How do you celebrate what the Lord has done? In Joshua the Israelite community just built a stone altar. Amy and I have been digging in the yard to expand the garden, and we definitely could build a stone altar with all the rocks and such we have found. However, I think that’s probably a bit impractical for trying to celebrate with all of our prayer partners in the States.
I was able to write a couple of weeks back about the awesomeness of our family time, VBS travels, beach vacation and no kids vacation. We are still celebrating all the Lord did and is doing. I wanted to take this post and share via pictures and briefly updating some highlights over the past month.
The fact of the matter is that we are in a new season.
- With work
- Vision / Mission and Passion – I am starting to make my rounds and visit all of our ministry partners from the past couple of years. We are talking about how things went, how things are going currently, and where they are going in the future. It is so awesome to sit at the feet of these leaders and hear their passion in vision and mission for their church and their community. Then we put our heads together and talk about how we can partner with them.
- New Ministry Partners – Also with this time, we are identifying new ministry partners, all over the country. In fact just last week I met with the denominational leader of a Nigerian mission that sent this Nigerian Pastor to start churches in Belize. He has planted 14 Nigerian churches covering all the districts in Belize. And today I am preparing to visit some new ministry partners again, including a Korean church planter who has been serving in Belize for 25 years! Who knew Belize as a mission field for Koreans and Nigerians. They are just obeying….going to “their ends of the earth”. Celebrate!
- Facing Challenges head on – I sat one day with Burton in the car and I was lamenting the challenges of the local Belize church and specifically the Kriol Church in Belize. I was mentioning that I feel the Kriol church is dying and many of the youth are falling away and getting caught in the violence, drugs, and prostitution strong-holds around the city. Burton looked at me and said “I felt the same and you know what the Lord said? He said, ‘So what are you doing about it?'” Boom….it’s like he punched me in …well somewhere that it would hurt really bad. The fact of the matter was that I am not doing enough about it. I have the awesome opportunity to
- With home life
- Putting down roots – We are slowly putting down roots :). Amy painted a chalkboard wall for the kids. I purchased my first machete and file, and just yesterday we built some shelves. I think with the DIY projects at the house, we may have opened pandora’s box. I see the smoke coming out of Amy’s ears as she noodles more projects. It looks like there is a water collection barrel in our future, gutter cleaning, and several trellises for the garden. It’s been fun to be around the house to get some of this stuff done for her!
- Kids – Jojo and Madeline are 1 week away from starting school. We CAN”T WAIT! And Elijah is just Elijah
- Amy – has been praying for some time for “something to do” while the kids are in school a day or two a week. Just yesterday I had a meeting with the Youth Hostel and they are asking for someone to come and teach them gardening. God may have answered Amy’s prayer with this opportunity.
- Heart Issues – Madeline and Jojo have been playing at Bella’s and Christopher’s house recently. The first day they came home from their they told me all about it. Madeline was sad. I asked her what was wrong. She mentioned that she (Madeline) had many Barbies and that Bella didn’t have any toys. I asked Madeline what she was going to do. She asked for plastic bag and then proceeded to pack up two barbies and several dresses to give to Bella so she had some toys. Jojo then got a deck of cards and a couple of cards and then they wanted to go take those back to Bella and Christopher. Part of my human heart wanted to protect them. I wanted to say is this really the best thing? Are they going to take advantage of my kids? And then the Holy Spirit said “are you concerned about the things of this world? I am concerned with their heart.” And the reality is, my kids heart was broken for their friends, the same God’s heart breaks for His people. Madeline and Jojo were doing whatever they could to meet a need. Praise God and join me in praying for the same heart as them to address the needs The Lord reveals to me.
Praises / Prayer Requests:
- Praise – We are meeting a lot of exciting new ministry partners. Nigerian church planters, Korean church planters and pastors and leaders who are really pursuing God. Praise God!
- Praise- Madeline and Jojo heart to give and meet needs
- Prayer Request – For Wisdom for Amy in potentially pursuing this opportunity with the Youth Hostel to teach gardening.
- Prayer Request – Wisdom for me and Burton as we start to plan a pastoral conference to gather ministry leaders together and have Belizean leaders share vision and equip each other in ministry. Pray specifically that we are able to have unity in the leaders the Lord brings to us to present. And pray for open hearts to receive training.
- Prayer Request – Pray for our local church. We just got through with a week of praying for revival. Pray for unity among the church and that the church would not continue to just do things in the traditions of the past. – More on this in another post.
We love you guys! We are encouraged to know that you lift us up and Celebrate with us as we see God move and labor with us in The Gospel and Petition the Lord with us as we seek His direction, His Will, and His Glory here in Belize. We can’t wait to Celebrate more with you all!