When Michele and I arrived in Belize we learned about the amazing work of God throughout the years here. As newcomers to this ministry, we have jumped into an ever flowing stream of gospel work for Christ’s glory where the past, present and anticipation of the future join together.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Tom and Helen Lacey were the first MTW missionaries to Belize and God used them tremendously for the extension of Christ’s Kingdom. Beginning in the early 1970’s, they were instrumental in helping start Presbyterian churches, Presbyterian schools and a Presbyterian medical clinic. As we visit these churches and the school where our children now study, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness and of the hard work and dedication of the Laceys.
Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc on the Bahamas, bringing death, destruction, and costly losses in its wake. There is a great need for continued prayer for those affected. May God grant comfort to those who have lost much and may they turn to Christ as the only hope we have in life and in death.
“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”
We give thanks to the Lord that MTW will be sending an assessment team there to determine how MTW’s Global Disaster Response can help in the days, months, and possibly years to come. The goal of this work of MTW is not only to aid in physical and emotional help for people who have recently gone through a disaster – an important and critical need – but also that God may open doors for the local churches to offer the hope of the Good News of Jesus Christ to all who will listen. God has a way of getting our attention after much suffering and maybe this is an opportunity for people to grapple with eternal life and death issues.
We will all appear before God someday to give account for what we did while here on earth (2 Cor. 5:10). None of us have fulfilled God’s perfect and holy law and so we have all sinned (Rom. 3:23). Thankfully Jesus fulfilled all the righteous requirements of God’s law on behalf of all who are united to Him by faith! Furthermore, He also took the just penalty due to them because of their sin and rebellion by dying an accursed death on the cross as a substitute – thus satisfying God’s justice.
Because God is just and cannot let the guilty go unpunished (Ex. 34:7; Ps. 1:5-6), He sent His Only Son Jesus to die the death of a sinner – even though Jesus didn’t deserve it (Jn. 3:16; Heb. 4:15). Jesus went willingly to the cross so that all who look to Him in faith may have eternal life and be reconciled to the Father (Col. 1:20-22; Jn. 10:17-18).
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
The Call family spent most of the month of July packing up, getting things ready to ship to our new ministry in Belize, selling furniture, saying goodbye to friends, sightseeing, and doing ministry.
The first week was really sad because we will miss this great nation of Uruguay and it is always hard to say goodbye. But we threw ourselves into the work, while seeking the Lord at the same time. As the month went on, we learned how to give thanks to God for our time ministering there and for all the fruit that God produced through the ministry of the Word.
God gave Ray the opportunity to preach at our church plant in Montevideo – Iglesia Presbiteriana Salvos por Gracia. It was a blessing to gather together with God’s people there once again! Michele was able to spend time with friends and leaders not only in the Presbyterian churches, but in the evangelical churches at large – other godly women who love the Lord and are serving Him in various ways.
We were pleased to hear that God is raising up leadership for the church plant as they announced their first elder candidate. He and some other men in the church have begun an online radio program, which carries quality content as well as a radio show where they deal with important passages in the Bible. Ray was interviewed and also gave a short devotional.
This trip was also a temporary reuniting with our dog Canela! She is a Boxer and we have had her since she was a very small puppy about four years ago. It was a sad goodbye as we adopted her to a nice family living on a farm out in the country. We hope to see pictures and videos of her enjoying farm life!
As we said goodbye to friends and brothers and sisters in Christ, we
also said goodbye to the city. What a beautiful city it is. We spent a
whole day downtown – mostly in Plaza Independencia and the old part of
the city called Ciudad Vieja. Aside from visiting a museum, walking the
streets, and buying souvenirs, we had a delicious lunch at Mercado del
Puerto – plaza with several indoor and outdoor parillas (grilled meat restaurants). Most of the family ordered the Uruguayan national dish: chivito.
This is a dish with a cut of filet mignon usually piled with lettuce,
tomato, egg, bacon, ham, and possibly other ingredients! The two options
are usually on a plate or in sandwich form. Ray opted for the grilled
lamb – all meat is grilled over embers from an open wood fire.
the Lord bless this city and may its inhabitants, as well as all the
people of Uruguay! And may they all hear the Good News of the Lord Jesus
Christ and be reconciled to God by grace alone, through faith alone, in
I (Michele) have spent much of my adult life filled with so many dreams and aspirations that I have thought I need several lifetimes to get everything done that I want to accomplish. I’ve dreamed of going back to school for a master’s degree, of learning to play a musical instrument well, of working as a lactation consultant, of devoting more hours to our ministry…the list goes on and on. This doesn’t even touch on the good deeds which I would like to focus on. This past year, with my 8th pregnancy and then time spent with baby Lucas needing to be hospitalized, I’ve actually added a new word to my vocabulary that has revolutionized my dreaming. The word is finite. Continue reading Finite→
Life in Montevideo can be challenging at times. We have had a big struggle with mold in our house during the cold and wet winter. It grows on many of our walls and ceiling – probably half or more of the walls were covered in mold. We were considering the cost of getting it cleaned and painted, when one day the owner came by with a painter and they agreed to wash and paint all the moldy areas.
Praise God that the walls have been painted, and please pray for long term mold solutions.
As winter in the Southern Hemisphere ends, the mold problem subsides – but we start to deal with mosquitoes and flies. This year there is concern that the mosquitoes may be carrying dengue fever and Zika virus. For our last two summers, we have not successfully been able to cover our doors with screens, and it is essential to keep them open for air flow. We have ordered some magnetic screens that tape on the door frame.
Please pray that we can keep the mosquitoes out of our house this upcoming Southern Hemisphere summer.
Winter seems to have descended early upon us in Uruguay. The weather has been cold and grey since the baby was born in mid-April. Although winter doesn’t officially begin until June 20, I have been watching the weather report every morning for over a month, waiting for a warm day, to no avail. Continue reading A Taste of Uruguay – Tortas Fritas→
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
We started 2014 by selling our belongings and moving out of our home in San Diego. As I write this, we have said our goodbyes, packed up our 29 foot trailer, drove east across this great nation and are staying in Alabama. Still to come are plans to visit Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Missouri, and wherever we have opportunities to share with churches and individuals about our ministry. We hope to be at 100% funding and ready to leave for Uruguay by July 2014.
No doubt about it, we have mixed feelings as we leave our home and family. And while we focus on the excitement and adventure that lies ahead, the truth is we wouldn’t be uprooting our large family if not for the call of the Gospel to preach the good news to all the World. We believe that God created this world, making man in His own image. Our first parents fell into sin, and we have inherited from them a world which is deeply marred by sin and evil. Indeed, we cannot escape the sin of this world, since we are ourselves sinners. Try as we might, we cannot keep the commandments that God gave to us. God is holy and our sin is offensive. But thanks be to Jesus Christ, who by his life, death and resurrection paid the penalty for our sin. He offers forgiveness and eternal life to all who repent and trust in Him for salvation.
It is this good news that makes selling all we have moving to a new continent worthwhile. We are taking a risk–we have no guarantee that this year will look like we expect; nor that we will be “successful” as missionaries once we arrive in Uruguay. But this Gospel is valuable enough to take risks as we seek to be Christian ambassadors. And we have many precious promises that Jesus himself is with us, caring for us now and will bring us to heaven when He ordains that our earthly lives are over. So in another sense, we are taking no risk at all.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
So we invite you to join with us on this journey. For those of you who share our Gospel vision, we covet your prayers. For those of you who want to follow our travels, we invite you in. We love to hear your comments and any questions.