“Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.” Colossians 4:17
Over the past few months I have been doing a lot of reminiscing on the work that God has been doing in my life and the ways He has chosen to use me especially during the difficult times. And over and over I’m drawn back to a verse that was given to me on the last night of Bible College shortly after I started walking with Lord many, many years ago. “Now we exhort you brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.” When asked what my main focus of ministry is in Belize, many people are surprise when I tell them that it is not radio ministry. The radio ministry is one of many things that I’m engaged in but ‘people’ are by far the reason why I’m here, and that does not mean primarily in Belize. My hearts focus and purpose is to touch lives for Christ and spending time, one on one, with people has been the call on my life from the first day until now. As I think about it, the majority of those ‘one on one’ have fallen in the category of warning, comforting, upholding and exercising patience in the process. Discipleship, counseling, mentoring, accountability and ‘one on one’ evangelism are some of the things that I’m engaged in on a daily basis and to varying degrees. I am privileged with the honored of being entrusted with delicate hearts and sensitive situations and watched the Lord revealing Himself time and time again as the healer of broken hearts and the restorer of lives. I truly thank the Lord for counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry and my constant prayer is to be kept usable and faithful to Him daily!
Season of Weddings:
One of the greatest blessings of my life is watching God restore lives and bring beauty from ashes, healing and new beginnings! Over the last months, several guys that I’ve been involved with in various capacities got married. David and Whitney in Minnesota started off the season of weddings in September, as mentioned in previous Updates; followed by Ron Huinik in Ontario, Canada, Ryan Webber in Northern California, and Ruel Cruz in Ontario Village, Belize; all in the month of October. It was humanly impossible to attend all of these even though I so much wanted to be there for each of these guys on their special day. I had the honor of being involved in their lives and saw firsthand the work of God in their lives preparing them for their brides and fulfilled my purpose of ‘getting them to the altar’. Interestingly enough, I met Ryan and Ron in Belize on separate occasion, many years apart from each other, while they were on a mission trips.Ruel, a Belizean I met almost 4 years ago and shortly thereafter he re-dedicated his life to the Lord and began walking him through many challenging times, one-on-one discipleship. I attended his wedding and witnessed him committing his life in marriage to Shandel. They are adjusting well to married life; please pray for them and the challenges ahead in the New Year!
Central American Pastors/Leaders Conference:
The Calvary Chapel Central American Pastors/Leaders Conference was held at the CC San Salvador and brothers from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Columbia and Belize gathered for a time in the Word and fellowship. Each year the conference gets better and it blesses me to see the brothers making the journey from the various countries and making the sacrifices to attend because of the importance of getting refreshed, instructed and encouraged to go back and more effectively serve the Lord. Most of the speakers this year taught in Spanish and translation was provided for those of us who speak only English. The fellowship was very rich as we heard how God is working in the various Central American countries and the ways He is using the Calvary Chapel Movement to impact and changing lives, communities, and nations. Pastor Rudy Plett from Amazing Grace Christian Fellowship took Jacob Penner, an elder in the fellowship, with him this year. Erik Agular of the CC Los Tambos, missionary from El Salvador, extended his time in Salvador to visit with family as well as a needed family vacation. Our thanks to Pastor Carlos Bautista, Pastor Dave Eason and those who worked so hard in making this years a great conference. Please pray for the various Pastors & leaders as we now apply all that was learned in our respective ministries!
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye:
As crime and violence continues to rise in our beautiful jewel, San Pedro Town has not been exempted as robbery and theft have increased drastically that the Town Council and Police Department held a Community Meeting to address the problem. Most of those attended voiced and vented their frustration with the Police not being able to effectively patrol the town and many other issues were discussed. We learned that there are only 3 police officers per shift that is available for patrol the town which raised many concerns not only for the residents but also for visitors and tourist to our island. A Special Constable program was initiated and the all of the Justice of the Peace will be playing a more active role to assist the Police Department. One of the pastors involved in the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro addressed the gathering and encouraged them to place the emphasis on the spiritual needs of the residence of the island; seeking God, attending church service on Sunday and dealing with the individual needs and issues of the family. Please pray for a standard of righteousness to be built in the homes and families on Ambergris Caye and protection of its residents!
Lighthouse Christian Radio:
As we are functioning at the maximum capacity possible and reaching much further with our signal, we are excited about reaching more people with Christian broadcasting. Lately, I was blessed when I received a phone call from an 80 year old listener who wanted one of our Galcom fixed-tuned-solar-powered radios, he told me he was coming to pick up the radio and asked if I can meet him downstairs so he wouldn’t have to climb the steps to get to our studio. He showed up 30 minutes later as he walked from his house to Lighthouse, I was delighted to meet him and hear his story, quite a story of God’s grace in revealing Himself to him two years ago. I get very excited when I hear stories of God using the radio ministry to touch and change lives!
