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Messages From Belize Team To Home


Date and Time Posted: Thursday August 18, 2011 - 2:50:50 pm


i am very thankful for what Body and soul Ministries has done for me and my children we have been blessed and am grateful, I would like to thank my daughter and son sponsor in person and would be grateful for them to give me their email address and i will send mine so that my daughter and son can keep in contact with them and keeping that close relationship. Once again May God continue to bestows his blessings on the ministry and the individuals. Thank you and may God Bless. Your Sister in Christ Jennifer Mendoza


Posted By:Jennifer Mendoza


Date and Time Posted: Sunday August 14, 2011 - 12:45:09 am


Book Distribution – Day 10 – Saturday, August 13, 2011 – “Free Day” “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” – Isaiah 56: 6,7 (KJV) God’s infinite wisdom allowed Gentiles to be “grafted in,” and thereby have access to the presence of the Most High God by obeying his Word, keeping the Sabbath, and following Jesus Christ. The Team this week illustrated the love of Christ through many opportunities given to it – to provide supplies to children, to help local schools, to counsel parents, to counsel children, to complete construction projects, and simply show the love of Christ to the people of Belize. The Team awoke to another great day in Belize – a day of rest and recreation for the entire Team. It was also a sad day, as it was the day of departure of five of the team members. The breakfast this morning was bacon, spiced scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. The Team was prepared, and the luggage loaded, by 0810 to leave the Compound for the drive to Belize City. It was a sad goodbye for the departing members, who hugged Verna and the cooking staff for the last time prior to departure. The Team was accommodated by some of the teenagers who had worked during the Book Distribution week, as well as some of their friends. Everyone was excited to be going to Caye Caulker, an island of Belize off the eastern coast in the Caribbean sea. Caye Caulker is a tourist destination, with an approximate population of 1200, and a major focus of recreational activities. About one mile from the shore of Caye Caulker is the Belize Barrier Reef, a five to ten minute boat ride from shore, and a location offering great diving, snorkeling, and fishing. Many on the Team was looking forward to snorkeling this barrier reef, and were anxious to see the many types of fish, coral, and other sea animals. After arrival at the airport, the five departed the bus with their luggage, said their final goodbyes and gave their last hugs, before entering the terminal. The bus roared to life, as much as it could roar, for the drive to the pier where the chartered shuttle was located. There were 32 members on this outing, including Frank and Dave, the remaining Team members (except for Hope Guy who decided to truly rest this day, a blessed, deserved rest since she has worked so hard to see this week come to fruition), and the teenagers. The boat ride to the island took over 45 minutes, but the weather was nice, and the ride was very enjoyable. Arriving at the island around 1100 a.m., we were told that we needed to be at the pier at 5:00 p.m. for the trip back. The group of “snorkelers” consisted of over 10 people, and we walked en masse down the street to a local vendor. Each paid the required fee, and were fitted with a mask and fins for ;the trip. The remainder of the Team had decided to shop, walk the island, rest beneath the palm trees, or enjoy the white-sand beaches and water of the island shores. The teenagers that had assisted the book distribution activities during the week went to one end of the island, and participated in volleyball and other activities. The day’s snorkeling adventure began with a 10-minute ride to the first of three stops. The first stop was in shallow water, and was designed to allow the individuals that had never snorkeled to become accustomed to the fins, mask, and the procedure for keeping the air tube clear of water and the mask sealed. A few fish were observed near the coral, and mainly consisted of smaller varieties of fish. All tried snorkeling at this location, and after 20-30 minutes, we moved to a second location. The second location was more memorable due to the fact that it was a location where locals had fed sting rays and nurse sharks. The nurse shark was the species present, and the area had about a dozen or so sharks present when we arrived. The nurse shark is a species that is commonly found in shallow waters in tropical and subtropical areas, and which is not known to widely attack humans. The sharks were not aggressive at this location due to the food provided by the boat captain, who fed the sting rays and sharks small fish before we entered the water. The water was shallow, and we were surrounded by sting rays and sharks for the entire time we were in the water. The captain also entered the water, and grabbed a sting ray by his body (for a short time only). Sting rays are normally curious and docile, but can become defensive if they are entrapped or held tightly. We were cautioned about holding the creatures, but they did come close enough to pass near, or touch, us as we snorkeled with them. It was great experience, and all enjoyed this activity. The boat was again moved to the third location, in deeper water. The more-adventurous snorkelers accompanied the captain into water over 60-70 feet deep, and over large coral formations. We observed multiple species of fish, some in large schools, of varying shades of multiple colors; we also observed other species, including eels and barracudas. Of particular interest was the presence of a fairly large eagle ray, a large stink ray having a white upper surface with black or dark blue spots. The group spent about an hour away from the boat (about ½ mile out and ½ mile back). One incident occurred when a Team member’s life vest became ensnared on a coral reef, requiring the boat captain (driver) to assist her in becoming loosened from the reef. After returning to the boat, were were given cold water and fresh pineapple and oranges for a snack. It was a trip enjoyed by all! The group split after returning to the shore, some having went to a nearby restaurant for a seafood lunch, and others walking up the main street to engage in other activities. The entire Team enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and reassembled for the ride back. Thunderstorms were seen north of the island, but the Team wasn’t influenced by these storms on the return to the mainland, nor during the drive to the Camp. Upon arrival, the Team enjoyed a dinner of chicken, yellow rice, fried plantain, and dessert. The remainder of the night consisted of a short devotion, lead by Teresa Hayden; packing, and preparing for our departure the next day. God has blessed this Team this week, and we again express our heartfelt thanks and give blessings to the sponsors of the children this week. Pray for the Team as they leave Belize, and travel back to the States. Continue to pray for Dave and Verna, future missionary teams, and current missionaries of this ministry and other ministries that support Body and Soul, as they will need continued prayers. In each and every missionary activity, Satan attempts to destroy anyone’s activities done in the name of the Lord, sometimes through vicious untruths, and sometimes through theft and misuse of ministry assets. Pray that this ministry continues to be strong, is guided by God’s Word, and that God’s blessings be on those who are serving in the name of the King of Kings! (I apologize to the Team members for any omittances, but they occurred due to my lack of detailed knowledge of all of the many events and many blessings that the various Team members had made during the week. God knows the truth, and He is pleased with all tha you have done during this week in God's name).


