Belize & Beyond Mission Update: Thanksgiving 2014

Tons 063As we are coming to the close of the Hurricane Season here in Belize, grateful for another uneventful one, it’s a sign that Christmas is soon to be upon us and a reminder of how quickly time flies. I believe that time seems to be flying by quickly for those who live active lives. Thinking back to times in my life when it seems as if the clock in not moving or what felt like an eternity was just a few minutes but those are times when you’re sick, recovering, or being forced into inactivity. Whenever I have seasons of much activities; back to back events, overlapping teams and ministries opportunities with the daily demands of life and ministry; I flash back on those seasons of inactivity and thank the Lord that I’m able to be fruitfully engaged in serving Him. It has been one of those hectic season and I’m refusing define my life and ministry by the word ‘busy’ but rather ‘productive’. In the seasons of being productive it is important to make sure that what is produced in these seasons are bringing glory, honor and praise to One who ‘called us into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ’. He is not interested in the sweat which causes perspiration in His service but rather inspiration caused by His Spirit!

 

Christian Concert in San Pedro:

 

Eddie Kilgallon & Dusty Workman sharing their hearts through music!
Eddie Kilgallon & Dusty Workman sharing their hearts through music!

A year ago when the Belize Mission Project was in Belize, I was introduced to Dusty Workman by a fellow missionary via email and a few days later I met him in person when he arrived on the island. It wasn’t long before a new friendship was formed as I interviewed him for our program, “Visitors to Our Island. I sensed this was not the end but that the Lord had something in mind for our meeting. A month or so later I was graciously hosted in his home and attended his home church where he was the Worship leader on my first trip to Kansas for dental work. Dusty shared his desire to share music someday in San Pedro Town and on my last visit to Kansas, we were making plans for a concert with his good friend, Eddie Kilgallon who made up the group ‘Evidence of Journey’ and the Belize Mission Project was going to sponsor the entire event. I was asked to facilitate the event and immediately began making plans with the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro and with Lighthouse Christian Radio as cosponsors.

Songs of praise and worship filled the air in the downtown area of San Pedro Town!
Songs of praise and worship filled the air in the downtown area of San Pedro Town!

On November 1, the field was reserved, the stage was erected with 300 chairs rented, the rented sound system and technician was setting up, posters were plastered all over town, radio announcements and newspapers were done. Both Eddie & Dusty flew into Belize and then over to San Pedro and went directly to the field for sound check. God answered so many prayers and after a very wet and rainy week, the skies were clear and the field dried in time for the start of what would be San Pedro Town’s very first Christian Concert.

Both the Mayor and Miss  San Pedro expresses thanks and gratitude to Evidence of Journey!
Both the Mayor and Miss San Pedro expresses thanks and gratitude to Evidence of Journey!

The Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his wife and the newly crowned Miss San Pedro Michelle Nunez gave a welcome and greeting to the gathering as well and they both commented that this was the very first Christian Concert in San Pedro Town and expressed gratitude to the musicians. Eddie Kilgallon, who is a professional Nashville recording artist and currently touring with a well know country music band, shared his powerful story of God’s deliverance from alcohol addiction. He played some of the songs he had written over the years as a part of the journey and told stories of how God is using him to lead many in the country music world to Jesus. It was great to see the many residence of San Pedro pulling to the side of the street in their Golf Carts (mode of transportation) and watched the concert causing major traffic jam of the best kind to hear the music and the gospel being preached. This event really stirred my heart and gave me the idea of Lighthouse Christian Radio bring more Christian Concerts in San Pedro Town on a regular basis. Please pray for this desire to become a reality!

 

He Intends Victory returns to San Pedro:

 

President of He Intends Victory, Bruce Sonnenberg shares at SP Roman Catholic Primary School.
President of He Intends Victory, Bruce Sonnenberg shares at SP Roman Catholic Primary School.

