I am writing this update while watching Breaking Bad. Tried on the Wii but it didn’t work. Currently trying on the other computer that is on its way out and we will switch to watching it on my phone. Its OK to have first world problems in a developing world country right? I digress but did desire to show you our humanity.
So one of my favorite memories as a kid is going to Carowinds amusement park in Charlotte, NC. I distinctly remember when they put in the Wayne’s Word roller coaster. It was all wood and creaked around every corner and moved fast. Most of all it played Jimi Hendrix and other bands I was in to during my hippy phase (all pictures have since been destroyed). And as you waited in line you watched scenes from the movies.
Here is one of my favorite scenes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FucbvoFFy0
“We’re not worthy” – that’s really how I have felt over the last month as I have been entering into this season of work. And that’s how God is teaching me…..
Work-wise the fall season is the time that I get to meet with all of our ministry partners (pastors, orphanages, schools, etc.) to get feedback on the current year and prepare for the next. As colleagues of mine were covering the North and South of Belize, I was set to cover Western Belize and in and around Belize City.
First of all, it is a true blessing to sit with these leaders of dynamic churches / ministries here in Belize. I mean a ridiculous blessing. Who am I to sit with men / women who have been in ministry for 10, 20, 40 years serving and sacrificing everything to further the kingdom in their village. All because a CALL.
The thing with Belizean pastors is that they are bi-vocational. They work a full – time job (which in Belize means that they do whatever they possibly can to provide for their family) and then they do ministry at a church where they receive no financial compensation often. All for call.
The thing is I get to sit with these men and talk about ministry, their life, their families, and how I can bless them. We talk. We pray. I talk more than I should but try to listen to them share their hearts and what God is doing. This time is more than a blessing, I am not worthy for sure.
Often times I will hear story after story of excitement from one of our teams this past year. Here are some stories from just this week
- At Ladyville Baptist where a family team did a ministry called Breaking Bread and ate lasagna in people’s homes, the church is still having people in the community talk about that and they have had 2- 3 new families join.
- At Omega – I met with a Pastor and she told me that 20 children made decisions to accept Christ during a VBS that one of our teams had the pleasure of partnering with their local church on.
- In Armenia – where I watched a Pastor respond with a Tiger Woods old-school fist pump when I told him that the team that served his church this summer is returning
And that’s just from this week! It is as if God is showing me just a small bit of His Glory from all these celebrations from this year.
Celebrations and the planning. I listen as pastors pour out to me the needs of their area or how they are struggling or their vision for the ministry and then I somehow am put in the position to figure out how we can partner with them.
I tell God I am not worthy. But He answers me,..
You are not worthy but I am.
God I am not wise enough to answer these questions. You’re right Josh but I am.
Listen more, pray more, My grace, mercy is sufficient for you in this situation.
So I listen more
- As a pastor in Democracia, a particularly challenging place to do ministry, that there is a rich fertile ground “good soil” for the Word where he lives (about 10 minutes up the road). I listened to him and then was able to suggest that our teams help plant the Gospel in Fertile soil in the Spring. I am not worthy God, you are.
- As a pastor in Trial Farm tells me about the sustainable ministries of duck farming for meat and sewing. I feverishly take notes deeply desiring to take sustainable ministries at his church to the other churches we partner with.
- As a pastor in Cayo weeps for her children in an area where they drink river water and don’t have any basic medical care. She and her daughter were weeping for the kids they serve. I was able to look at them and say “God has heard your prayers. We are going to bring a medical team to your village this Spring.” The pastors joy can only be described as something of the Lord. God you are so gracious to show me this!
You see we are not worthy. I am not worthy to be sitting and doing this. To be sitting and listening at the feet of your servants. I am not worthy to speak into them, to encourage them. The Lord answered me clearly he says “you ARE worthy because I AM and I AM with you”
So here I go relying less and less on a sinful-self and more and more on a wise, gracious, and merciful Savior. I am worthy to be doing what I am doing during this season because HE is in me. Praise God!
Prayer Requests – Personal:
- Family sickness – We are battling a week long stomach flu. It has gone through all members of the house. Pray for healing!
- Volunteering – Amy is volunteering at Madeline’s preschool next week. Pray this goes well and is a blessed time for Amy and Madeline.
- Quiet Times – I am reading through the NT with my co-workers. Pray for the discipline for me to finish and for the kids to SLEEP IN in the mornings so I have the BEST time to read
Prayer Requests – Belize
- Praise – I had the awesome opportunity of leading a trip this past week where we had 1 participant and 2 others accept Christ! Praise God for life-change!
- Cars – We are in a bit of a need here currently. Pray specifically for a 4 door truck for our family! Pray the Lord would open up opportunities for us to get that. If you know of anyone getting rid of one, let me know.
- Kids Ministry Training – Pastor Ed is holding a training in 3 weeks for 200+ children’s ministry workers from 70+ churches representing 10,000 kids all over Belize. Pray that this training is a time of equipping, encouragement, and celebration for how God is changing Belize one child at a time.
Thank you for your prayers and your encouragement. Continue to write us as you can, as we cherish the communication. We can’t wait to share how the Lord continues to use us to impact this country, his Kingdom. We know we are worthy because He IS!
Some pictures from this past week trip leading: