So I like to consider myself a life-long learner. I do enjoy reading and developing new skills. By no means am I an Andy (who takes learning to new heights as he “masters” them). His mastery is something to behold as he purchases top-of-the line equipment or more correctly purchases materials to make top of the line equipment.
No I like to learn by reading new books or trying to change my hand-writing style or learning to play basketball left-handed. A life-long learner for sure.
There are some things that I have come to accept as “nothing I can do about it.” Take learning the guitar as an example. I love the guitar. I love the sound of the guitar. I love listening to the guitar and vocals in particular in worship as co-workers of mine play it (mainly Lorelee, Buda, or Ashley Rocke). I in fact would love to play the guitar. I have a guitar. I have tried to play it. I can even read music. Just at this time in my life, learning to the play the guitar….well “nothing I can do about it.”
One of my favorite things to learn about is …. Belize. And this time of year is my primary learning season. Over the last few weeks God has opened my eyes to the needs all over Belize. I was at a crossroads. I can respond as I learn the needs of this wonderful country OR I could look into a Pastor’s eye and say “nothing I can do about it”
And more importantly THE LORD has “learned me” in what I can do to equip our Praying Pelican Mission teams to meet these needs. Over the next couple of weeks, I would like to highlight some of those needs here and the opportunities our teams have to meet them. Here is where I was convicted and how the Lord spoke to me:
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ – Matthew 25:40
Clean Drinking Water
I know we have all seen the pictures of distended bellies and orange hair on young children. Those pictures are only from Africa or another “3rd world country.” I thought to myself surely that problem of clean drinking water isn’t here in Belize. I mean this is a developing country, only 350K people in total population. But there I was last week listening to Pastor Elizabeth in the Cayo district telling me about a community her church serves…Boiton.
Boiton, a community of 60 families. A community where there is no electricity or running water. A community where elderly, parents, kids, everyone, drinks from the stream. A stream that’s dirty with ….well you can imagine with what.
When I asked the Pastor what the number one problem was for her community, she immediately with tears in her eyes told me malnutrition for the children of Boiton. When I asked her what specifically the problem with malnutrition, she mentioned me to “the water is dirty.” When I pressed more, she then let me know about children, young children drinking this river water. I was shocked. Distended bellies here in Belize?!?
As Pastor Ed and I left, my mind immediately went to fresh-water drinking wells (ya know the kind you drill in the ground). Surely that would work. Or large scale purification systems. I went on Facebook and asked around about slick water purification systems and you all responded (thank you by the way).
I saw Pastor Ed the Saturday after our visit and counseled with him. What can we do? He said often the best answers are the simplest. He said we don’t have to make the situation PERFECT, we just need to improve it.
Rain water. Many many people here in Belize drink rain water. For $115 USD, we can provide one family with a 120 gallon rain barrel. Another 50 USD for lumber for stand, some screening, and funnel from the gutters to the top. That’s approximately 150 USD per family for a life change of collecting rain water.
150 USD could potentially change the course of a Boiton family’s life.
So what? If there’s one Boiton in Belize; there has to be another one.
As these needs come up, I feel compelled to show that they are real. I am spending time now developing a ministries options handbook for our teams that serve in Belize. The ministry options would surround the following:
- Meeting real concrete physical needs in a sustainable way: – Serving the least of these
- Food – chicken coups, gardening,
- Clean Drinking Water
- School Fees
- Ministerial Training – equipping for the works of the saints
- Worship Leading
- Youth Ministry
- Evangelism, etc
- Vocational Training – teach a man to fish
- Trade Training
- Computer literacy
- English as a second language
- Literacy for English and Spanish speakers
More to come on each category at least for sure. But for now I continue to desire to serve the least of these and equip our teams to serve the least of these because when they do they are serving the Lord. As I learn…more to come.
- Pray for the community of Boiton. Pray for good health and for the team that is serving there this spring.
- Sickness in our home – We have recovered from the stomach bug. Now Madeline has croup that then has turned into a bacterial infection! Pray for healing!
- Parental Patience – Jojo’s favorite word is NO. Pray for me and Amy.
- Pastor Ed’s Training – Next week P. Ed and his team are leading a children’s ministry training for 70+ churches representing approximately 10,000 kids across Belize and Central America. Pray for logistics. Pray for rest for Pastor Ed and his team after this is complete.
Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your support. We look forward to sharing with you more needs of Belize and specifically how the Lord is leading us to help get those needs met! These are exciting time and the best is yet to come!