“And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” Jeremiah 29: 7
Good Friday is one of the most solemn days as the Christian world reflects on the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on a cruel cross for the sins of the world. In the country of Belize it is called ‘Dry Friday’ as it is unlawful to sell alcohol from midnight Good Friday morning until midnight Holy Saturday. Another one of those great laws on the books in Belize. The San Pedro Town Council, working with the local police department to enforce this law as many stores were told they would be fined or arrested if violated. To the surprise and shock of many, the ‘dry Friday’ law was lifted by a local politician after the traditional Good Friday march through the Streets of San Pedro by the parishioners of the Catholic Church. I was told that the affects it had on tourism was a possible reason for the sudden lifting of the ban and my heart was sadden greatly as I heard first hand from several teenagers that underage drinking was rampant at the many beach and public parties and about a hundred students were reported to the local High School for alcohol usage over the Easter. “…and pray to the Lord for it, for in its peace you will have peace.”
Culture of Drinking:
Several years ago during one of my interview programs, the phrase came up and I could never forget it; it was said that ‘San Pedro has a culture of drinking’. As I’ve observed over the years the place that alcohol has in the community is very elevated and with the thousands of tourist that visit yearly seems to cater to culture of drinking. The country of Belize on a whole has a very large consumption of alcohol in our region and I often wonder how very poor people are able to participate in the drinking when they barely have the essentials to provid for their families. This culture of drinking is a norm for the weekends and with the many holidays that Belize celebrates I’m always curious about the amount of money made by the alcohol companies weekly. A byproduct of this is a group of drunks called the ‘red top’; named after a brand of rum with a red top lid; who are homeless and gathers by the Lagoon both day and night. I’ve gotten to know many of these guys as they are always begging me for money or asking for the Galcom fixed-tuned, solar powered radios; we stopped giving them the radios when we found out that they were selling them to tourist in order to purchase alcohol. My heart goes out to these guys and many know me by name and by the various titles they’ve given to me; Father Clive, Mr. Lighthouse or Christian man. A few days ago on my evening walk, I saw one of my friends staggering down the street and the thought came to mind, “these guys are killing themselves.” As I arrived to the radio station I received message that the body of one of these guys were found dead. Gripped by the news and the thought that I had a few minutes earlier and saddened greatly when I read that the police said it was of ‘natural causes’ but it was known that he had issues with alcoholism. ‘Natural causes’ goes along with the ‘culture of drinking’ as another soul slipped into eternity. I recently heard that 43% of Belizeans are under 18 years of age. What is the example being set for future generation? “…and pray to the Lord for it, for in its peace you will have peace.”
As a missionary, I’m not in Belize to change the culture. I don’t believe that God has called us to change culture but I do know that when the hearts of individuals are changed by the a living relationship with God through Jesus Christ then that individual is changed then he will be a part of changing his culture. I received a called from a young lady asking for one of our Galcom-Fixed-tuned, solar powered radio; she came by to pick it up and I shared with her that we are quickly run out of them and awaiting the new batch to arrive. She told us that her father have been listening to it for some time now and as a result has stopped drinking and cannot put down his radio which has recently stopped working. So she made the time to call and then come by to pick up a new one at her dad’s urgent request. “Whatever you guys are doing, please keeping doing it” she said. We are waiting for to hear back from our friends at Galcom International for word on when we can expect the newly improved radios which will feature audio Bible both in English and Spanish as well as the fixed-tuned and solar powered. We are also streaming Lighthouse Christian Radio on the Galcom website 24/7 and getting great responses from as far as Germany. Please pray for financial provision for the next shipment of radios and if you’d like to be a part of this, please contact me!
Lives touching Lives:
I recently celebrated another birthday and was greatly blessed by the many greetings on Facebook, emails, calls, letters, cards and visits. Thank you so much and I’m reminded once again on how blessed I am to have so many amazing people in my life. Birthdays are always a time of evaluating the call of God on my life and am I ‘learning to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom.’ I marveled at the lives that I’ve had the honor and privileged by the grace of God to touch and impacted for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I also realize that I’m not as young as I think I am and reminded of that fact when I have too many, back to back late nights and early mornings along with an increase of opportunities and a lack of helpers. We are still in need of help as we’re functioning with an extremely limited team; Elmer Montero, part time and myself, all the time. I’m currently doing the Morning Shift on Lighthouse, and the day to day administration of the station along with unexpected counseling appointments ranging from family issues, marriage counseling, teenagers in conflict, fatherless issues and mentoring young men, weekly bible study, touching base/discipling with folks via Facetime, Skype, calls; community involvement: Justice of the Peace, Marriage Officer, etc to name a few. Would you please join me in prayers for laborers; ministry interns, college/university student interns, long & short term missionaries, season of service and those eager to serve, being available to serve and see God use your life in significant ways. If you know someone interested or if you were pricked to heart and sense God’s tugging, please email me after praying about this opportunity.
Season of Service:
Andrew Schwartz, the son of a very good friend of mine emailed me his desire to come to serve for a season at Lighthouse. So delighted by the desire of this 18 year old young man to give 3 weeks of his life to serve the Lord alongside of us and at such a needy time. He will be traveling from Ohio and this will be his very first time out of the US and I’m excited to be a part of what the Lord will do in Andrew’s life as he makes himself available to Jesus in this time. His help with practical things around the Lighthouse will be gratefully appreciated but I’m thrilled by the fact that God will use this time to impact his life forever. I’m eager to introduce him to the young people who attend our Friday Night Bible Study and to see the development of friendships and fellowship that will last a lifetime!
Upcoming Events & Prayer/Praise:
-Saturday, May 16 — A Magical Mayan Night; Fundraiser for On Eagles Wings Ministries & S.H.I.N.E (Shaping Healthy Identities through Nurturing and Empowerment).
-Thursday, May 21 – Saturday, May 23 — Sharing International conducting a Media Seminar in Belmopan.
-Wednesday, May 20 — Drew Schwartz begins his Season of Service at Lighthouse!
-Please pray for immediate help for us at the Ministry; both for the radio station as well as assistance in the various ministries. Strength, wisdom & grace for me in the meantime with the daily necessities.
-Please pray for God’s intervention of the recent surge of senseless murders of Taxi cab drivers in San Pedro Town!
-Please pray for a teenage girl who recently had a miscarriage; healing spiritual and physical!
He Intends Victory
P.O. Box 399
Irvine, CA 92650
Please indicate: Welsh/Belize on your checks or online at:
Lighthouse Christian Radio Ministry
P.O. Box 166
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Belize, Central America
Cell : 011-501-605-6123
For up to date updates, join me on my Facebook at Clive Welsh!