The journey of life takes us up and down, through various seasons, sharp turns in the road with many surprises and detours along the way. There are times when things are going faster than we can keep up and times when we are desiring to pull off the side for a break especially when you are overwhelmed by the continuous heavy traffic and issues of others on their journey. Well, this describes the past few months for me and I’d like to invite you along as I reflect back and trust that it will be an encouragement to you in some way or another in your journey as together we fix our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of our faith!
Unexpected Twist & Turns: A year ago now, my life had altered dramatically as I plunged into taking care of 16 year old young man from Belize City who have AIDS, which came at the tail end of a very painful prodigal relationship with one who was like a son to me. Many tearful moments of caring for Miguel who lost his mother to AIDS and still grieving her lost while dealing with his own issues. It wasn’t long before he was returning to health, in school, learning about walking with Jesus and enjoying the new life he was given. Meanwhile I was dealing with the pain of watching another young man I cared so much for over a 3 year period making choices that I wonder if he will ever recover from its consequences. Well, shortly after Miguel turned 17, he left for a summer workshop in Belize City on July 10 and never returned. Several months later I was finally able to make contact with him and when asked why did he leave, his response was that he liked his ‘independent life’ and ‘don’t like to live by rules’. The other prodigal is now 18 years old and still aloof with an occasional forced hello here and there; some of those sharp curves in the road that you’d never expect still you keep going praying through the pain and learning much about the love of God toward me when I responded to Him the way these have and are responding to me as well as what it means to truly love as He loves. Not an easy thing at all but His grace is sufficient!
Detours & Dead-ends: On life’s journey there are so many baffling moments when you are stumped by choices others make when the path is very clear and obvious but the reality of blind spots and shortsightedness enters the picture. While packing Miguel’s belongings to send to him, I kept saying to myself ‘I don’t get it, why would someone walk away for stability; clothes, food, an apartment all to himself, a place where he is loved , a home with friends and opportunities to fulfill his dreams and be nurtured in his health challenges!” Shortly after he left, a former staff of several years ago, wanted to get his life right with the Lord before getting married. So I offered him the Staff Apartment to stay while discipling, counseling and walking him through some difficulties. After a month or so, he left and went back into the very same situation he came out of. After the many hours of pouring my heart and life into this young man, he literally made a U-turn. I felt as if the entire month was a waste of time, knowing it wasn’t and again I realize that is just one of the things you deal with when you desire to be Jesus to others. We are no greater than the One we serve and so I get us, slowing at times and continue pressing on knowing that nothing is wasted once done in His Name!
Road Work Ahead: A dear pastor friend whom I haven’t seen in long time visited San Pedro recently and in his short visit got to spent some quality time in fellowship. He asked if I needed any help, sweet words to my ears, and he remarked that he will keep an eye out at his church and let me know for someone who could come down and help. A few weeks later he contacted me and told me that he had spoken to a guy who was interested and it wasn’t long before several calls were made, plans began to be made and dates were set for him to come down to serve for 3 months to start. Did I mention that he told me that the gentleman was 75 years old and very young in heart? I was excited about getting mature help and began to dream of all that could be done and that I was finally going to get some well desired help. Long story short, he came down after a day delayed due to missing his wake-up call on his layover, and I noticed he was exhausted so I delayed the orientation for a few days giving him time to acclimate to the weather and place. He was having a very difficult time with the heat and humidity and was not able to overcome it and since I had planned to leave for Vince’s wedding and the Galcom Banquet, I quickly made plans for someone to check on him daily and Elmer agreed to spend the nights after work. After several weeks of him being here it was becoming more work than help so it was determined that he would return home. Unplanned, unexpected and unfruitful to those observing, myself included, I marvel at the grace given to me during that time and I know that both his journey here and the reasons behind it will be manifested in the future our part is to simply trust the Lord and that all things work together for the good!