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Sunday August 14, 2011 - 12:45:08 am


Book Distribution – Day 10 – Saturday, August 13, 2011 – “Free Day” “Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one that keepeth the Sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people.” – Isaiah 56: 6,7 (KJV) God’s infinite wisdom allowed Gentiles to be “grafted in,” and thereby have access to the presence of the Most High God by obeying his Word, keeping the Sabbath, and following Jesus Christ. The Team this week illustrated the love of Christ through many opportunities given to it – to provide supplies to children, to help local schools, to counsel parents, to counsel children, to complete construction projects, and simply show the love of Christ to the people of Belize. The Team awoke to another great day in Belize – a day of rest and recreation for the entire Team. It was also a sad day, as it was the day of departure of five of the team members. The breakfast this morning was bacon, spiced scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. The Team was prepared, and the luggage loaded, by 0810 to leave the Compound for the drive to Belize City. It was a sad goodbye for the departing members, who hugged Verna and the cooking staff for the last time prior to departure. The Team was accommodated by some of the teenagers who had worked during the Book Distribution week, as well as some of their friends. Everyone was excited to be going to Caye Caulker, an island of Belize off the eastern coast in the Caribbean sea. Caye Caulker is a tourist destination, with an approximate population of 1200, and a major focus of recreational activities. About one mile from the shore of Caye Caulker is the Belize Barrier Reef, a five to ten minute boat ride from shore, and a location offering great diving, snorkeling, and fishing. Many on the Team was looking forward to snorkeling this barrier reef, and were anxious to see the many types of fish, coral, and other sea animals. After arrival at the airport, the five departed the bus with their luggage, said their final goodbyes and gave their last hugs, before entering the terminal. The bus roared to life, as much as it could roar, for the drive to the pier where the chartered shuttle was located. There were 32 members on this outing, including Frank and Dave, the remaining Team members (except for Hope Guy who decided to truly rest this day, a blessed, deserved rest since she has worked so hard to see this week come to fruition), and the teenagers. The boat ride to the island took over 45 minutes, but the weather was nice, and the ride was very enjoyable. Arriving at the island around 1100 a.m., we were told that we needed to be at the pier at 5:00 p.m. for the trip back. The group of “snorkelers” consisted of over 10 people, and we walked en masse down the street to a local vendor. Each paid the required fee, and were fitted with a mask and fins for ;the trip. The remainder of the Team had decided to shop, walk the island, rest beneath the palm trees, or enjoy the white-sand beaches and water of the island shores. The teenagers that had assisted the book distribution activities during the week went to one end of the island, and participated in volleyball and other activities. The day’s snorkeling adventure began with a 10-minute ride to the first of three stops. The first stop was in shallow water, and was designed to allow the individuals that had never snorkeled to become accustomed to the fins, mask, and the procedure for keeping the air tube clear of water and the mask sealed. A few fish were observed near the coral, and mainly consisted of smaller varieties of fish. All tried snorkeling at this location, and after 20-30 minutes, we moved to a second location. The second location was more memorable due to the fact that it was a location where locals had fed sting rays and nurse sharks. The nurse shark was the species present, and the area had about a dozen or so sharks present when we arrived. The nurse shark is a species that is commonly found in shallow waters in tropical and subtropical areas, and which is not known to widely attack humans. The sharks were not aggressive at this location due to the food provided by the boat captain, who fed the sting rays and sharks small fish before we entered the water. The water was shallow, and we were surrounded by sting rays and sharks for the entire time we were in the water. The captain also entered the water, and grabbed a sting ray by his body (for a short time only). Sting rays are normally curious and docile, but can become defensive if they are entrapped or held tightly. We were cautioned about holding the creatures, but they did come close enough to pass near, or touch, us as we snorkeled with them. It was great experience, and all enjoyed this activity. The boat was again moved to the third location, in deeper water. The more-adventurous snorkelers accompanied the captain into water over 60-70 feet deep, and over large coral formations. We observed multiple species of fish, some in large schools, of varying shades of multiple colors; we also observed other species, including eels and barracudas. Of particular interest was the presence of a fairly large eagle ray, a large stink ray having a white upper surface with black or dark blue spots. The group spent about an hour away from the boat (about ½ mile out and ½ mile back). One incident occurred when a Team member’s life vest became ensnared on a coral reef, requiring the boat captain (driver) to assist her in becoming loosened from the reef. After returning to the boat, were were given cold water and fresh pineapple and oranges for a snack. It was a trip enjoyed by all! The group split after returning to the shore, some having went to a nearby restaurant for a seafood lunch, and others walking up the main street to engage in other activities. The entire Team enjoyed the rest of the afternoon, and reassembled for the ride back. Thunderstorms were seen north of the island, but the Team wasn’t influenced by these storms on the return to the mainland, nor during the drive to the Camp. Upon arrival, the Team enjoyed a dinner of chicken, yellow rice, fried plantain, and dessert. The remainder of the night consisted of a short devotion, lead by Teresa Hayden; packing, and preparing for our departure the next day. God has blessed this Team this week, and we again express our heartfelt thanks and give blessings to the sponsors of the children this week. Pray for the Team as they leave Belize, and travel back to the States. Continue to pray for Dave and Verna, future missionary teams, and current missionaries of this ministry and other ministries that support Body and Soul, as they will need continued prayers. In each and every missionary activity, Satan attempts to destroy anyone’s activities done in the name of the Lord, sometimes through vicious untruths, and sometimes through theft and misuse of ministry assets. Pray that this ministry continues to be strong, is guided by God’s Word, and that God’s blessings be on those who are serving in the name of the King of Kings! (I apologize to the Team members for any omittances, but they occurred due to my lack of detailed knowledge of all of the many events and many blessings that the various Team members had made during the week. God knows the truth, and He is pleased with all tha you have done during this week in God's name).


