Friday, August 13, 2010

Marcos and Sally and Santos: It’s beginning to look a lot like Church!

My friend Tyler is a one-on-one kind of guy. He walks in God’s favor. Twice this week, while the rest of us were beating the streets, he has been invited to sit and eat and drink while he shares his faith. Both times, in different villages, he was invited by Marco (different men, but this just shows you God’s favor on Tyler…he only had to learn one name this week!) to talk as long as he wanted and share more about knowing Jesus.

If you ask Tyler, he will tell you that God began showing him the message that He would use several months back. He has been preparing Tyler for this trip even before he commited to come. Tyler proclaimed truth to both men

The Lord moved in both men. The first Marcos appears to be close to the Kingdom. The second Marcos, a young 17 year old man, prayed to receive Christ as his savior today!

There are two things that should happen when you become a Christian. First you should find a church where you can serve and where you will be discipled. Second, you plug in to the work and mission of Jesus….reaching others who are lost.

So today, Marcos got to meet one of the church leaders, Santos. Santos is a Hispanic man, whose first language is Spanish just like Marcos. Santos is going to check on Marcos this week and invite him to come to a church service. First issue solved.

The second challenge for Marcos was difficult. How could we help Marcos get plugged into the mission of Jesus?

We used the School property for our team lunches and lesson time today. To say ‘Thank You’ for not throwing us off of the property, Tyler and I took Sally, the school secretary, a bottle of Coke. As we sat in the office listening to the lesson happening just outside, we struck up a conversation with Sally. The conversation turned spiritual pretty quickly (most of our conversations did this week) and the Spirit began to work. Sally didn’t make a profession of faith today, but the Lord was clearly at work.

After we left Sally’s office, Tyler walked down the street to Marcos’ house. Marcos has committed to follow up with Sally this next week. He will be finishing what was started today! Second issue solved.

I know that it is over simplified, but in one day we watched the church work: One man came to Christ, met a brother who would disciple him, and is involved in bringing in the harvest…isn’t that what the church is supposed to look like?

It was a good day.

How can you plan for somthing like THIS!

IF San Isidro were Barling, then Bella Vista would be Little Rock. Today we went to the Village of Bella Vista. It is a thriving metropolis of mixed cultures with an abundance of bars and even a house of ill repute. It is a prime place for our group to work. It is also a wee bit overwhelming!
Instead of walking one main street with a couple of cross streets like we did in the other villages, there are major roads running in all directions. There are feeder streets and main streets. Even though the streets are a little straighter than they are in the Fort, I got a little turned around. Instead of 100 kids like in the other villages, Bella Vista has 1020 students in their local school (we should pray for the local school, 33 teachers, 2 Administrators, one secretary and a “first aider” for all 1020 students!). According to the headmaster, they would have more students if they had the physical space for them. Instead of one little local store where we could pick up a cold Coke, there were two major markets where we could not only get something to drink, but we could purchase all the necessary ingredients for Taco Night.

Bella Vista is just bigger. There are more people. So when we set up our little operation in the corner of the school yard, we kind of thought we might see something different. We saw 182 kids! That was different.

At the end of last week, we sent word to this team that we needed to prepare for more children. Instead of bringing supplies for 40 like last week, we more than doubled (we were walking out our faith!) our craft supplies to be prepared for a cool 100 kids! That means that when we pulled out our crafts on the first day, we were only 82 pieces short!

We learned a few things today….
  • When doing evangelistic work, our willingness is more important than our supplies.
  • Jolly Rancher candy will take a child’s mind off of crafts for about 5 minutes.
  • If you throw a soccer ball out on the field, all the boys will chase it, leaving just enough girls to use up all of your craft materials!
It seems that sharing the Good News is not always a tidy, well planned out and executed event....sometimes it is simply getting the message out any way you can and leaving the results to the Lord. It helps to have Jolly Ranchers, too.

God's Blessings: Answered Prayers and Cold Cokes

We pulled into San Isidro this morning. The first stop was Adam’s house. Adam is doing much better. His color is back, his wounds are better, and he said that he was feeling much better. We encouraged him and Paul prayed for Adam. It appears that the Lord is working!

We spent the morning canvassing the village. We went from house to house inviting children to come to the “story time’, trying to learn names, and asking for pray requests.

This village seems a little different….we were a novelty in the village and everyone wanted to look at us, but, unlike our experience last week, the kids were shy and stayed back. Each of our groups (2 Students and an adult) was able to meet a student or two and make some invites. We had about 60 kids show up to our Bible Story.

It was pretty warm today. As we were walking the village, we found a “store’ and went in to do some “shopping.” After a brief conversation with our 12 year old shop keeper, I asked if there were any cold drinks. That is when I saw one of the most beautiful sights I have seen since being in Belize….there in the corner of her store was a chest freezer with cokes inside. They were perfectly chilled…when you opened the top of the Coke, the drink inside became an instant Coke slush. I am pretty sure that this is what we will be served in heaven!

God is working in Adam’s life. He has a plan for the people of San Isidro. There are cold drinks at a shop on the main street. I can’t wait to see what God has in store tomorrow!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Praise the Lord for Elsa!

by Charity Abernathy
August 11, 2010

Today was completely amazing. Yesterday, I met a little girl named Elsa. She was sweet and beautiful. She is six years old and once I talked to her she stuck to me like glue. I had never shared the story of Jesus, but today was a first. Actually this trip brought a lot of new things.

