This verse in Romans 14:7, “For none of us lives for ourselves or die for ourselves”
This short verse reminds me of the powerful influence we have on each other while living and dying. I was able to experience both of these over the past months and I’m still processing it all while being so grateful for the many people that God has placed in my life and the countless lives that have deeply touched my life and by His grace, I have touched. I was asked by a young man that I knew when he was a teenager, now in the early forties, to officiate his wedding. Like all of us, he had gone through many deep waters, trials, and difficulties; to be asked to do his wedding and him scheduling it to fit my schedule, was a delight of delights. As I sat across the table from him the night before his wedding and listening to his story of where he had been during the past 30 years of being out of touch with him, tears flowed from both of our eyes as I reminded him of the grace and power of the very same Jesus that he had entrusted his life to at a young age. He was one of the very first that had become like a son to me and I his stand-in-dad, and now I got to preside over his long awaited and special wedding day!
Sudden Impact: Finishing up with my annual eye doctor appointment in California in June and preparing to travel back to Belize for one of seven graduation ceremonies I was invited to attend. And preparing my graduation speeches to give at three of those; I received a devastating call from the wife of another one of my ‘sons’ whom I met when he was in my youth group at age 13. He died earlier that morning from a drug-overdose. The pain of the news and the voice of the new widow with a 2 year old daughter and a one your old son has since repeated in my ears many times. Postponing my return trip I found myself in the midst of assisting her with funeral arrangements while comforting the grieving widow and at the same time trying my best to contain my pain. The hours of counseling, warning, sharing and even yelling at him while giving tough love in seeking to rescue him from his addiction over the years seemed utterly wasted. The wife mentioned urging with him to answer the phone when I had called him just a day previously and now he was gone. Now I was standing before his family and many friends who traveled many miles at short notice
conducting the ceremony at his funeral. So many emotions, thoughts and memories flooded my mind as I stood before many of his friends that he met while being in the youth group that I was pastor. Reminded again that none of us live or die without affecting others. Please keep the widow in your prayers as she’s navigate life as a single mom of 2 young children and the day to day adjustments ahead. Please pray for wisdom as I seek to find her someone to mentor and disciple her being a very young believer!
Touching Lives: I flew on the overnight flight back to Belize and made it for the High School Graduation where one of the guy that I’ve helped over the years was graduating. Over the years it seems as if there are certain students whom I’ve come alongside to assist in various ways; financially with school fees, supplies, clothes, uniform, food, or a place to stay. Thanks to supporters like you and being able to live on little, I’ve been able to assist several in little ways that has helped several in major ways. I couldn’t miss this graduation as one of such student, Jahson Wright was graduating and given the honor of being the Master of Ceremony of the graduation class. Interestingly enough, last year’s MC was also one of the guys that I had come alongside of from the beginning of his high school days. Jahson, a dedicated young man who worked very hard facing financial hurdles and struggles while maintaining good grades and participating in sports. He earned his community service hours by helping us at Lighthouse with our daily Newscast until his busy schedule wouldn’t allow him. He lived ‘up north’ outside of the town and he would often sleep at the Lighthouse Staff Apartment when he missed his ride or needed to stay overnight so he could be on time for school. He is now attending a prominent University in Belize where he received a scholarship, the first in his family to attend University and I’m looking forward to continue assisting him in ways that I can. I laugh when I see him around town as he is always clean, well dressed and very fashionable. He told me his secret of mixing and matching his clothes and scheduling distance between wearing his outfits. It’s be a joy to walk alongside of Jahson and he often express his gratitude by telling me how much he appreciates the help and how he truly can feel God’s love for him!
Lives Touching Lives:
It never ceases to amaze me the ways God brings people in my life or crosses my path. Some are for random reason, some for a season and others are still to be determined and eager to see what the Lord will unfold. Three of these have been guys who are fatherless and each having issues due to years without guidance, boundaries or a male role model in their lives. This seems to be an unending story since returning to Belize, a nation of fatherless kids. Luis, a 15 year old who was going thru teenage issues when I met him and he responded quickly to having someone to share his heart with and knowing that it was safe and being told the truth about life and it’s choices. Hearing his family situation was a heartbreak and even though I’ve heard the stories over and over, it still cuts me deeply to heart each time as if it was the first time. I soon found out that he had failed his 2nd year in High School and had to repeat the year. He was insistent that he would go to evening school and work during the day to pay his way thru school. I later found out that he was given a scholarship from the school but since he failed it was revoked. After much talking and persuasion he agreed to repeat the grade and returning to day school. I promised him I would find a way to pay his tuition. I felt it
was necessary for him to value his education by working it off and the Vice Principal agreed. He is coming to the Lighthouse daily for 2 hours after school and doing his homework and study to guarantee quiet and consistent study environment without smart-phone or distraction. It was not an easy task as it was apparent that he had no structure, guidelines or discipline. Because I was going to be the one paying for his schooling, I had to sign his application as Guardian, this was a huge responsibility for me and with the help of his mom, a single mom, it was arranged and I became a Stand-in-Dad. Please pray for me as I seek to assist this young man to grow spiritually, educationally, and emotionally. Pray that I would be an effective male role model/father figure in his life. It’s a blessing to see him responding to God’s love and to watch him grow. I treasure the times of sharing godly principals in our daily conversation and ending his study time with a chapter from the Book of Proverbs and prayers. Thank you for your support which goes toward helping Luis to return to school!