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Friday August 12, 2011 - 11:26:26 pm


Book Distribution – Day 9 – Friday, August 12, 2011 “The four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” --Revelation 4:10,11 One day we will be in the presence of the Most High, and it will be our pleasure to cast or crowns down before the throne, singing praises to the King of Kings. In the meantime, we are in His service, and the Team was preparing to begin a final day of book distribution in Roaring Creek. The team awoke to a “foggy” humid morning due to some precipitation last night, and the quickly rising temperatures drying the surface of its moisture. Three of the Team members were up early in order to ride with Teresa Hayden to the television station for an 7:00 a.m. appearance on the Belizean TV. Teresa was asked to return this morning to discuss the ministry’s efforts, and to have the three ladies accompanying her to sing a few songs. The drive to the station was uneventful, and the group arrived early. Several pictures were taken of the station’s personnel and equipment. Teresa discussed the book distribution status, and the increased focus on accountability of the students and the parents to try to assure that the performance of the kids in the classroom is improved. The “trio” then sung two songs before concluding their visit. Because of the cramped studio, and the problem of camera flash interfering with the program, pictures were taken of their appearance through a monitor in the studio lobby. The pictures were examined on the way back to the compound as everyone enjoyed the opportunity to give praise to God and tell of His praises. After returning to the Body and Soul Compound, the group ate a quick breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, and then started the book distribution activities for the day. The morning was busy, with scores of students arriving at the compound for their supplies. Many stood outside the compound fence, and waited for one of the Team members to get close enough to the fence to be asked questions. A young mother and her children asked for someone to sponsor her children; however, she was told that the sponsor-request list had thousands of kids on it, and there were no sponsors to be had that day. Sometimes it is a struggle to speak the truth-to tell the people they do not have a chance today, and that they must leave empty-handed, as well as choosing wording that does not increase the hopes of the kids and mothers for no reason. They turned and walked away, as did many others when they were told that there were no handouts, for Friday was not a “free” day as in past years. Many had walked miles expecting another “free day,” but such was not to be – there were requests for backpacks; for umbrellas, for pen and paper; but we only had supplies for those who had sponsors. Several children were allowed through the gates on their statements that they were “told” they had sponsors, but it was soon discovered that the facts were otherwise, and that they did not have sponsorship; they were escorted back through the gate to the outside of the compound. The good news for the day that there were many kids who were “new” to the sponsorship program, and we experienced the joy of seeing them get their supplies. God bless those who were able to sponsor the “new kids,” and bless the kids as they start this school year! By lunchtime, the crowd had dwindled, and few were waiting. Many had arrived back at the compound from having been processed earlier in the week expecting to receive the portions of the school uniforms that weren’t available earlier; however, most were turned away until next Friday, by which time Verna was expected to have the clothing needed. The afternoon progressed slowly, with few kids arriving for their supplies. By 2:30 p.m., it was decided to prep book packs for those students who had not arrived during the week. The list of “sponsored students’ that hadn’t been to the compound numbered greater than 60 by day’s end. Some of the “no-shows” were college students, who typically don’t show up until they need funds. Teresa had recognized another possible reason for many not arriving was that they were “Form 6” level students. The school systems require that “Form 6” students pass a comprehensive examination before being promoted; even students that fail the class work during this year are promoted if they pass the examination. If they fail the examination, then they have to repeat the entire year a second time in order to retake the exam. Many simply drop out rather than repeat the year, either from frustration or from the desire to avoid the frustration and ridicule of having repeated this class; thus, they do not proceed to the next level of high school. One last kid to be processed was a young girl who had made straight “A’s” during the entire year, and who had not missed a single class all year. It is the desire that our efforts this year to increase parental involvement will help many students move in the direction of the high performance that this young lady had illustrated. The Team was assisted in the week by local teens, many of which attend Faith Baptist. Many of the Team had hoped to get to go to Spanish Lookout this afternoon to shop at the "Belizean Walmart," and to purchase ice cream, but such was not to be. The operation was shutdown so late in the day that it wasn't possible to get there in time before these stores closed. As a result, we remained until dinner, and had the Belizean helpers eating with us for the evening meal before departing for their homes. Another group of Team members went to the Reyes house to work on the electrical system. There were several tasks to finish, with the focus on installing lights in the bedrooms, bathroom, and outlets in the various rooms. The family huddled together with the Team members working to thank God for the provision of lights in the home! Even the simplest of thigns are a blessing to the family, and it is a blessing for the Team to provide this for them. Dinner consisted of biscuits, beef stew, and chocolate-covered strawberry cake. The Team enjoyed the meal, and then reassembled in the dining hall for devotions at 0745. Mary Hayes lead the devotion, with a discussion of Scripture concerning God’s choice of David for a king. Mary gave her testimony that she used to judge people, comparing her status to their status, her problems to their problems, and resulted in a “ranking” of herself. God doesn’t judge people, and He doesn’t go by man’s rules or man’s priorities. David was not a man of great strength or a great warrior, and yet God chose him to be the king of Israel and to slay the enemy of God’s people – Goliath. Mary stated that she was blessed to see the Team working this week, and that God had put this Team together for his purpose. It is amazing to see the Lord work, and to realize the hearts and souls touched by the workers in God’s service. It was amazing to see the young men and women working together serving Christ, including the young helpers from Belize who were an inspiration to us all. It was pointed out that the work here was “past,” but it is important for us to look forward to “WHAT’S NEXT?” Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, and we are to be his slaves serving Him, regardless of whether it is in another country, here in Belize, in our church, our neighborhood, or in our community, we should be bound and dedicated to serve our Master. Five of the Team will be departing Belize tomorrow for the U. S., with the remainder going to an island to enjoy our day of rest before traveling back to the States on Sunday. Continue to pray for the results of the Team’s work this week – for the souls who have been saved; for the lives touched by Team and by the sacrifices of the Sponsors; and for the seeds that have been sewn in the hearts of the young men and women of Belize. We rejoice in the service of Christ, and we will rejoice in heaven with our brothers and sisters in Christ as we praise the Lamb slain for the sins of the world! To God be the Glory forever and ever!


