top of page

Our Blog

Come along with us on our journey...


Last week a Facebook friend of mine asked, "...Who provides pastoral care to the pastor and his family when they go for surgery? ...Pastor, train up your congregation to offer pastoral care. Church, who provides pastoral care for your pastor? Pastor, open up and receive that care, let others work out of what they have been gifted and equipped to do."

Recently, in our Wednesday night group, we've been talking about service and how we are each called and equipped to serve the local Body. So often we forget that those who serve us have needs as well. Who is caring for the pastors, the leaders and elders? Have they simply become part of the scenery, like a lamp or hymn book? Do we see our leaders as people who tire, who hurt, who get discouraged? All those verses that talk about loving and encouraging our neighbors apply to our spiritual leaders as well. Do we think that since God called them to ministry, they're somehow removed from the same hurts and hang-ups that we face? If anything, being in ministry creates an isolation from others that can be very lonely and dark.

A very real burden for pastors here in Belize is finances. Very few pastors are able to live off a church salary here, sometimes due to how little their members earn, sometimes due to other factors. It's human nature for people with limited funds to withhold them. Instead of being obedient to God's command to tithe, they may give token offerings instead. There is also a fear that donated funds will be misused, so they don't give their tithe to the church. They may find other good projects and needs to donate to, while their pastors are struggling to keep their families fed and the church doors open. They may figure, if God has called them to ministry, He will meet their needs (it's not my job). The Bible shows clearly that His plan is to meet their needs through the local Body.

1 Timothy 5:17-18

17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and “The worker deserves his wages.”

1 Corinthians 9:7-12

7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk?8 Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing?9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned?10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?

I Corinthians 9:13-14

13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

We are supposed to meet our ministers' needs; I'm not talking about extravagant wealth. We are supposed to be faithful in our giving. In God's Kingdom every need is met, every person provided for, and those who serve are to be honored. How have we lost sight of this principle?

As a young child our family attended a large church that was missions-focused. When missionary families came through during their furlough, the church would roll-out the red carpet. They were billeted (housed) with families from the church, taken out to eat, given funds to pick up items they couldn't get overseas, sometimes even lent a vehicle while they were in town. While they were in the field, they had people praying and writing to the missionaries, so they would feel connected and stay encouraged. That church knew how to care for their missionaries. Nowadays I think the same mentality is at work regarding missionaries as pastors; "they signed up for this, God will meet their emotional and financial needs magically- it's not my job."

As a Body, we need to do better. As a Church we need to do better. We are His hands and feet. It is our job.

44 views1 comment

Fumble is defined as using one's hands clumsily while doing or handling something. People can "fumble the ball" or "fumble in the dark." As missionaries, as Christians, it is so easy to fumble in the things that matter.

"Fumbling the ball" describes when a teammate is attempting to pass a ball and, for whatever reason, the person drops it. Dropping the ball is often very public and very humiliating. There are spectators rooting for and against you, and teammates counting on you complete the play. As a missionary and youth worker, I have people believing in me, cheering me on, and hoping I won't drop the ball. The pressure is on.

So often when youth become more independent, their independence draws them away from the nurturing womb of their home church. They grow up in a protective cocoon of supportive adults, and then the time comes to shed those confines and spread their wings. They go out in search of new ideas, more relevant teachings, excitement, community. Sometimes they return, sometimes they don't. In my work with young people I am just one of the players on the field, in the company of the mentors and Sunday School teachers who came before. When the play calls for me will I fumble?

I feel the weight of responsibility as I meet up with young people; similar to the feeling of being on the field and hoping I won't mess up. I want so much for these young people! I want them to understand the benefits of Christian community. I want them to cultivate a personal spiritual life. I want them to connect with the God who formed them and has a plan and purpose for them. Will I say the right words? Do I text them enough? Too much? When I lead a Bible study, is it engaging? Is it relevant to their lives?

1 Corinthians 3:7

"So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything,

but only God, who makes things grow."

I am reminded, lest I forget, that it is God who gives the increase. I may fumble in the delivery or the method, but the greater fumble is to think it's all up to me. I am to do my best- to work as unto the Lord; the results are ultimately out of my hands. To know my role and stay humble, lest I fumble.

