“But it is good for me to draw near to God, I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.” Psalms 73:28
Once again I find myself with the exciting task of putting my thoughts together in seeking to share with you the things I’ve experienced in declaring the works of the Lord over the past months. At the end of writing each update, I promise myself to start on the next one right way and never can keep that promise because life happens and it’s always nonstop. I often wonder if people think I make up some of these things as they are so many and I’m truly humbled by what I ‘get to do’ and the incredible privilege of serving Jesus in these capacities. I have to be very selective and sensitive in declaring His works or it was be very long, longer than it is already. Thank you for being a part of this journey in ways that you are and appreciation with gratitude in unending and sincere. Here we go……
Single Parenting at Sixty: The Night before my milestone of turning 60, Miguel informed me that he wanted to move back home to Belize City. He had just returned from a visit and the usual adjusting back into the routine of living on the island with me was longer and intense this time. Trying to make sense of it, I asked many questions trying to find out why the sudden change of heart to no avail so I told him to think it through and if that’s what he wanted to do we would begin to make the arrangements. Heartbroken and perplexed I decided I would trust the Lord with this from the onset and not get emotionally sidetracked considering how tossed I was from the previous dramatic situation I was in with a young man I was helping. The many birthday wishes; calls, Facebook messages, emails, visits and surprises kept me encouraged whenever I would think about it. Finally on the night of my festive day, he told me he had made up his mind and no adequate explanation was given so I began making plans as he decided to leave in a few days. The Social Worker was the last person I told and he insisted to speak with him and he apparently talked ‘sense’ to him and he recanted his decision. The conclusions are; he was struggling with the
guidelines and rules that are established and there were none at his home in Belize City. He comes and go as he pleased with no authority or boundaries and endless hours of watching TV. Also, the reality of his health situation and how detrimental it would be if he was to go back to his previous situation. The Social Worker really drove that point home to him. We are still working through challenges daily and he is doing remarkable well, gaining weight and working out along with the fact that he is a 16 year old teenager with an awful lot of pain and lost to work through yet God continues to give us His love for each other and I thank Him daily for entrusting Miguel in my care!
Serving the Community: Eleven years ago I was sworn in as a Justice of the Peace (JP) by the Attorney General of Belize. A very honored public service position giving me the opportunity to serve the people of Belize by signing legal documents; passports applications, social security application, witnessing of agreements etc. Since being full time with the Radio Ministry in San Pedro
Town most of my JP services were conducted here over the years and was appointed on the executive committee as secretary of the JP Association several years ago. Unfortunately the association never progressed due to everyone’s busy schedule and it became dormant. There were a handful of us JPs who served actively and we were the ones who were sought out yet no leadership were established. At the beginning of April, a general meeting of the JP & Commissioners to the Supreme Court was called by the National President and he contacted me asking for assistance in getting the word out to the JPs in San Pedro in seeking to revive our chapter to become vibrant once again. I used the radio station to get the word out about this important meeting also on Facebook and word of mouth to other JPs I knew and asked that they pass the word around. The turnout was better than expected and the first order of business was the election of new executive committee. My name was brought up several times for nomination as president and I declined repeatedly and when asked by I wouldn’t accept the position I told them that I am very busy and already overloaded. One member, a good friend, nominated me again and said that she would not have known about the meeting unless she saw my post on Facebook and said that is the type of leadership that was needed. At that moment, I sensed a nudge by the Holy Spirit that this was something He wanted me to do and that He would provide all I needed for this task. I was appointed President of the San Pedro Association of Justice of the Peace and Commissioner to the Supreme Court; honored, humbled and scared I accepted.
Youth in Crisis: As I’ve mentioned previously, the ongoing and growing problems with the young people in San Pedro Town is getting more perplexing. I went to meet the newly assigned Magistrate(Judge) at the Court House to introduce myself to her and share the various ministries I was involved in on the island. She invited me to a community meeting that she had called with the Superintendant of Police, Town Council members, High School Principal, Education Officer, representatives from the Business community and other community leaders which was to start in a few hours. I knew this was an opportunity to hear first hand of the challenges and suggestions in combating this growing problem in San Pedro and to represent the churches in seeking to input godly and spiritual solutions. The Magistrate shared that the cases before her court was largely youth offenses of major proportion; major crimes such as drugs trafficking and that cocaine sale and use is on the rapid increase. She didn’t see the solution being locking up the young offenders but rather getting all segments of the community involved from the Night Schools to the local businesses mentoring and proving financial aid with hands on trade/training. I was impressed by the contribution and suggestions that were made and a group was formed to move from words to action as all agreed that as a community we have to all work together. As I listened to the discussion taking place I couldn’t help but cry out to the Lord in my heart for His Spirit to move on the hearts of the young people of the island for lasting solutions of heart changes which only He can bring. I must admit that in meetings of this kind I often ask where is the Church and what are we doing, then the prompting occurs once again for the necessity for young people to hear and see the relevant gospel lived out before their very eyes. “God, do a work of igniting the hearts of young people for You!”