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Friday August 12, 2011 - 10:02:30 am


There are so many pictures in my mind as I read the messages posted by Jerry Lee.My sweet lord fills my heart with joy and my eyes with tears as I read the names and see the pictures of so many that I have traveled and worked with,and to hear of the great work that God is doing with this team is amazing.I wish I could have witnessed Bro.Layton preaching to the chickens. we love you all Fred an Louise


Posted By:Fred Robinette


Date and Time Posted: Friday August 12, 2011 - 12:25:27 am


Book Distribution – Day 8 – Thursday, August 11, 2011 “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also called of Jesus Christ.” – Romans 1: 5, 6 The morning sun arose on Belize for another clear, hot day; rainless, partly cloudy, but which proved to be another great day in Belize for the Book Distribution Team. Problems continued with Internet communication, and thus, the postings for the blog were delayed until an upgrade to the system could be installed (which occurred this afternoon). As usual, Pastor Rhaburn and son were working on the foundation for the new Rhaburn home, located on the lot north of the compound, at sunrise. Pastor Rhaburn had remained in his vehicle on the property all night due to the presence of his tools and construction material. The foundation had been appropriately framed, and foundation material and rebar had been laid for the pouring of the concrete today. The tools were used to prepare the foundation. At around 0615, a truck arrived with a mobile concrete mixer, and the pouring of the concrete foundation was started. Dave and Frank had started helping to get the foundation finished; several of the Team went over to assist in the work, including Layton, Frank, Dave, Luke, Ryan, Lucas, Delmar, Chic, Tom, and Esuardo. Jerry M. and Jerry G. both went over to take pictures of the activities. These men worked hard, only taking a break to have breakfast, and finished the concrete pour early in the morning. Many pictures were taken of the concrete work and the hard labor that the men completed for the pastor and his family. Meanwhile, a group of Team members was asked to go to the local TV station to speak about the Book Distribution activities, and to sing some songs. At 0645, they left the Compound for the 0700 appointment, and arrived back at the compound by 0800, just before the Book distribution was to start. God has given recent teams and opportunity to praise His name on the local radio and television stations; though it was a first television appearance for some Team members, it was used to God’s glory! They were asked to return to the station again tomorrow to give praise Group to TV station to sing/cover the ministry activities – another opportunity to give praise to the King of Kings! The Team had an excellent breakfast – biscuits, mango, gravy, sausage, watermelon, eggs, and mango juice – to provide fuel for the day’s activities. The children for the morning were from one school, and the afternoon’s kids were from three different schools. The ages of the kids varied across the range – from first level to the last high school level. One thing, however, that was common to all of the kids was the smiles and thankfulness for the blessings provided by the many sponsors. You don’t know how much the sponsorship means to the kids unless you see the smiles on their faces when they receive their materials, and the disappointment on their faces if they have to be told that they don’t have a sponsor, and that they have to leave without hope. Fortunately, there were only a few cases of that during the day. One grandmother had called out through the plank fencing to be allowed to speak to Verna or Teresa. When questioned as to her need, she stated that she had three grandchildren with her, and that all needed sponsors. Her wish was that they could be given sponsorship, or be placed on a list; however, she had to be told that the waiting list was already excessively long – that no new names were being taken because we don’t have sponsors for the kids already. One young man and his brother were told to return in a few weeks to see if there were any changes that would warrant inclusion on the list, but no hope could be given to any of those without sponsors. Some Team members witnessed the rejection; the sadness was felt; and their hearts were filled with compassion for the hurting children. Our greatest request is that God will continue to bless the School Sponsorship Program, and that, through the reading of this blog, that many would tell others of the program and the need! After a quick lunch of bologna sandwiches, the Team finished processing the children by early afternoon, allowing other activities to occur. Many of the Team took the opportunity to go to the “Art Box,” a local artisan and souvenir shop, to purchase a few souvenirs for the trip. One of the opportunities afforded to this group was chance to have some more Western Dairy ice cream! After the visit, this group went to the “swinging bridge” in Roaring Creek, and walked on the bridge. It was another picture-making opportunity that was not to be missed. Due to time constraints, this group returned back to the compound for dinner as some of the group were going to Uriah for the night service. The group that went to Uriah heard a visiting preacher bring the message. Fortunately, for the Team members present, a translator was provided. This group enjoyed the service immensely. Others on the Team remained back at the compound where Luke provided the nightly devotions. Luke was the son of missionaries in Venezuela, and many thought that, because of his family history, that he would be “naturally able” to speak about Jesus and the gospel in his trips. That is not the case, for it doesn’t come naturally to everyone on what to speak when dealing with the lost, but it is much easier when God guides one in what to say and do. Luke had the opportunity recenty to go to China for a month. It was during this period that he tried to speak to a lost person. He, and others with him, and been cautioned as to how to approach the subject of Jesus. When he tried to speak to one person, he found out that the person knew the name Jesus Christ, and knew about Easter, but he wasn’t willing to hear more. Luke related that this was what “he” was trying to do. Later, God impressed he and his friend to give a person a Szechuan copy of the Scriptures; this lead to the person’s confession of faith. Matthew 28:19, the “Great Commission,” is our directive to conduct missionary activities, but we must keep in mind that they must be conducted in accordance with God’s directive and timing. Luke referred to Romans 1:5, which shows that God chooses those who are performing his work as missionaries in foreign lands, and as missionaries on teams. We should always be humbled to be on missionary teams because God has selected us personally for his purpose on the Team; this selection is a blessing, but comes at a price because we are selected to do God’s will and be representatives of Jesus Christ, not of ourselves. Our hands, feet, eyes, and mouths are to be used by Christ, and we are to be held accountable for all that we do in His name. May we never take this appointment lightly, and may we always give glory to Christ in all that we do! The Team members retired from their labors this day, looking forward to tomorrow’s kids. It was said, and echoed by the Team, that it’s hard to believe that the week is nearly over. That is the blessing of God – that we are so focused on doing His work that the time passes by. Time is an invention by God for man, for God is eternal and time is unimportant to Him. As the day ends, we enjoy the beauty of God’s creation as a beautiful moon was visible in the clear night sky. The devotions were ended in prayer asking for a peaceful night’s rest for all of the Team members. To God be the glory forever and ever, for today’s activites and for what’s NEXT!