I’m always amazed each visit to Belize by the He Intends Victory (HIV/AIDS  Christian Ministry to those infected and affected) team that comes each year. Along with Bruce Sonnenberg, Founder and President of the ministry, were Board Members Joanie Yorba-Gray and Dan Davis both living with AIDS and with them, Murry Holstrom who shared what is was like to have a sister with HIV and their family’s response. Also Becca Thorson, a 24 year old who shared about abstinent and her journey as a single girl currently in a relationship. The week spent in San Pedro Town was filled with presentations; over a 100 students at the Roman Catholic Primary; several Life Skills Classes at the San Pedro High School, Psychology classes at the San Pedro Jr. College in the evenings and the Good Morning San Pedro Show on the local Television Station. We were able to arrange a Meet & Greet with the He

Joanie & Dan sharing their stories of living for the Lord with AIDS on Reef TV Morning Show!
Joanie & Dan sharing their stories of living for the Lord with AIDS on Reef TV Morning Show!

Intends Victory team and the two local organizations on the island; the National AIDS Commission/Island Committee and the San Pedro AIDS Commission where they encouraged them in their efforts in San Pedro Town with the ever increasing infection rates. One of the highlights for me was sharing at the San Pedro High School Assembly with over 600 students and teachers. Dusty & Eddie of Evidence of Journey shared in music followed by the team sharing their stories. Hearing Joanie and Dan’s testimony so many times over the two weeks made me appreciate the grace of God so much as they share with such passion and boldness. It’s obvious that God has turned what the Enemy meant for evil into great good as they both shared the power of the gospel  and the living hope that is found only in Jesus Christ!

San Pedro High Students listening intently as the HIV Team shares at Assembly.
San Pedro High Students listening intently as the HIV Team shares at Assembly.

New Venture, New Friends, New Hope:

Clive at CC Cayo sharing his involvement with HIV Team since 1999.
Clive at CC Cayo sharing his involvement with HIV Team since 1999.

The next venture for the He Intends Victory (HIV) team was in San Ignacio Town, the Western District of Belize, where a fellow missionary, pastor and good friend Patrick McCusker made arrangements for us to be attend a HIV Support Group at the San Ignacio Hospital. This was quite an experience for me as Country Director for HIV to actually attend a support group and hearing each person introducing themselves and stating their HIV status. The 12 people gathered, varying in ages, were very welcoming to the team and expressed gratitude for coming and spending that time with them. We held a Pastors/Leaders Seminar on the following day where the team shared their stories and Bruce Sonnenberg encouraged pastors to set in place a policy for their churches to welcome those infected or affected with HIV/AIDS and to seized the opportunity to minister the love of God and the hope in Jesus that those with this disease so desperately needed.

Bruce, Clive and Joanie with Louis Wade Jr on Rise & Shine Morning Show on Plus TV in Belmopan
Bruce, Clive and Joanie with Louis Wade Jr on Rise & Shine Morning Show on Plus TV in Belmopan
The New Divide sharing in music at Cayo Christian Academy before HIV team shares.
The New Divide sharing in music at Cayo Christian Academy before HIV team shares.

A band called The New Divide had just arrived in the country to work alongside of Patrick, pastor of the Calvary Chapel Cayo, and they teamed up with us for the next five days while we were in the Cayo District. They were a great blessing to us and it was one of those ‘divine appointment’ as they provided the music and we shared at Sunday Morning Service at CC Cayo, then a Chapel service at Cayo Christian Academy, at the Georgeville Clinic and the Primary School in Georgeville Village. I love it when God brings teams together to co-laborers alongside of the work and we enjoyed and sweet fellowship and lifelong bonds were made with the New Divide Band It was also a big blessing for me to have Patrick McCusker on board with the He Intends Victory Belize team and we look forward to developing HIV Support Groups to better serve and minister to those infected and affected with HIV in all districts in Belize which is still #1 in Central America for HIV/AIDS.

Clive, Joanie, Murry, Becca, Dan & Bruce; this years He Intends Victory team!
Clive, Joanie, Murry, Becca, Dan & Bruce; this years He Intends Victory team!

Faith Comes By Hearing: 

Friday Night Bible Study listens to John 7 of the Kriol New Testament on the Proclaimer!
Friday Night Bible Study listens to John 7 of the Kriol New Testament on the Proclaimer!

