There is just something about being in Belize this time of the year and hearing songs like ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ and ‘let it snow, let it snow, let it snow’ makes me chuckle. The closest thing that we have in December is our northeasterly winds which brings cool temperatures in the mid to low 60ies that is called ‘cold-fronts’ and you’ll see folks bundled up with sweaters and jackets as if it was snowing. Many catch the flu during these times because they are not used to these cooler weather. It is the start of our peak tourist season as folks are fleeing the really cold weather and enjoying the tropical weather for Christmas, which I call ‘Belize-Navidad’ . Another Christmas in Belize for me and I really cannot remember the last Christmas I’ve had with my family and friends in California but the great joy and blessings I receive is seeing firsthand the power of the Christmas story in the lives of who were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death brought into His Marvelous Light. Now that is what Christmas is all about. Join me as I share some of those stories with you in this Christmas Update!
A visit from Galcom International:
Our relationship with Galcom started 2006 when I met Allan McGuirl, founder and president of Galcom, at the Belize International Airport as they were leaving the country after installing the Toledo Christian Radio in the southern district of Belize. In that brief meeting I mentioned to Allan about our need for an antenna at Lighthouse Christian Radio, at that time we were broadcasting for only 2 years. Allan responded, “Well, I just so happen to have an extra antenna here that we didn’t use that I was taking back.”I walked out to the parking lot of the airport with the antenna and a partnership began that day that continues to this very day. We’ve distributed 3 thousands of their solar powered- fixed-tuned to FM 101.3 radios in San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker to residents. In 2008, a team from Galcom came down to San Pedro Town and installed a 40 ft. tower and a 4-bay antennas which enabled us to beam a clean, clear signal to all of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Caye Chapel and portions of Belize City and surrounding areas. They assisted greatly in getting Horizon Radio, our sister station in Spanish Lookout, on the air and continued their serve to us whenever a need arises. I would see Allan and the Galcom team at NRB Convention every year and each time I would extend an invitation to Allan to visit Belize for a vacation and to my surprise 2014 was to be that year. We were in the process of determining what we were to do with our fast rusting tower base and bolts and Allan decided to make a trip down to access the situation personally and that is how the working vacation trip was birth.
After a weekend at Horizon Radio and visiting nearby Christian Stations, they were off for a 3 days stay to San Pedro where they immediately began to investigate our tower/ antenna situation. This was their first time to the island and were eager to serve in any capacity possible. I was able to get them on the “Good Morning San Pedro Show” and many residents of San Pedro who have received a radio in the past were greatly blessed to hear the story of the radio from the very person who invented them. The McGuirl were very moved by the outpour of gratitude expressed from the recipients of radios and those newly informed of the radios continue to come to the station to receive one. Our supply is just about gone so we’re hoping to received their newest edition which has the entire Bible in English and Spanish along with the fixed-tuned to FM 101.3!
Flossie McGuirl love for children took her to the Brighter Tomorrow Preschool where she participated in the Story Time, she later remarked that the 4 year olds were all Spanish speaking but they were able to communicate God’s love without words. The time of sharing and fellowship with them was my favorite and seeing first hand their love and zeal for getting the gospel out to everyone they encountered. Also, we recorded interviews with them for future airing on ‘Visitors to Our Island’. But the most significant and treasured time was at the end of dinner on their last night when I invited Irvin to join us. He is a young man that I’ve known for several years and had developed a very good relationship with and shared the Lord with him numerous times. I had not seen him around for several months and really sensed that I was to reach out to him. He responded to my invitation to join us for dinner where Allan & Flossie, having no idea what the issues were in his life, began to share the love of Jesus with Irvin and listened attentively. He later came by the radio station where he opened up fully to me and shared what has been going on in his life and wept bitterly over the pain of neglect he had endured as a child by his noninvolved father. I was so blessed to see the scriptures come alive as ‘one sow, another water but God gives the increase’ and rejoiced in the Lord at the heart of this couple all the way from Hamilton, Ontario being so in tuned with the Spirit and co-laboring alongside of us in San Pedro. More on Irvin coming up later!
Equipping Spanish Leader Seminar :
Pastor Jaime Siman, pastor of Calvary Chapel Emmanuel, Orange, California arrived on Wednesday, December 10th for a three night Seminar for the Spanish pastors, leaders and eager to learn believers. He met the McGuirl who left on the following day, it always thrills me to see how the Lord works in networking His servants together from all over the planet. I’ve often invited Pastor Jaime to San Pedro for several years but due to his extensive travels to other Latin American countries and the demands of his ministries he wasn’t able. On a recent visit to California he expressed a desire to come down especially after hearing of the needs for the Spanish pastors and church leaders to be better equipped so we could effectively plan a town wide evangelical crusade. Because Pastor Jaime’s teaching program, “The Word for Latin America” have been on Lighthouse Christian Radio for several years and the pastors were familiar with him and was very excited to meet him and be taught by him for the 3 nights. He was quick to make many friends and Irvin was one of those that he met at the Lighthouse Guest Apartment where he stayed. The entire Seminar was taught in Spanish and I invited Irvin since his first language is Spanish, he came and at the end of the first night he surrendered his life to Christ. Because it was in Spanish I had no idea what was being said but later Irvin came to me and said,” You remember the intense loneliness that I was telling you about a few nights ago, well it is gone. I’m no longer lonely because Jesus is in my heart.”