Then there is Gomes: From time to time Gomes would come around and then disappears, recently I kept running into him and he would randomly stop by just to talk. He reminded me of meeting him when he was much younger when a mutual friend told him if he ever needed help he should go to the Radio Station and ask for me. I remembered that clearly and what stood out was the fact that he could hardly spoke English at the time but we were able to communicate. He also reminded me that I led him to the Lord and that was why he would periodically stop by especially when things were not going well. His visit became more frequently and he was about to graduate from Primary School; he invited me to attend and kept insisting that I’d be there. I made it and he was so excited that I came and insisted I took a picture with him. I later found out that his father was murdered when he was very young and that he was on his own for the most part since his mother rents a room for him because he doesn’t get along with her live-in boyfriend. Gomes began calling me ‘dad’ and he is one of the guys that I also assist with school supplies, clothes, uniform and having to help him with being a teenager; girlfriends, hikies, and homework. Please pray for him as I’m seeking to help him get his nationality papers in order, he was born in Guatemala!
Let’s not forget the General: Gene aka ‘the general’ comes across as the coolest kid on campus with this tug ways and very friendly with the ladies. My attention was drawn to him several time and I’ve made several attempts to connect with him to no avail. Recently I found out that he had failed his Senior year and when talking about it he was bitter and adamant about the very thought about repeating. I encouraged him to give it a try and that I’d do whatever I could to help him but he has to be the one who wanted to do it. He later told me that the Principal had given him a break and he would be able to repeat his Senior year but would be on a very tight leash. He mentioned to me that he knew exactly what the needed to do; stop clubbing and study instead as well as changing a lot of other unhealthy habits. I was able to get him some clothes, a book bag, shoes and other items he needed for school on my last trip to the U.S. and his facial expressing upon receiving them with priceless. I’d check on him from time to time at school and found out that he was truly on his own; no family on the island, staying in a room courtesy of the owner, and working on the
weekends when something opened up. At lunchtime, he would basically ask around and depended on the generosity of fellow students. One of the ladies who would prepare meals for students and brought them to school daily told me his situation so I arranged with her to provide lunches for him daily. Again, the gratitude expressed is difficult to explain and priceless as a couple time he addressed me as ‘pops’ and was hoping I wouldn’t be offended by that. I’m still waiting to hear his story as he promised me he would tell me someday. Please pray for Gene that God’s love would overwhelm his heart and bring about lasting changes. Thank you again for your financial support which enables me to share my resources, as little as it is, with guys like Gene, Gomez, Luis, and so many others. That old saying is so true, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care!”
Update on Miguel: There has seldom been a week that passes by without me thinking about him, praying for him and wondering how he is and what he’s doing. It has been a full year of not hearing from him and upon returning back in Belize, before getting off of the airplane, I got a text message from him asking me to call him. My heart was glad that he was still alive and that he finally made an attempt to connecting with me since I had no idea where he was. I called him upon settling in somewhat that evening and he gave me a brief update on his life. As he began to tell me his story of the past year, the story of the Prodigal Son ran through my mind and my heart was both hopeful and sorrowful at the same time. After several conversations, he asked if could come for a visit and I told him we can definitely work on that. He then expressed that he wanted me to help him get things right with the Lord. I told him that where he was currently, a small island used for fishing during the day and vacated by night, where him and another guy work as security guard, was the perfect place to seek the Lord and get right with Him. The next day we spoke again and he said that he talked with the Lord and shared everything that he did wrong and how he felt different on the inside. In one of my conversations with him I told him that I believe that he was still alive because of the many who have been praying for him especially since he has been off his medication for over a year now. He was to come for a visit a week ago but hasn’t yet showed up and I strongly believe he got sidetracked in Belize City by his friends and old habits from a photo he posted on his Facebook page. Please continue to pray for Miguel that he would return fully and completely home to Jesus where he belongs!
Thank you for taking the time to read this Update and more importantly, thank you for co-laboring with me in the lives of many here in San Pedro Town, Belize with your prayers and financial monthly support without which guys like Jahson, Luis, Gomes, Gene, and several others wouldn’t know the persistence love and care of Jesus!
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