I attended a Listening Group Seminar for the recently released Belize Kriol New Testament audio programmed in a solar-powered player  called Proclaimer. The Faith Comes By Hearing ministry came to Belize City to make these available to those who wanted to form listening groups to go through the entire New Testament and then discuss it. The Belize Kriol is the native language of Belizean and is spoken by all of the people groups living in Belize along with their indigenous language. I remembered the very first time I heard the Gospel of John in the Belize Kriol and it so touched my heart to hear it in the very language I grew up speaking. It was a lot of fun listening to the young people there sharing with the older folks the modern version of Kriol that most of the newer generations are speaking. I was given a few of the Proclaimer and gave one to my friend, Shirtless Henry who cannot read and promised he would listen to it daily in his Bicycle Repair Shop. I played John chapter 7 on the Proclaimer at our Friday Night Bible Study before we studied the chapter and all of those attended enjoyed it and mentioned that it gave them a fuller understanding of it when hearing it in their frequently spoken language. Please pray for wisdom in using this tool to reach Kriol speaking individuals and listening group in San Pedro Town where most people first language is Spanish but the majority of young people speak Belize Kriol!

Byron listening intently to the ready of the Kriol New Testament, "I can understand this very well."
Byron listening intently to the ready of the Kriol New Testament, “I can understand this very well.”

Stand in the Gap:

 

With the increase of crime and lawlessness taking place on our island, the pastors and leaders of the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro decided to hold a Prayer Vigil which we entitled, Standing in the Gap. We were able to use the Boca De Rio Park and met last Saturday from 9:30 PM to Sunday morning at 2:30 AM as each pastor gave a reflection from the Word on what it means to stand in the gap and led the gathering in prayer. This was one of many more to follow as the churches gather to stand in the gap for our town, it’s leaders, the lost, the least, the last and the little!

Pastor Alex, member of the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro, sharing at the Stand in the Gap Prayer Vigil!
Pastor Alex, member of the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro, sharing at the Stand in the Gap Prayer Vigil!

Upcoming Events & Schedule:

 

November 30- Free HIV testing in Central Park with the National AIDS Commission & San Pedro AIDS Commission.

 

December 1- World AIDS Day; reflecting and remember the 35 Million people infected with HIV in our world!

 

December 7 – End of the World 1/2 Marathon; Lighthouse is sponsoring several runners.

 

December 5 – 11 Allan McGuirl & wife, founder of Galcom International visiting Belize; Horizon Radio & Lighthouse Christian Radio to access our needs!

 

December 10 – 15 Pastor Jaime Siman conducting a  Spanish Pastors/Leaders Equipping Seminar for churches involved in the Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro.

 

Prayer & Thanksgiving:

 

-So thankful for the life God has given to me in His Son and granting me the honor of serving Him in the hearts and lives of so many people; truly amazing grace!

-Thankful for the many who’ve supported me over the years; financially, prayerfully, encouraging and pushing me forward in so many valuable and consistently.

-Very thankful for Elmer Montero who sacrificially serve at Lighthouse!

-Very thankful that Kian will meet his father for the very first time; pray for a special time of healing, direction of their relationship and strength for his mother!

-Very thankful for the He Intends Victory team who poured out their lives that many would come to know Jesus and find real hope and purpose!

-Thankful to the many missionaries who are serving in various parts of Belize!

-Thankful for another unproductive Hurricane Season!

-Please pray for daily anointing on the broadcasting of Lighthouse Christian Radio.

-Please pray for a church planting team to develop to start a Bible Teaching Church.

-Please pray for Mayor Danny and his wife; come to know Jesus as Savior & Lord!

-Please pray for Miss San Pedro Michelle Nunez; to be confronted by God’s grace.

-Please pray for Marcus & Cindy; Kian & Brittany; to be strengthen in their walks.

-Please pray for David who recently gave his life to the Lord; spiritual growth!

-Please pray for Jason, Byron, Denis, Mellissa, Emil, Gaby, Wilmer, Dennis, Henry, Kristy; Juan & Julie for life changing salvation.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this Update and for your support and encouragement as well as your financial giving to touch and affect lives you’ll one day meet in Heaven!

 

In His grace and love,

 

Clive Welsh

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