Amidst the busiest time of the year for the radio station; getting our Christmas greeting promotions for local businesses in order to raise funds for our yearly license fee and being under staffed, I was greatly refreshed by the fellowship I had with Pastor Jaime. His zeal for sharing the gospel with folks in the shops, stores or on the street and the love he has for the people of San Pedro greatly encouraged my heart. He poured out his heart to the pastors, leaders and participants at the Seminar of the importance of knowing the full council of God and that can only be achieved by studying the Scripture verse by verse, chapter by chapter and book by book. One session was on the grace of God and the dangers of legalism which is characteristic of many churches in Belize. But what I appreciated the most was him being here and seeing firsthand the needs of the island and day to day ministry I’m engaged in and being a part of the ‘planting, watering and God bringing the increase’ in the lives of many residents and especially guys like Irvin who is in desperate need to know their Heavenly Father!
Lives Touching lives: Irvin’s Story
I met Irvin over 3 years ago when he worked delivery for a nearby restaurant. I kept running into him on the street several times within a couple hours and felt that a ‘divine appointment’ was in the works. After several conversations he began to open his heart and shared with me about his troubled life of drugs, fighting and many weekends in the local jail. As he shared his story, one very familiar to me of fathers who are not involved in the lives of their sons during those important years of growth and development. Over the months of praying, listening, sharing, answering questions and loving Irvin I knew that it would take a work of God to reach him. I even had him staying at the Lighthouse in the Staff Apartment for a time but with the severe shortage and unstable staff situation at that time, he went back home and I knew that only God would be able reach him in His timing. We reconnected the night he met us, Allan & Flossie, for dinner when they shared the Lord with him and he listened intently and later came to Lighthouse and opened up about the internal struggles of his soul and wept bitterly. Again, I shared the Father’s love for him and invited him to the first night of the Seminar where Pastor Jaime taught and God reached into the depth of his heart and preformed a miracle. He attended every night of the seminar, spent time with Pastor Jamie and attended the Friday night Bible Study at the Lighthouse and shared his story of what God did in his life. We’ve been meeting early every morning and going over the basics of the Christian life and I’m greatly encouraged by his hunger for the Word and being very bold in sharing the changes God has done in his life to his bewildered and unbelieving friends. “One sow, another water, but God brings the increase!” Please continue to pray for Irvin and rejoice with us to answers to prayers and another lost son met His Heavenly Father!
Gratitude & Grace:
Kian, who recently celebrated a year of knowing the Lord, met his biological father after making contact with him in answer to his prayer upon becoming a Christian. His father spent a weekend with him and attended our Friday Evening Study and expressed such gratitude to the Lord that his son knows and serves Jesus just like he does. That was definitely a weekend Kian will never forget and another testimony of God’s amazing grace!
Julio, a brother who has struggled in his walk over the years and someone that has been in our prayers, was so thrilled to meet Pastor Jaime Siman after listening to his teaching program on Lighthouse. He has also been attending the Friday Evening Bible Study!
Attended the Christmas Choral Presentation at Open Doors Believers Chapel in Belize City last Sunday and after service I spoke to my good friend Pastor Souter who once again expressed his desire for Lighthouse Christian Radio to reach into heart of Belize City where is church is located. We’ve talked about this several years ago and the thought rekindled again in both of our hearts. I told him of our great need for staff and he called me the following day to tell me of a young man from his fellowship who has some experience and is interested. Today Richard arrived and is being orientated to the island and the radio station!
So confident in the Lord for greater things in the upcoming year in my personal life and the ministry that He has counted me faithful in ‘life touching lives’ to many to “warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all!”
Thankful for a very restful, quiet and contemplative Christmas Day after a very challenging, busy, eventful and overlapping schedule and the privilege of seeing fruits and beauty from ashes in my life and others!
Please pray for wisdom from above for direction in ministry for the upcoming New Year!
Please pray for new believers and the task of discipling them; Kian, David, Irvin, Marcus & Cindy, Julio (recently rededicated) .
Please pray for Jason, Jeff, Denis, Henry, Eric, Melissa, and Iris & Mike: come to know the Lord!
Please pray for my upcoming Doctor’s appointment; follow-up on previous tests!
Please pray for Elmer as he oversees the Radio Ministry in my absence; training new staff Rich, patience and wisdom!
Please pray for “On Eagle’s Wings Ministry” upcoming launching of ministry to those involved in Human Trafficking & sexual exploitation in San Pedro!
Thank you once again for your heart of love for me expressed through your prayers, support, trust and commitment to the Lord and His work in reaching the lost, last, least and the little!
Blessings on His great grace and undying love,