On New Year’s Eve our three churches in Orange Walk District met together to celebrate God’s grace and to rejoice in a new year. The event was held at Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in San Jose, Belize.
Different ministries from the churches gave presentations such as singing a hymn or sharing Bible verses – including the woman’s group and the children’s Sunday school. Ray was invited to speak from God’s Word and gave a message from Rom. 13:11-14. Afterward, God’s people gathered to eat tamales and coffee. Please pray for God’s continued work among these three churches.
We recently held a day-long retreat for the women leaders in the Presbyterian Church of Belize. Dawn Sweatt from the Belize Project had the idea to set aside a day to encourage and refresh the women leaders in their personal life and in their ministry. We shared food, sang, had games, a craft and a spa. Michele spoke on the theme Beholding the Beauty of the Lord (Psalm 27:4) and how God prunes us so that we can have the capacity to see enjoy Him in His beauty, Here are some pictures!
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.
WIll Belize need to print new money? One of the world’s more interesting and beautiful flags, although harder for kids to draw! It is full of important symbolism for this new nation. I love the mahogany tree on it, showing how they value their amazing natural resources.
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.
Cerros Mayan Ruins. Only a small percentage of the compound has been excavated.
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!