A few days ago I was sitting down about to have my quiet time when the phone rang, it was the Mayor’s Office requesting me come and pray with them; the Officers in Charge of the Police Department and the Head Officer of the Fire Department with the busy Easter Weekend approaching. It was off to the bank afterward then five loads of laundry with Guests coming and going and a live phone interview by with a Christian Radio station in New Mexico on the topic of Easter in San Pedro. I chuckled when I think of the many things that I get to do on a daily basis as a missionary here in San Pedro, Belize. One minute I was meeting with the Town Council and leaders of the Communities, the next minute signing documents for someone needing a Justice of the Peace signature, recording Devotional Thought or interviewing someone for our weekend interview programs on Lighthouse Christian Radio along with the responsibility of caring for a 16 year old. My days are filled with surprise visits by someone needing to talk or requesting counseling and continuous phone calls or text messages. One thing is certain, I do not live a boring life and so very blessed that I ‘get to’ do what I do on a daily basis serving the Lord Jesus Christ!
A Very Happy Day: Bruce Sonnenberg, the Founder & President of He Intends Victory contacted me about a promise he made the teenagers who were at the Hand in Hand Outreach when we visited their support group (adolescences with HIV) back in October. He received a donation for an Adventure Day to Ambergris Caye for the kids and asked if I could make the arrangements. It had been over 4 months since I saw them and was really excited to see them to San Pedro as this was the very first time for all of the 8 students. I contacted the owner of Ramon’s Village, who graciously offered to treat the crew to lunch and even paid for their Water Taxi fare from Belize City and back.
The day finally arrived and Mike and I met them upon arrival to the island and gave them a brief tour of the radio station and the island before going to lunch at Ramon’s; one of the nicest resort in town. It took the kids a few hours before it set in that they were really in San Pedro and before long they were able to forget about the difficulties of their lives for a few hours and enjoyed the day being treated like kings and queens. Speaking of queen, I invited the current Miss San Pedro to join us for lunch who was a great blessing to the kids and quickly got them engaged in conversation and laughter. One of my most favorite memory of
the day for me was watching the them swim while laughing and enjoying the beautiful day and each other. This was one of the most unforgettable time of their lives and for a brief moment they were able to forget that they are HIV and could just be kids enjoying God’s beautiful creation and laugh as hard as they could while swimming and joking around. Before they arrived, Mike went to the beach and gathered sand which we placed in very small glass bottles and gave to each person with a laminated scripture card with the verse, Psalms 139: 17, 18 personalized with each person’s name in it. I encouraged them that whenever they felt down or discouraged to begin counting the grains of sand and realize that each grain represented a thought that God was having about them and His thoughts were good ones. Before long, the day was over and each person rushed to catch the last Water Taxi back to Belize City with smiles and hearty goodbyes and I realized that this day would always be cherished in their hearts and minds. Much thanks to Gina & Richard Headricks and the staff at Ramon’s Village and the He Intends Victory Ministry and donors who made the day possible and filled the hearts of these little ones whom Jesus loves dearly with a day that they will never forget!
Encouragement: Rick & Marie- Pastor Rick Jackson emailed me to ask if I’d be in San Pedro and if the Guest Apartment would be available for them to come and visit after a Board Meeting they attended in the Southern District of Belize where they served as missionaries many years ago. The weekend was a great time of encouragement as they saw firsthand the various ministries I was involved in and treated us to several meals. Pastor Rick shared with our Friday Evening Fellowship and the guys welcomed and received him as if they had known him a long time. It thrilled my heart to see how the Lord used them to love on these guys, shared their lives and heart with them and counseled a young lady that was going through difficulties who just needed to be reminded of God’s love for her. I cannot express in words how much I appreciated them being here and being a part of what God was doing and they left knowing how to specifically pray for me and the needs of the ministry!
Encouragement: Eddie K
My very good friend of many years, Eddie Kaulukukui who have been a constant source of encouragement, support in prayer, and accountability; finally made it down to Belize after desiring to do so for years. I was surprised when he told me that he was ready to book his flight and wondered what dates would work best with my schedule. The day arrived when Eddie K came on shore of Ambergris Caye and his 10 day visit began of seeing what I do first hand and assisting in many ways. He met many of whom he only knew by name and had prayed for over the years as I was in regular contact and updated him on the various prayer needs of my personal life and
ministry. A few day after his arrival, he was the guest speaker for the San Pedro High School’s Career Day where he shared his story of receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and how the Lord directed and led him into Performing Arts; acting, singing, songwriter and screenwriting. He was well received as he share with the over 630 students and interestingly enough, many had seen several of his commercials aired on television here in San Pedro. He also shared with students interested in Engineering as a career and the Performing Arts Class and Drama Club. It was a thrill for me to have him here and his excitement to meet and spend time with some of the guys he had only heard about over the months and years. He share with the newly developed group called L.I.F.E. (Learning Important Facts Early) about what makes them valuable. As I was busy with my daily affairs, Eddie was able to have time exploring the island and spending precious time seeking the Lord amongst the beauty of Ambergris Caye. Again, it was a priceless time and so blessed to have had my bro come down and co-labored alongside of me and took back many in his heart that he grew to love over the short time he was here!
