A season of redemption

As I sit here on this Saturday morning at the Global Village hotel, I am nursing some poorly brewed coffee and listening to the chatter of all of our staff meetings.  This weekend we have about 200 participants coming to serve all over the country of Belize.  God’s redemption for this country is in full effect and we get to be a part of it!  We are truly so blessed!

I pop in and out the ear buds of worship and just sit in awe of the incredible staff team The Lord has assembled here in Belize.  God, you are truly up to something amazing.   Some celebrations from this past week of ministry.

Families Serving Together in Western Belize

This past week we had a team from Alabama (Roll Tide….or….War Eagle, depending on your perspective) serving in Western Belize.  This team was unique because there were several families serving together on the trip.  Throughout the week, brother served with brother, mother with father and parents with children.  The night of the last evening the team shared affirmations of what they observed in the each other throughout the week.  The Spirit was in the midst as sons affirmed their parents.  With tears flowing, these ‘bama boys spoke life into their mom’s and dad’s, celebrating what they saw the Lord do in them during the week.  Families that serve the Lord together, conquer the enemy together.  God’s redemptive work was on display!

Food for the Least of These

Texts come in like this every week -“We did 9 sacks of flour, 4 sacks of rice, and 4 sacks of sugar at the orphanage Bro.  Crazy stuff!!!” We had a team serve last week that was so committed to serving the least of these that they purchased almost 2 TONS of food for one of our orphanage partners.  The director was astonished.  He looked at our TL and said “we are the only facility right now in Belize accepting new residents.  We are averaging 4 new children a week and we were thinking through the food costs.  This is a HUGE blessing”

Sowing and Reaping

There are servants of God that serve God out of pure intentions.  Literally there are two such men in Belize that could be described as men after God’s own heart.  One is Eustace Pate; the other is Pastor Ed Perez.  They spend their life’s energy serving the Lord, serving their families and serving their communities.  Not once do they complain about their situation, living or otherwise.  This week they reaped from sowing.   Eustace had long dreamt of having a storage facility at his house for tools, so he could go around and bless people by fixing up their homes.  This week a team built his storage unit and gave a love offering to help start his tool collection.  And then there is Pastor Ed…his roof had been leaking for some time, and he redirected efforts to his teachers.  Each time we wanted to do something for his family, his house, he deflected that blessing somewhere else.  Either to the children of the community or those serving and working with them.  This past week a team rebuilt his entire roof and gave him a new bathroom!  Praise God for blessings being bestowed on these mighty men of God!

Another story from the week – at our house

Amy and I often look at our kids and ask ourselves do they get it?  Are they being shaped by being here?  Do they understand?  We see the kids through our eyes.  We hear the crying, do the punishing, and often times feel tired, discouraged and even defeated.

Well Madeline blew our minds this week.  This week Madeline comes up to me and Amy in the kitchen holding two Barbie-style dolls.  Not again I thought….what does she need?  What did Jojo do?  Here’s our conversation….

Me: Why are you crying Madeline?

Madeline: I have two dolls

Me: Yes that’s right honey.  What’s the problem?

Madeline: I have TWO!  Some of my friends have zero.

Me: That’s right Madeline.  That’s sad.  Some people don’t have toys.

Madeline: Well I am going to give one of my barbies to one of my friends.

Me: (after a moment of stunned silence).  Ok Madeline.  (I then explain that giving something to someone means that we don’t have it anymore and we can’t ask for it back).

Madeline:  I know daddy, I just don’t want my friends to be sad because they don’t have any toys.  I want them to be happy.

Me: Ok Madeline, pick which one and then you can give it to your friend at school today when mommy or daddy takes you. (all said with tears welling up)

Amy ends up taking Madeline to school extra early that day and Madeline grabs the toy to give away.  She runs inside the school and hands it directly to her friend, tells her friend it’s a present for her just because Madeline wanted her to be happy and have a toy.  And when I heard the story I promptly lost it….in fact is it a little dusty in here??

We are sowing all the time here.  Sowing, sowing, sowing.  With the kids we often don’t know that they get it.  This week The Lord gave us a glimpse of the work He is doing in Madeline, Jojo, and Elijah here in Belize!  Praise God for sowing and reaping. The Lord will use our children in way that we cannot even imagine to continue his redemptive work in all the world!

His work continues this week. The staff teams that I was watching earlier have all left.  The place is quiet now.  Teams are coming in. God, he is up to something.  He is redeeming Belize for His Glory.  Belize a light to the nations and the Key to Central America.  Thank you for being a part of what he is doing here in Belize, in our family, in our staff, in our teams, and throughout the whole country.  You are sowing.  I look forward to sharing with you the reaping of harvest that we see this summer!

Praises / Prayer Requests

  • Praise – Elijah gained 1-pound this past month!  It seems he is on his way to gaining some great weight!
  • Praise – First week of trips were great!  Staff are adjusting.  God is moving.  Miracles are happening.
  • Prayer Request – Continue to pray for Elijah to gain weight!  The boys needs to plump up some more.
  • Prayer Request – We have 200 participants coming into the country this weekend.  Pray for life-change among the participants and for God’s glory to shine in each of the villages we are partnering in.  If you want to follow along with the teams that are serving this week in Belize.  Visit our Trip Journal’s Page.
  • Prayer Request – stress for me, Josh.  Work is busy and causing some serious stress on me currently.  Pray for the stress to slow down and for me to be able to give it all to God.
Pastor Ed's roof (or lack thereof)

Pastor Ed’s roof (or lack thereof)

These two baking cupcakes for daddy's birthday

These two baking cupcakes for daddy’s birthday

He LOVES big people food

He LOVES big people food

Jojo at craft time at a VBS in Western Belize

Jojo at craft time at a VBS in Western Belize

Madeline swinging

Madeline swinging

We have staff dinners each week.  Last week's dinner was nacho bar

We have staff dinners each week. Last week’s dinner was nacho bar

The completed roof!

The completed roof!

Staff at last night's dinner.

Staff at last night’s dinner.

 

 

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