Who’s who in San Pedro:
We started a new program on Lighthouse Christian Radio, “Who’s Who in San Pedro”, interviewing residents who are involved in one way or another in the community. It has been a fun way for me to meet and get to know people as I interview them and then air the interview on the weekends. It has been a great way to introduce new listeners to the radio station as they tune in to hear their family and friends being interviewed. So far we have interviewed the founder of the San Pedro High School, the coordinator of the Emergency Management, the San Pedro High School vice Principal and the San Pedro President of the Garifuna Association. We’re looking forward to having community leaders, pastors, government officials and other residents of interest as we highlight those who are involved in the town and find out more about them personally. Please pray that this will be an effective tool in getting to know and share the love of Christ with our neighbors!
Yensi Maldonado, a 20 year old young man I met several months ago in a local store and befriended. He shared with me his desire to return to school
and continue his education. In spending time with him, he opened up and share his story with me and as he shared some of the painful things of his life I knew it was no coincident, rather a God-incident that I met him. I helped him get registered for school even though the Jr. College had already started yet he was admitted and began his studies. We made our ‘student resource center’ (our Staff Apartment) available to him to use our computer and internet for research and homework. He showed an interest in learning radio broadcasting and since we were shorthanded, I began to pray for a way in which we could hire him to work at Lighthouse while attending evening classes. With our very limited budget for the radio station, we would have to have other source of income for him. Well, the Lord provided for him through a good friend who is donating funds monthly that will pay his support. Yensi began training 2 weeks ago and is learning quickly and soon will be able to relieve Elmer with some of the operations of the station as well as being our ‘on-site’ person to oversee the other aspects of the ministry. Please pray the Lord would continue to reveal Himself to Yensi and minister healing and restoration while here the Lighthouse!
Lives touching Lives:The Strong Man Tour, a Men’s Ministry encouraging men to be Biblical men and finding their identity in Christ rather the world’s definition of manhood; fathers, husbands, and all other aspects of being a man. The one night meeting in San Pedro High School Auditorium was well attended by many men from the various churches that are a part of the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro and we were challenged and encouraged. The topic of the fatherless came up and as most of you know, that is a very big part of my one-on-one ministry and very close to my heart. A statistic was quoted that baffled my mind, “73% of children in Belize are born out of wedlock and over ½ of those will never know who their father is”. Startling, baffling and enormous and is a reality in Belize, I find it even more painful as I spend time with many I know personally and hear the stories, the cry and anger as they try to make sense of it all. I can relate in many way as I too was a fatherless due to death of my father when I was five years old. I find it very hard to understand a father abandoning his family and having no part in their children’s lives by choice. I always tell the abandoned or neglected guys that their fathers are missing out in watching their sons develop with all of their gifts, talents, dreams and achievements and how honored I would be to have a son like them. The sadden faces often would turn to a smile and an open door to share about their Father in Heaven who loves them greatly and desires to be intimately involved in their lives. Please pray for God’s redemptive grace and power in the lives of the fatherless whose I’m currently involved with and that I would truly reflect His heart of love to each one!
Prayer Request & Praise Offered:
Please pray for the 2nd annual San Pedro Bible Parade on December 1, as the Evangelical Churches join together in proclaiming, “Celebrating Jesus: The Word of Life”, through the streets of San Pedro Town and ending at Central Park for a Worship Concert!
Please pray for Drug Awareness Week at San Pedro High School, December 3 – 7; Robert Ruiz, Director of Inner Change for Freedom Belize will be sharing in all classes on Tuesday, December 4. Robert is a pastor and also works at the Main Prison and at one time was an inmate before walking with the Lord. Pray that God would use him as there are many students with drug problem at the High School.
Please pray for the hearts of the fathers/husband to be awakened spiritually so they can be real men, good husbands and fathers. Pray for the many boys and girls who are hurting deeply because of this great lack in San Pedro Town.
Please pray for Heinar Pineda, University student from El Salvador as he visits us during his semester break. Pray for direction for his life and future service to the Lord!
Thanking God for an uneventful Hurricane Season, it officially ends November 30.
Thanking God for His strength enabling me to do all that I do on a day to day basis!
Thanking God for redeeming the years of heartache and pain and giving me compassion and grace to comfort those going through difficult times. He truly works all things together for the good to those who love Him!
Thanking God for answers to prayers in providing Yensi to come on board at Lighthouse Christian Radio!
As many of you are ending your Thanksgiving weekend celebration and preparing for the Christmas Season, I want to express a heart full of thanks and gratitude for your unwavering support, encouragement and prayers over the past year. For some of you, it has been many years of walking alongside of me in my life and ministry. May God truly reward you for your faithfulness, fellowship and friendship in the Gospel!
In His great love and amazing grace,
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Contact Information in US:
Tax deductible donation-
Saving Grace World Mission
17451 Bastanchury Rd. #203
Yorba Linda, CA 92886
In Memo: Welsh or Belize General or specify please!
Online donation: www.sgwm.com/welsh
Contact Information in Belize:
Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry
P.O. Box 166
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America
011-501-226-4673 or 011-501-605-6123