Today was our first full day of ministry in Belize. We started the day leisurely with breakfast at the Training Center, followed by a trip into Punta Gorda for market day. Local vendors come together to sell fruits and vegetables and other homemade wares. Joe challenged the group to look for open doors to encourage the locals and share the gospel and we prayed that it would be so.
Once we got into P.G., Joe headed to a local cafe to work on some teaching prep while the rest of the group went to the Cotton Tree Chocolate Factory.
This one room “factory” is equipped with a drill powered cocoa bean grinder, toaster oven roasters, and hair dryer threshers to separate the nibs from their shells. It’s not exactly high tech, but it is quaint and gets the job done.😊
I met up with Joe afterwards and shortly after a gentleman approached us trying to sell a stone carving his son made. We weren’t interested, but the man lingered. Without my knowing, Joe recalled his challenge to us and noticed the cross tattoos on the man’s arms. We had a great discussion about faith and were able to discern that this man was indeed following the Lord. We seized the opportunity to invite him to the pastor’s conference tomorrow. We prayed for him and wished him well.
Well, another man saw us pray for him and stopped to ask if we were missionaries. He shared much of his life story with us and we were thrilled to learn that he had a past of pastoral ministry and was feeling called to re-enter pastoral ministry once again. We quickly informed him of the pastor’s conference and prayed for him and his cousin. Below is a picture of Joe with Edmund (right) and his cousin Jose.
While we were there, Kelli and Kendra witnessed to a gentleman who was grilling meat at the cafe. So it was a purposeful time in town!
After lunch we traveled to the village of San Antonio where Ben shared words of encouragement from God’s Word for the students who are preparing to take some big exams.
Afterwards we had a couple hours of downtime for teaching prep and rest, followed by Friday night youth group. Approximately 50 youth come to the Training Center for worship, teaching, and fellowship. Kendra brought a great time of teaching through the life experiences of Gideon in the book of Judges.
The icing on the cake for me today was reconnecting with Zelda. She was a student that attended Camp Machaca when I was a summer missionary in Belize in 2000. She is now a 7th grade teacher at a local Christian school, wife and mom to a 6yr old boy. She volunteers at Friday night youth group, helping to teach and disciple the kids. It is a blessing to see her still walking with the Lord!
I go to bed very tired, but filled with anticipation of what God will do tomorrow.❤️
Love and hugs to our children… Hannah, Sarah, Gideon and Izzy, we love you and are praying for you!😘
Sweet dreams from Belize,