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Thursday August 11, 2011 - 11:55:30 pm


Hello from Belize. All is well and work is going very well this year. The heat has been breath taking and the humidity terrible, but all in all everyone is doing fine. Brenda, for some reason,I can not get on my e-mail. I will just have lots to tell you when I get home. Delbert Rayburn is building a new house near the compound and we worked this morning pouring the concrete for the slab. We started at 6:00 am and finished around 10:00 before it got too hot. Kathy and I went to Uriah Church tonight. Keep all of us lifted up in prayer. It is so important. See you Sunday night. God Bless.........


Posted By:Layton


Date and Time Posted: Thursday August 11, 2011 - 9:23:22 pm


Book Distribution – Day 6 – Tuesday, August 09, 2011 (Posted Thurdsay - Internet Out 2 Days) “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of his pastue.” To serve the Lord means to set aside our desires, and to allow our bodies, minds, and souls to be used by God for His purpose. It is not just being a “hired hand,” but being a slave for we have been bought by the blood of Christ. The members of this team reflect that service during today’s activities, for the work was exhausting and challenging, but was also rewarding. The day began as it has been during this week – hot and humid. The Team had another great breakfast prepared by the cooks, and then began to allow the children to enter the compound. During the periods when the children were waiting to confirm their information (name, school, address, etc.), Team members get to talk to the kids about their progress, grades, etc. to encourage and council them. During one of these discussions, one child stated that he didn’t go to church. Kelly Hayden directed the child to go with her to another room, where she and Layton led the child to Christ! The work continued with the largest school’s kids being processed in the morning, and other schools in the afternoon. By 2:40, the processing was finished for the day. The Team members then split to various other activities for the evening. Some went with Esuardo to town to pick up bicycles for the kids they had sponsored; others went to pick up construction materials for projects that were underway during the week (doors and lumber). During this week, some of the Team had been busy with other construction jobs, such as completing some electrical work on the Reyes’ home. It is always amazing to see how God establishes a Team to do the work as He sees fit in an efficient manner! After evening meal, the women and the men separated into two different Bible studies. The women and men had separate Bible studies, with the women's meeting including singing hymns. The men's study was held in the main dining hall, with the Bible study group including others from the village, Team members, and members of the Faith Baptist Church. The study focused on Chapter 1 of 1 John, a text where John focuses on Christ as the “Word manifested in the flesh.” John begins the chapter similarly to that of the Gospel of John, stating that the plan of salvation was established and foreordained by God before even the beginning of creation. The “Word” had became flesh, and during Christ’s brief life on earth, John had a special relationship to Jesus. He saw Jesus with his eyes; he heard the words of Christ with his own ears; and he touched Christ with his own hands. John saw that Christ was the “Word” in flexh, and that Christ is life and light to the world. We can’t make decisions in our lives based on just feelings; we need to make our decisions based on the truth of God’s word, which will light our pathways and show us, through the Holy Spirit, where He would have us go. We who believe I Him understand what He can do for us, and we have the same privilege of fellowship as the disciples though we haven’t seen or touched Him in this world. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for his believers, and no one can take your place, in that home or in this world. John points out that Jesus is light, and that light and darkness cannot exist in the same place as darkness flees when there is light. John also points out that there is only one true joy in life, and that is joy in Christ. Our emotions, countenance, and joy show the love of God to others, who should see Christ when they look at us. The plan of salvation has been finished through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ; however, the Master has not finished His work in the world as evidenced by the folded linen in the tomb. In Biblical times, when a master is served a meal, servants watch and wait while the master eats his food. If he is finished, he will place his napkin on the table loosely; if he is not finished, he will fold the napkin before leaving, indicating his return. Jesus left this sign for us in the tomb – it is a sign that He is returning, and the signs are that it won’t be long in coming! As the world is in economic crisis, and turmoil continues, we take comfort in God’s long-term retirement plan – in Jesus Christ! Walk in joy is only the first step in living a Christian life, for it is only through serving Him, reading His Word, and growing as a Christian that joy continues. The longer we are Christians, the more we look at ourselves and see how wretched we are: “I’m not what I used to be, and I’m not what I’m going to be!” We must be everyday followers of the King! One of the ways that we can grow as Christians is through the fellowship with our fellow believers, for the “image of fellowship” is two men in a small boat – unless they are working to paddle in the same direction, they won’t get anywhere as they are working against each other; one standing or moving unexpectedly can tip the boat over, plunging both into the water; unless they communicate with each other and plan what direction to go, they wander aimlessly or go in circles. It is the same with our lives – unless we are in fellowship with Christ, we wander aimlessly in life in darkness, not knowing what is going to occur next. We must not be just followers, but everyday followers of the Word, moving in the direction that God has established for our lives. The Team retired early for the evening, exhausted from their efforts for the day. Continue to pray for the Team as they continue to do God's will during the week.