How did this happen? The first Wednesday of every month was designated for the JP Meetings and I couldn’t believe that a month had flown by so quickly and I was to conduct this my very first Association of Justice of the Peace & Commissioner to the Supreme Court monthly meeting. I met with the Executive Committee a week prior to discuss our agenda for the first meeting and was really blessed by a great supportive team. During that meeting, I asked myself, ‘how did this happen”, “how in the world did I get in this place and position?” The same thought came to mind when I stood before the room of JPs for the first time as their president and briefly share my story and heart for the people of San Pedro. I shared the goals we had set for the first year of getting vitalized, updating our list and getting many JPs active and providing training for all existing members so we can confidently serve our communities . I saw fit to invite the Superintendant/Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police and she brought her Deputy along who shared the important role, tasks and duties of a JP in assisting the Police Department. She alerted us in-depth about the crime situation and again, the youth offenders and serious youth crime came up in her presentation. She was begging for help and even offered training in the interim and invited us to visit the Police Station for at least an hour a week especially weekends when more young people are arrested. We are able to offer and sign bail for them since the Magistrate doesn’t work on weekend and she commented about the great need for young people just to have someone to talk to as they don’t feel like they can to some police officers. Again another opportunity to reach out to the hurting hearts of young people presenting itself and the answer to the questions, “How did this happen?” God is doing something that I have no idea the outcome, just along for the ride and count it an honor to be available to Him for such a time like this!
A Night Of Joy: The Evangelical Alliance of San Pedro; over eight pastors and ministry leaders, have recently appointed a new president as well. And no, I didn’t become president of that though it was offered to me. I agreed to assist the pastor who is leading the Alliance as I see the importance of the pastors working together to impact the island for Christ. We determined that we needed to meet corporately as Believers to be a witness to San Pedro Town on a regular basis so we organize A Night of Joy where various churched participated in providing worship, special songs, dance routine, testimonies and the proclamation of the gospel. It was indeed a night of joy and several hundred of us gathered at the Sports Complex on May 14. This was to be the last major task on my list before I made final plans to leave Belize for my hernia repair surgery. It has been a very busy month of one major event or meeting after another along with all the needed preparations for being away from the island for 3 weeks. I must admit that I was exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed with all that was before me but God was so gracious and blessed all of the events, meetings and preparations. It was an awesome time of hearing the sounds of Christian music filling the San Pedro night’s sky and the churches worked so well together and was edified by the powerful testimony shared of God healing touch on a sister who had cancer and the power of the Cross to deliver a brother from the bondage of alcoholism. Several went forward when the invitation was given to respond to the gospel and it thrilled my heart to see a young lady whom I’ve known from when she was in High School walked forward to give her life to Christ. It truly was a night of great joy!
A Time Away: It is always a challenge preparing to leave especially for 3 weeks: the day to day operations of the radio station and its staff, the care of an active 16 year old, and making arrangements for the upcoming guests in our Guest Apartment. I arrived in So. California a week ago for my pre-op appointment and making necessary arrangements; where I’ll be staying before the hernia repair surgery, where I’ll stay after for the 2 weeks of recovery, as well as keeping up with Miguel and his day to day schedule via calls or social media. God has provided and blessed me beyond measure and in such tender and thoughtful ways that causes me to just stand in awe of Him and grateful for His amazing Body in action. I’m staying up late to finish this Update because I have no idea what state I’ll be in over the next few days. I would appreciate very much your prayers and looking forward to sharing more with you soon. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your prayers as the Lord by His Spirit directed you as you read and as He brings to mind some or all of the prayer needs mentioned. Thank you to all who financially support the various ministries, people and lives that are touch daily from the radio broadcast to the ‘lives touching lives’ and the real, heart changing, life changing people that Jesus loves so much and died for and lives through today because of your involvement in one way or another!
May God truly bless you!