The kids and I had the opportunity to be in a school parade for Belize Independence Day today! This was definitely our kids’ first time being in a parade, and for me as well, other than maybe when I was in marching band as a kid. The last two years the parade had to be cancelled for Covid, so this was an extra special time. All the kids were excited as they made decorations all week long. Our youngest went as a toucan, which is Belize’s national bird. The teachers and administration of Presbyterian Day School did a splendid job of making it both fun and educational, as the kids learned Belizean history and learned to value the importance of freedom.
Belize was formerly a possession of Great Britain. They won their independence on September 21, 1981, making them a very young country! They are still a part of the British commonwealth, meaning that the day of the Queen’s funeral will be a day off for schools and banks, to commemorate her important influence nationally.
Please pray for the great nation of Belize! Pray for a great work of the Holy Spirit, that our churches would be full of passionate worshippers of our Triune God!
This week was a special week for many families in Belize. After being mostly closed for in person learning for two and a half years, the elementary schools in Belize began again with full-time, in-person learning. Our children attend Presbyterian Day School in the village of Cristo Rey. They were able to take the bus, buy lunch in the cafeteria, play with friends, and learn in class with their teachers. School may have been a taken-for-granted reality for many generations, but it is welcomed and appreciated this school year!
Presbyterian Day School was founded over 40 years ago by MTW missionaries. Education is an important key to economic development, and even more important is the spiritual training of children to know God and His Word. PDS has been faithfully fullfilling this mission here in Northern Belize.
Since the founding of PDS, 7 more Presbyterian school have begun in Belize. There are 4 elementary schools, 2 stand-alone preschools, and a high school. One of our sons is at the high school. Please pray for all of these schools to be used greatly by God to help raise up committed and knowledgeable young people who will one day be leaders in the church and the nation!
Due to several factors the children of Faith Presbyterian Church had been meeting outside. This month we were able to designate a classroom for children’s Sunday School! Praise God that the little children have access to God’s Word and may the Lord work in their lives for His glory.
This newly released infographic explains the mission, vision, values, and norms of our missions agency, MTW (Mission to the World), which is the missions agency of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). Please pray for the spread of the message of the gospel to every people group, tongue, tribe, and nation and that God will call many to salvation in Christ and that the Lord will build His Church for His glory!
Since our son is visiting from the U.S., we decided to take my day off to travel to a historical site in Belize. Cerros is an ancient Mayan site inhabited for a few hundred years before and after the birth of Christ. We drove about 40 minutes from home on mostly dirt roads and had to cross a river on a ferry to reach the site. As far as I know, it is the only Mayan ruins site located along the seashore. This must have been a beautiful place for the Mayans to work and live.
For much of history the Yucatec Mayans living in and near Belize were an unreached people group. Thankfully today there are believers and churches among Mayans and their descendants. In our village the older generations still speak Mayan in the home though most of their children and grandchildren speak Spanish and English. We can thank God for the salvation of many among the Mayans and continue to pray for many more Mayans as well as other Belizeans to come to know Christ.
Please be praying for the launch of our first course of the newly revamped Reformed Leadership Institute of Belize, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church in Belize. We are asking the Lord to bring us many students from our congregations, whether congregants, leaders or church officers. It will be an online course with students watching videos and using a study guide during the week in preparation for a group discussion at our “learning community” meeting each Saturday at 5pm Belize time. Our first course will study the Apostle’s Creed and will last 10 weeks. Course content uses materials provided by Third Millennium Ministries, a Reformed ministry aimed at providing free theological education to all nations. May God be glorified and may the students learn and grow in the faith!
A few weeks ago the Presbyterian Medical Clinic welcomed a team of medical professionals and other volunteers to set up an outdoor mobile medical clinic. The team came from various cities in the U.S. and served many people from our region. Note that most of the video is in Spanish, but if you don’t understand I think you’ll get the picture! The presentation in the middle is given by Arturo Ku, chaplain of the clinic. He points out that this team has come after two years of not being able to visit due to the pandemic. They are a group that sends a team a couple times a year if I’m not mistaken.
This year the group brought physicians from a variety of medical specialties and backgrounds. There was even a cardiologist, which is really super as specialists are in demand. There were also surgeons who had come with the group and operated on several people at the local hospital – a needed service for many who cannot afford to pay for such expensive medical needs. Please rejoice with us in giving thanks to the Lord that He brought these folks down here and may it open doors to share more about the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Everyone has an opinion about why any given church may not be growing. You may hear that they need to get a worship band that plays modern choruses. Or you may hear that they need a pastor that can preach dynamic sermons. But what about prayer? What if the reality is that the church is in decline because of the faithless, prayerless hearts of the people?
I remember when I was in high school the church I grew up in began meeting for daily early morning prayer meetings. They didn’t always have high attendance but there was always a faithful few. It continued a few years later when I was church secretary and I could attend very conveniently before beginning work. That church even all these years later is a growing, thriving church. Sadly, sometimes people look at the churches that are growing and try to copy what they do well, but without really understanding what was happening behind the scenes. It is our prayer for the Presbyterian Church in Belize is that it would be a praying church. We would love to see our prayer meetings full of people. But I believe that God will answer the regular, committed and passionate prayer even of a small group. Our churches here are in need of a revival. There is often low attendance at Sunday worship and so many of the adult children of believers are no longer in the church. A group of just 5 pastors minister among the 15 churches. Would you be willing to pray for the small country of Belize, that God would do a great work here? That He would call more pastors, and that our members would be passionate and comitted to Sunday worship? We long to see lives transformed by the Good News and know we need a supernatural work of God’s Spirit.
Every Lord’s Day we have the privilege of going out to Orange Walk Town to worship the Lord with faithful saints from Faith Presbyterian Church! This is our second worship service of the day since we also serve another church in the morning.
Faith Presbyterian also has a school ministry which shares the same property. New Life Presbyterian School provides a quality, Christ-centered education for preschool and primary children in Orange Walk.
The musicians from our church in San Pablo graciously serve helping with music in both the morning there as well as helping to transport equipment and lead worship music in the afternoon in Orange Walk.
It is a blessing for Ray to be able to lead worship and to preach from God’s Word each Sunday at Faith Presbyterian Church! And God has opened doors for Michele to teach the children Bible lessons along with one of the women from our morning church. Please be praying for the congregation there. This is a church which has been around for a while but has had its ups and downs. God is doing a new work there as Christ is exalted and we are praying for church revitalization and for God to open the doors to reach out more to the surrounding community. There is a core of committed believers who desire to worship our Triune God and who wish to see a vibrant Reformed and Presbyterian church proclaiming the light of the Lord Jesus and baptizing and discipling men, women and children from all backgrounds (Matt. 28:18-20).