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Thursday August 11, 2011 - 3:27:43 pm


thanks to all for the thoughts and prayers! We are having a very productive week. We have ran out of a lot of shoe sizes BUT now we have a good list of the sizes to try to get! Most of these children are so thankful to have someone willing to sonsor them - I believe this will change many lives in many ways! God Bless You!


Posted By:Kathy Taylor


Date and Time Posted: Thursday August 11, 2011 - 3:27:27 pm


thanks to all for the thoughts and prayers! We are having a very productive week. We have ran out of a lot of shoe sizes BUT now we have a good list of the sizes to try to get! Most of these children are so thankful to have someone willing to sonsor them - I believe this will change many lives in many ways! God Bless You!


Posted By:Kathy Taylor


Date and Time Posted: Wednesday August 10, 2011 - 11:28:27 am


Hi Kathy and the Belize Mission Team! Just wanted you to know what a blessing it was to read your post from 8-9. The message and your work spoke to my heart today! Blessings-Prays & Love, Becky


Posted By:Becky Johnston


Date and Time Posted: Tuesday August 9, 2011 - 9:23:32 am


Book Distribution Team - Day 5 (Monday, August 08, 2011) “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” – Psalm 24:4,5 The blessings of God on you from Body and Soul Ministries of Belize on this great day! The Team awoke to a beautiful, hot day with expectations of seeing many Belizean children, and putting smiles on those faces. The first children arrived at the compound as early as 0430 a.m., and the Team started issuing numbers to enter and receive their books at 0800. The breakfast this morning was French toast and sausage, and was enjoyed by all. After breakfast, the Team prepared for the start of distribution and the flux of kids entering the compound. Some children, and parents, were turned away until another time, either that afternoon or a later day, due to the fact they attended a different school. This year’s distribution was based on a school-name schedule, with only certain schools being processed on a given date. The children were anxious to get their supplies, and were treated to the smiling faces of the Staff. Though the weather was hot, and the day humid, xxx kids attending four different schools were processed this day. Several students, having new sponsors, came to the compound, and were joyous at being able to receive their supplies and go to school. Each child received at least one toy, and throughout the day, you could see the children smiling as they hugged their dolls or played with their toy cars. The gap between the children of Belize and the children of America is evident when you see children playing with an inexpensive toy, and yet were treating it as if it were gold; in America, many families have so many toys for their children that they discard one toy for another, and easily tire with playing with any toy for any length of time – it’s on to the next, latest, newest toy that everyone has or wants! The Team took a lunch break at 1115 to refresh themselves, and then started back to work at noon. Few kids were turned away this day, and were mostly kids who didn’t have sponsors but hoped that only showing up would result in a sponsor. Though openly honest with the community that there is a waiting list for sponsorship, and yet many times the parents hold out hope that a “miracle” would occur. It’s also amazing to see what $225 per year for sponsorship will gain a child. As each one entered the compound, many had their report cards for us to review, admonishing the children who did well that their sponsors would be proud of their work as we were proud of them. For those children who performed poorly, there was an admonishment that sponsorship was also dependent on performance. Each child was given a handout of the “rules” for sponsorship, which included going to class each day and turning in their assignments. After a grueling day of moving the kids through, the last child was given their materials at 0430, and the doors were closed for the day. To say everyone was weary is an understatement, but it was a weariness accompanied by a glad and joyous heart from the giving that occurred during the day! The Team had a short break before dinner, which consisted of rice and beans, barbeque chicken, corn-on-the-cob, potatoe salad, and cake – delicious! At 07:00 P. M., the Team met for a short period of devotions. Various Scriptures were read by each person, with the Scriptures dealing with “worms” and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. In ancient times, the “crimson worm,’ native to the Middle Eastern areas, provided a source of crimson dye and resins used for a variety of purposes. The crimson worm has a life cycle that ends with its sacrifice to feed its children. As it nears the end of life, it climbs into a tree, attaches itself to the tree, lays its eggs, and then secretes a resin that covers the eggs, providing them with a source of food as they grow and develop. The worm itself withers and dies, in three days, ending by curling itself into a heart-shaped ball, and falling to the ground as a white carcass. Similarities to Jesus can be found – 1) the worm attaches to the tree, and cannot be detached without killing it, just as Christ had to go to the cross to die for our sins, and nothing could have prevented him from being attached to the cross; 2) its eggs are fed and provided life by the crimson dye which flowed from the worm before its death, just like we are provided life by the blood which flowed from Christ; 3) the worm dies in three days, just like Christ was dead for three days in the tomb; 4) the worm turns white upon death, signifying the purifying nature of Christ in cleansing us from our sins; and 5) the dye is used for a variety of purposes, including a medicinal use, just as Christ is the Great Physician, providing healing for our souls. Another facet to the use of the dye is that it is used by the priests in Jesus’ time to dye garments for the Temple services. A current effort is underway to prepare materials for a third temple in Jerusalem, and the first “harvest” of worms for red dyes for the temple garments occurred last year. Many other verses refer to “worms.” For example, Job 17:14 refers to the consequences of sin – that corruption is its father, and the worm is its mother, with the grave being its house, a house of darkness. The Scriptures in Psalms tell us that Jesus was “a worm,” a reproach for all men, and despised by the people. The consequence is death – eternal death, but the victory has been won for all eternity. May we daily, personally be reminded that: “He became a “worm” for us, being beaten, spat upon, nailed to the cross, and willingly giving up His life on the cruel tree to save a wretch like me.”