Others along the Journey: I was really impressed by the students in a recent Sagicor Visionary Challenge that the San Pedro High school was a part of and a young man, Jahson Wright really stood out among his peers to me. Through various ‘divine appointments’ over a span of time, I got to know him personally and sensed that God has a purpose in mind and I was eager to find out what role I was to have in his life. He was awarded ‘Junior of the Year’ at the high school last semester and found out that he has many challenges yet determined to have an academically successful Senior year. He began volunteering at Lighthouse in order to fulfill his ‘community service ‘ hours along with Karina Ayala and both were assisting Elmer with reading with Evening News. One of his challenges was needing a place to stay as there were some issues with his current living arrangements and we were able to house him in our Staff Apartment for a time. His name is Jahson, one of those guys that God has His Hands on and I’m looking forward to how He will use us further in his life. He was recently nominated for the Youth Awards in Media and on the High School volleyball team that just won National Championship. Lives touching lives!
Assisting Students on their Journey: The San Pedro High School Bully Awareness Assembly last month and I was asked if I could provide a speaker to share on the topic of Bullying. An old friend of mine John George, the Director of the
Youth With A Mission came to mind. He gladly accepted was able to speak to all 6th grade students at the Roman Catholic Primary shortly after arriving on the island and over 625 High School students in the late afternoon. John communicate very well on one of the core problem of bullying which he felt was fatherlessness in Belize. He shared with the students the important role fathers have imputing into the lives of girls what they desire most: to be loved, valued and cared for and for the guys who’s greatest need that being is to be respected. John shared personally about his own relationship with his father who was there in the home yet was not there for him emotionally nor spiritually and how God provided someone for him at a vital time in his life when it was greatly needed. He pointed me out as the person God placed in his life when he had just arrived in Belize from Trinidad many years ago while in his Discipleship Training School. I was stunned and humbled when he made that comment and had no idea of the significant part I had played in his life years ago and now here we were years later co-laboring together pointing young people in their journey to the Heavenly Father who loves, values, care for them. I was so blessed to hear John sharing repeatedly about his lovely wife whom he met while in Belize and their three beautiful daughters. Such a tremendous blessing to see fruits from lives you had no idea you were sowing many years ago and the seeds he is now sowing in the lives of many!
Journey of Faith: Forty two students who were in the Patmos Reality Discipleship School on their mission training in San Salvador journeyed to Belize three of them came alongside of us to serve at Lighthouse. With an already hectic schedule and knowing that these guys were only going to be here for a week, they assisted in very practical and general tasks. They were most effective in praying and interceding for the many guys that I have been working with in one capacity or another. I gave them a list of guys and pointed them to my picture/praying board and they began to see the power of prayers. Each person they had prayed for, many I had not seen or talked to for long periods of time, I ran into them or they stopped by to see me. The look on their faces when I told them of the various guys that I saw and was able to talk with, followed up on or prodigals in the faith who were reminded of their waiting Father. These Patmos guys were themselves being taught the importance of walking by faith as they never knew from day to day what their plans would be as their leader would only give them what they needed to know when they needed it. They left San Salvador late Sunday afternoon and when they arrived at the Guatemala/Belize Border that is when they knew they were going to be serving in Belize some never knew Belize existed. I was really blessed by the time these guys were with me and it made me desired earnestly to have a like minded folks like these whose sole purpose was be to serve. God knows and I trust He will provide in His time and in His ways!
Joining the Journey: Whatever journey God has you on currently, be faithful every step of the way knowing that the things you are doing now will be a blessing and benefit to others on their journey. We welcome inquires of those interesting in journeying along with us prayerfully, financially, serving short term or long term, individually or church/team. THANK YOU very much to those who faithfully support the work God is doing with me in San Pedro and please know that it is greatly appreciated and many lives are being touched, impacted, changed and journeying to Heaven because of you!
Gratefully and sincerely yours,
Contact Information in US:
He Intends Victory
P.O. Box 399
Irvine, CA 92650
Please indicate: Welsh/Belize on your checks or online at:
Contact Information in Belize:
Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry
P.O. Box 166
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America
Cell : 011-501-605-6123