She was sitting beside me and I asked her what she thought of the Bible stories. “I don’t like.” she said. I asked if she wanted me to tell her a story. She nodded and I told her of the story of Jesus. I asked if she wanted to accept Christ and if she believed. She told me she wanted to accept and did. It was moving and I was so excited that I thought I would cry. I went to Katie and told her and we took Elsa to see Genyo. He spoke to her in Spanish and she responded and then he said she was ready.

I have never felt so loving towards someone as much as I love little Elsa and the children of San Isidro. Tomorrow, we are going to Bella Vista but I don’t think anything could top this!

A Students Perspective

by Andrew Futter
August 10, 2010
Today we had an amazing day starting with the morning. This consisted of waking up at 6:00 am after we got at out our place to stay at, at 2:00 in the morning. At 8:00 we had breakfast which had fresh pineapple, eggs, ham, & juice. IT WAS AMAZING!!! Afterwards we got ready for our day, wrote in our journals, and had our devotions. At 9:45 we headed to the village of San Isidro on our bus.

When we got there we wandered around the village for about an hour telling people what we planned on doing later that day. When 12:30 hit we had at least 30-35 kids and moms there waiting while we had our lunch. At 12:45 we split into our 3 groups that consisted of sports, bible story, and crafts. When I was telling the story about Adam and Eve today the number of kids grew to about 50. I did get nervous talking to kids that were from 4 to 8yrs old. But they were having a good time. After the lesson I asked questions and they would get candy in return for the right answers.

My second class went better because they were all guys and they were older and I could relate more. I still gave out candy which really made the kids happy. Then I went to go help with crafts and that was fun, plus I got to know the kids more. Once crafts were over I played with the kid that didn’t want to play soccer. I got to know one of the girls better who’s name was Elsa. She was so cute! All of the kids were so polite to us it was just amazing. It may have been busy but there is a brighter tomorrow.

...the new has come, the old has gone...


It is an odd feeling watching the team with which you served leave the country without you. It kind of feels like the one thing that you forgot was your own plane ticket. It was a good week. There were some trials and tests and frustrations along the way, but it ended well. We accomplished our task; we were able to build some relationships, bless the people, and share the Gospel. In the end, we know of one that accepted the invitation to follow Jesus. Please pray for Angelica.

We picked up the new team today…about 5 minutes after the old team went up the ramp to the boarding area, the second team came out of the immigration and customs area. It was a little bit funny to see so many people that I knew that were clean and their hair still looked good!

The plans for this group are a little different (flexibility is a good thing when on mission). It looks like we will be going to two villages with this team. We will see both San Isidro and Bella Vista this week. Thanks in advance for praying for the people of these villages.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Angelica: Praise the Lord

by Hannah Sagely

There are so many stories and lessons that all of us will return with from Belize. I, personally, could not have asked for a better experience. My expectation for this trip was that God would show me something completely new. Well, my concept of “new” has completely changed.

Our first day in the village of San Pablo didn’t go as smoothly as planned. The kids were out of control and there was frustration in some organization. We figured out that it was mainly the older kids that we could communicate with clearly, so we found a few girls that were able to help us out with the younger ones. Out of the 60+ kids that told me their name, there was only a handful that I could remember that first day. One of them was a twelve year old girl named Angelica.

When we returned to the village the second day, the kids showed us around the village and introduced us to some of their parents. A few of us in a group were walking with the kids when Maddie and I spotted Angelica and another girl. She was shocked that we could remember her name and ended up following us for the rest of the “village trek.” Angelica showed us to her house and introduced us to the rest of the family. Her mom didn’t speak English but one of the first things she noticed was Roselle’s camera, and asked to have her picture taken with her daughters. I laughed as she ran back into her hut and changed her shirt for the picture. After the picture, Angelica came up to me and asked if we all liked bananas. I of course said yes and she and her sisters ran inside and grabbed some for all of us. We were all honored in knowing that they had accepted us, and I knew at that point that God had sent us to that village for a reason.

Throughout the day I got to talk to Angelica and we exchanged various questions. When the soccer game ended I asked her if she wanted to go play another game, but she didn’t want to. So we sat in the field and just talked, which was my favorite part of the day. Maddie also was talking to her during the lesson and asked if we had brought Bibles to pass out. That was encouraging, and I made her the focus of my prayers for the rest of the week.

On the third day, I looked for Angelica on the “village trek” but couldn’t find her. I asked some of the other girls that I had befriended if she was there that day, and they all looked at me funny and said no. I started becoming disappointed and thinking that I wouldn’t get to see her. Right after lunch time, she came to the place where we were doing the Bible story for the day. Maddie was able to give her the Bible that she asked for the day before and she paraded it around like the proudest kid in the village. Before the day was over she asked to have her picture taken with us at least three times. On the last picture we took, we were posed and ready when she said “Wait!” and held her Bible up in front of her so it could be in the picture with us. Definitely a cool moment. When we were driving away on the bus, the kids were on one side waving goodbye. Angelica spotted Maddie and I on the other side of the bus and ran around so she could say goodbye, all while proudly displaying her new Bible.

Tonight at dinner, Roselle mentioned the woman from the village who wanted to have her family portrait taken. She said that she had talked to the preacher from this morning and that he had talked to that woman the day before. He said that the woman he talked to said that she had a daughter who wanted to accept Jesus. Maddie and I immediately looked at each other with big smiles, knowing that the girl that the woman was talking about was Angelica.

As I mentioned before, my main prayer for this week was that God would show me something completely new. Looking back, I am pleasantly surprised at what I saw. The “new” that I was expecting wasn’t what God decided to show me. I expected to learn something new about the Lord and about my walk with Him, but that’s not what I saw. He didn’t show me something new about MY life, He showed me someone else’s new life in Jesus. That in itself was the highlight of my trip, and definitely the best kind of story to return with.