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Monday August 8, 2011 - 5:23:07 pm


Thanks Dexter for the thoughts and prayers! Please tell the VDOTfamily I really do miss them! Allie/Daniel etc - Love and miss you guys! Yvette is wearing the apron Joe brought her today....


Posted By:Kathy Taylor


Date and Time Posted: Monday August 8, 2011 - 1:54:48 am


Book Distribution Team - Day 4 (Sunday, August 7, 2011) The day began, hot and humid even after a few showers last night; the normal day in Belize. The Team was exhausted from yesterday’s work, and from last night service; thus, many “slept in” this morning, enjoying the peace that God provides to His followers. The cooks at the compound prepared a delicious breakfast of French toast, sausage links, and watermelon. The service at Faith Baptist started with Pastor Rhaburn opening the service with Prayer, followed by congregational singing. The message was brought by Brother Layton Bentley using the Scripture from Jeremiah 37. One of the Team members remarked that she was astonished when her Bible opened to that very page (just another sign of God’s providence). This text reference was concerning the captivity of Judah, and events during the reign of the evil king Zedekiah. Because of his prophesying, the king had Jeremiah thrown into jail, and did not follow the words of the Lord which were spoken by the prophet. The enemies of the nation were besieging the country, and the king was concerned. He called for Jeremiah to hear the Word of the Lord, any Word from God. The world is evil, and many men’s hearts are evil, just like Zedekiah. When troubles come, they seek to hear the word from God; any word from God. The Holy Spirit is telling us the world is full of sin. God knows the truth of the hearts of men, and the Bible tells us that the earth yearns for deliverance. The church is in a “lukewarm” position as the Bible foretold would occur in the last days; and that Christ desires that we would be hot or cold. Christ sits on the throne as or mediator, our High Priest, and He goes to the Father on our behalf. He knows our needs, and God is willing to give us our needs on His behalf- to all that seek Him. There is a season for all things, and God has a plan for our lives. We are living in the “midnight time,” and we do not know how much longer the Lord will delay His coming. We can take solace that Christ is coming soon because of the “signs of the times” as foretold in the Bible. The Holy spirit is still calling sinners to repentance, but the time of the harvest is snear. He is still calling sinners to repentance; God’s love never changes. The Word from God is that “we must be born again.” Layton gave a story concerning a particular preacher in the southwest Virginia area that preached that “ye must be born again” each and every week. When asked why he was preaching that message each week, his response to the questioner was to state: “ye must be born again!” It is not what people want to hear that is important; it is the fact that all must be born again, and that is the message of the Bible. There is no other way to e saved, and it is only by the shed blood of Christ that people are saved. The word is that you will perish unless you are saved; you cannot buy your way into heaven. Christ is the “bridge” to get to heaven. The word of God is that you must live a “godly life” as it is our reasonable service to use our bodies and present them a living sacrifice unto God. God lives through the temple of flesh – we walk taking the steps of God; we must live so that other see God in us. Our life is God’s. In order to live the fullest life, we must make us as His vessel. The final word from God is that today is the day of salvation. This is the time for salvation; you may never have tomorrow to enjoy. Joshua, chapter 24, shows the message that “choose this day who you will serve!” You must make your choice; the harvest is past, and many will miss out because of their indecision. An invitation was offered, and the service was closed in prayer. The Team enjoyed a quick lunch of “fried bologna” and chips. For many of us, lunch reminded us of days past when we used to eat fried bologna, or simply cheese and bologna, sandwiches – a simpler time. The Team next prepared for beans and rice distribution by placing the bags of beans and bags of rice into bags to convey into the community. Due to a delay in waiting for some Team members to get more beans and rice for distribution later in the week, we spent an hour getting the shoes placed on tables and separated by gender and shoe size. Some shoes in the bags were severely used, damaged, or “orphan” shoes (lacking mates). These were separated out, and the remainder categorized for distribution. The Team members participating in the food distribution, with evangelism, loaded into two vans, and drove to the Reyes home in Camalote. After splitting into two groups, the Team left the Reyes home and went into the community to distribute the foodstuffs, pray with the villagers, distribute Bibles, and be blessed by the love shown by the people. Many prayer request were received and included in Team prayers – for God’s blessings on families, for sick and weak, for the unemployed, and for families in general. One family had ten children with the parents in a single home with a dirt floor; the father was unemployed, but he blessed us with his testimony and praising God for His blessings. None failed to be blessed, and to enjoy the fellowship with the people. The Team looks forward to going to a different community later this week to distribute more beans and rice, and to serve our Lord and Savior by showing compassion for the poor and weak! After returning to the Compound, the Team enjoyed a meal of rice, beef, bread pudding, and fried plantain. The Team had a little time to rest before the evening service at Faith. During our respite, the power went off for the compound. Grabbing our flashlights, we made it to the church, and the service started using candles and flashlights. Pastor Rhaburn opened the service with prayer, and started the congregational singing. IT was during this time that the lights came back on, and the congregation shouted approval. Multiple Team members participated in the service by singing and/or signing the songs. The pastor introduced Frank Waldo, the church’s missionary, to bring the message. Frank relayed the time when he accepted the call to preach, and was anointed at Faith Church for that purpose. The pastors then requested that he preach the next day. His initial thoughts were around a lack of training, and a lack of study time; however, the pastors quickly pointed out that the Holy Spirit would give him the words to speak. Frank’s message was centered around “standing on the solid Rock-on Jesus Christ.” Frank pointed out that you are either on the Rock, or being ground by the rocks. When the storms arise, the ships either rise above the rocks, or are dashed by the waves against the breakers. The other thing that is apparent is that we should buld on a rock foundation, and not on sinking sand. If we build on a foundation not rock, the shifting sands desroy the home, and the homes fall. The foundation of our lives should be on Jesus Christ, and if we do not have Christ as our foundation, we are doomed for failure. Matthew 7:24-27 states that a wise man will hear the words of Christ; will follow them, and will build his life on that foundation. When the rains and winds come, the house will not fall because it is built on a solid foundation. So is our lives – if we love Jesus, and accept Him as our Savior, we will be able to stand against the evil in our lives. Luke 6:48 tell us that we need to do that which Jesus asks us to do, for it is in the following of His guidance that we will prosper. Acts 28 tells the story of Paul, who was shipwrecked on the island of Malta. All escaped to the shore, with the ship being destroyed the by the rocks on the shore. “Savages” built them a fire, showing kindness; the island’s ruler fed them for three days, and was generous and polite. However, it is not good enough just to show kindness, as it will not buy salvation; it is not enough to be generous, for allowing one to use your home and being generous would not bring salvation. It is not enough just to know about Jesus; you must be born again, and accept Him as your Savior. Both Felix and Festus, rulers in Paul’s times, enjoyed Paul’s preaching, but it did not result in their salvation. They were “almost persuaded,” but this only meant that they almost escaped hell, for it is the destination of the lost who refuse to accept our Savior as Lord. What will you do with the one who is called Christ, the ROCK of salvation. To end the service, an invitation was given, with several coming forth to give their lives to Christ! What a wonderful way to end this day – to see the work of the Lord in performing the miracle of new Christina birth! The Team returned to the dining hall, where there was a service dedicating the Team to the Lord’s service this week. The “Laying-On-Of-Hands” service was conducted by Layton, Frank, and Dave – the site missionary. The dining hall was filled with the Holy Spirit as the hands of the Team members were blessed to His service for the week. Afterward, Teresa Hayden provided a brief summary of each person’s responsibilities and the flow of the children through the system as they are receiving their supplies. The night concluded with thankful expectations that tomorrow will be a great day of service for the Lord in Belize. As night ends, the Children of God are expecting an early start to an exciting week, and are asking that prayers arise to God for our work here in Belize this week!