S.H.I.N.E – The third session of the 8 weeks program, Shaping Healthy Identity Nurturing Empowering, is currently in progress with a new group of High School girls selected by the Guidance Counselor of San Pedro High School. As mentioned before, this is a ministry of On Eagle’s Wings Belize that has been established and I’m one of the Belize Board Member. Joining Michelle Nunez, the director of SHINE, is Britney Travis a missionary from Charlotte, North Carolina where OEWM is based. Britney spends time discipling the 13 young ladies involved in the program this session and it’s been a blessing hearing how SHINE has truly impacted the lives of former graduates as well as those currently in the program. With so many faucets of exploitation taking place in San Pedro, this program is seeking to empower girls who might fall prey to or subjected to some form of sex trafficking. Please pray for Michelle & Britney as they pour their lives into these young ladies!
Raging War Continues: On my last trip to the US as I was preparing to return to Belize I received awful news from San Pedro Town about a young lady I was acquainted with attempted suicide. My heart fell as I knew this person’s boyfriend, I couldn’t imagine the hopelessness that would drive her to this and thankfully her parent came in the room just in time to interrupt this tragedy. Unfortunately I’ve heard of three successful cases this year alone with reminds me of the intense war that is raging for our youth. As mentioned before, over 50% of the nation of Belize are under the age of 17 and a recent statistic stated that 64% of San Pedro’s residents are between the ages of 0 – 18.
Having been in San Pedro for almost 12 years and knowing many of these kids through Sports Camps/VBS and various community events, I’ve watched many of them grow up before my very eyes which makes it so disheartening and intense for me to see where the bad choices are taking them today. San Pedro Town, the Cayes as many refers to it as, is known for its ‘culture of drinking’. I think it is safe to say that for the entire country where as a nation we consume one of the largest percentage in our region. But the unique thing about San Pedro is the party lifestyle which draws thousands of visitors/tourist yearly only contributes to it as a part of the island’s culture so by the age of 15 or 16 a lot of young people are involved in alcohol, pot smoking or both. My heart breaks to see many now hardened by sin’s deceitfulness and being caught up in the worldly culture and continuing in the very cycle that they grew up in and despised. I’ve lost count of the many young guys who are now fathers and girls becoming pregnant and dropping out of school.
But I love the people of this island and have great hope for the future and what God will do. Over the years of praying and seeking the Lord, I’ve concluded that only a radical work of God’s Spirit can change the tide of this assault on our youth in this town. My heart is stirred time and time again and I constantly come back to the same need over and over again; the need to reach young people with the relevant, authentic, and the life changing gospel. Would you please pray with me about the next step of faith needed to see what God desires to do by His abounding grace in San Pedro? Would you pray about how you can be involved in this and the part that you’re to have in this great need!
On A Personal Note: My medical insurance was cancelled at the start of the year and it took some time for my new insurance to kick in and at the same time I began experiencing abdominal pain which led to several unexpected trips to the US. The Lord was gracious and after an ultra sound and a CAT Scan, it was determined that I had a small hernia developing. I will be consulting with a surgeon in April to explore the various options, please pray for wisdom and healing. Thank you very much!
Prayer is key in any venture for the Lord, so will you join me in praying for the various issue, individuals, and instruments that God would work to stem the tide of evil and lead many to the One True Savior:
Please pray for God’s Spirit to be poured out on the San Pedro High School; 600 students, administration, teachers and staff. Join us in prayer from where ever you are on Monday mornings at 7:00 AM as a small group of us meet on campus to pray before school.
Please pray that God would begin to break the cycle of sin; alcoholic/abusive men/fathers. Fatherlessness and the pain associated with that; sexual abuse and sexual exploitation; promiscuity among young people; sexual perversion.
Protection on the children and opportunities to reach them early with the gospel.
Please pray for a team of likeminded and full hearted servants of Jesus to join our team as we reach out to the lost, least, last and little ones in San Pedro Town. It’s time for God to work or we are in big trouble!
I trust that you are both encouraged and stirred to heart by what you’ve read in this Update and I welcome your comments, calls, emails, messages and letters. Thank you for the prayers and financial support!
In His love and grace,
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