95 views1 comment

As a couple we try to show our supporters what our work is like, here in Belize. We send out a monthly newsletter, we post updates to our social media accounts, and yet I still get the sense that people have no idea what I do on a typical day. Part of the reason for that is that every day is different, so it can look like a lot of things. You may be tempted to imagine that my life is uber-spiritual or that I am a bona fide saint. Hopefully this account will give you an idea of the practicalities of our life of ministry, and remove all ideas of sainthood.

Relating the events of a day in my life (last Tuesday, to be specific) will give you a peek behind the curtain of what it means to be a missionary. The day started early, feeding the kids and getting them off the school. Our neighbor's kids typically arrive at our house at 7am, because we give them a ride as well. By 8:30, the kids had been dropped off and one of our youth was at our door. Her school had been shut down for an emergency and she needed a place with Wi-Fi to do her work. I set her up with breakfast and she got to work at the kitchen table. I then sat down for a quick Quiet Time.

I received a call from a woman I had never met, telling me her granddaughter was suicidal and asking if I could come speak with her. I made plans to go over to the house later that day, because I was already on my way to meet up with a single mom at the hospital. She had been experiencing pain and suspected kidney stones. I spent the morning with this lady at the hospital, paying for her ultrasound, listening to her woes and offering encouragement. Eddie, meanwhile was meeting with his supervisor for campus ministry. He picked Brooklyn up from school for lunch and got her fed while I finished up at the hospital.

After lunch I dropped Brooklyn back at school, and the others back to their homes and made my way to a nearby village to meet with the suicidal teen. I spent about an hour and a half speaking with the young person and her family members. I learned a bit about her mental health, encouraged them to reconnect with her psychiatrist, spoke with them about spiritual warfare and offered to meet with her weekly, for lay counseling. Next I had to head back to town to pick up Brooklyn from school.

As soon as we got home, Eddie took our vehicle and ran around town preparing for an open house at the university, to take place the following day. I found out then that he had caught the stomach bug that has been going around. I made dinner and checked in on several youth and ladies from church on my phone. Eddie was in bed during dinner, so I drove AJ to volleyball practice.

When I got back from dropping off AJ, Eddie was up and baking cookies for the open house and some church friends had stopped by for a visit. I sat with my friend, as she unloaded her frustrations and concerns. Her kids used our Wi-Fi and ate some dinner. Eddie baked and baked and baked. While they visited I did some clean up and washed the dishes.

By the time AJ needed a pick up from volleyball around 8:15, I was exhausted and escaped to my bedroom to rest. A Seattle friend of 25 years joined me virtually in watching a reality show on Netflix, helping me disconnect from the needs around me and just laugh. Eddie got the kids to bed and we shut off the light at midnight. Man! It was a DAY!

As you can see, so much of our ministry is relational and unpredictable. These are what fill our days between Bible studies and church services. Most of our costs go into sharing food and filling up our gas tank. We don't post pictures of hospital waiting rooms, sick beds or empty pantries. We don't post the identities of the people in our lives who have less than us, during their time of need. These are hidden things; sacred moments.

Matthew 25:35

35 "I was hungry. And you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty. And you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger. And you invited me in. 36 I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me."

Society often values people based on what they produce. Having a legitimate or respectable job is an extension of that. If the work you do is valuable, they pay you well. If it is deemed unimportant or entry-level, you don't earn as much. So, how does one categorize a missionary? Where do we rank on the spectrum of important or worthwhile careers? Are we simply providing a service, like fast food workers? I'll let you be the judge.

As missionaries we rely on individuals to see the value of the work we do and to prayerfully support it. It's always a challenge to balance how much we talk about our finances, not wanting to alienate our friends and supporters. As it stands, our support dollars don't cover our monthly expenses, let alone savings for emergencies or travel. We don't have paid time off or a retirement plan. We are dependent on the Body of Christ, and so are those whom we minister to. They rely on us being there for them with a bowl of food, an open door, with a medical fee, a ride to church or a kind word.

Now that you've seen what a day in my life looks like, will you consider telling a friend about that missionary you know in Central America? Will you share our needs with your Small Group or Bible Study and take an offering? Will you consider supporting us on a monthly basis? In so many ways we see God at work in what we are doing here. I hope that you do too.

41 views1 comment
bottom of page