the man, prayed for him to come to church, but there seemed no traction. The girl earlier this summer asked Pastor Ed when all of his services were. He shared with her about their Sunday service. Well two Sunday’s ago, Pastor Ed called me to tell me that the little girl and her whole family have been coming for over a month, including her dad who was Hindu! Praise God! Just a little patience….
As we finished the summer strong, it is my desire to push ahead for greater, bigger, more. I do pray for those things for sure. I pray for the launch into Guatemala. I pray for how the Lord is going to move in us and through us. But the Lord is teaching me to like Elijah when he waited for God in the stillness of a gentle breeze, to be patience. I am currently praying for more awareness of his calling, his prompting, his Spirit. I am praying for moments to “Be still and know that [He] is God” Just a little patience.
- New routine – we are going to start figuring out what our new routine is with me at work. Pleas pray for us during this time of transition. Pray for patience with each other and the children!
- Direction – Pray for professional direction for me. Fall is a time for me where I have the opportunity to work on a couple of different projects. Pray for wisdom and discernment as I move forward with a couple of those.
- Guatemala – Praying Pelican Missions may have the opportunity to launch into Guatemala next year. I have been working feverishly with Pastor Ed to get some information from potential ministry partners. Pray for doors to fling open wide!
- Cell Group – Pray for this cell group to take off. Pray for me and Pastor Mark to sit down and plan everything out by the end of the month!