Posted By:Jerry McMurray


Date and Time Posted: Sunday August 7, 2011 - 1:18:37 am


Book Distribution Team - Day 3 (Saturday, August 6, 2011) Greetings from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, from the missionaries at Body and Soul Ministries of Belize. Today started as a sad day as we had to say goodbye to the Bible Camp – Week 2 Mission Team as they were returning to the States. This Team arrived at the Compound just before 0700, had breakfast, and then posed for a group picture before boarding the bus to the airport. As we wished them a safe journey, the Book Distribution Team continued their preparations in order to allow the sponsored children to receive their supplies starting Monday. The past two days have been busy ones for the Book Distribution Team as they arrived on Thursday. Most of the Team spent Friday beginning to organize the materials for distribution; four members joined the Bible Camp Team in their trip to Lamanai. For Saturday, one of the major activities for the day consisted of separation of the book bags into their respective age categories (by size of the book bags), as well as separation into “boy” and “girl” categories. Another group worked on the packaging, and subsequent boxing, of the school uniforms, by school, and moving those boxes to the room from which they will be distributed. Others worked on moving the main tent to the location in front of the which is used to store the school supplies. The tent will allow tbles and chairs to be placed outside, from which the students will have their names taken, and be sequentially brought into the building to receive their supplies. Others worked on separating the sponsor-supplied gifts, and developing an inventory of these materials to allow the quick retrieval of gifts for the students as they are processed. Finally, others worked on going to get the sponsor-purchased bicycles, and moving them to the storage area for distribution next week. After a long day, the Team had an excellent dinner consisting of cheesy potatoes, stewed chicken, corn, and banana bread (fresh)! After dinner, many of the Team got into the vans for the trip to a local Spanish Church where the Reyes’ family attended. The service began with Spanish music, followed by the Pastor’s prayer and introduction. Subsequent singing by the children, followed by the teenagers, was inspiring and dedicated to serving God. Pastor Layton Bentley brought the message, using the text from John 14:1-6. Layton started his sermon by giving greetings from his home church, Darthula Baptist, in Hiltons, Virginia, and non behalf of Body and Soul Ministries of Belize, giving thanks for making the Team feel at home. The message focused on “listen from your heart.” In the midst of the modern times, and a world fear of fear, we are cautioned not to give in to fear of the things of the world. On the night before the crucifixion, the disciples met with Jesus in the Upper Room; Jesus blessed the bread, with sadness hanging in the air like a palpable fog. The disciples were filled with confusion and nervousness; God knew their hearts and knew how they felt. God cares about your heart, and He was concerned about his disciples. In life, there are things that God only can take care of; you have to believe in Christ as Savior in order for God to hear and answer your prayers. The only prayer God will hear from a sinner is the request for salvation. For the disciples, they could not understand that the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry was at hand, and that he would be returning to heaven soon. The Lamb of God, prepare from the foundation of the world, was ready to bear the sin of mankind. More emphasis is often placed on the place that Jesus has gone to prepare for his followers – a mansion – rather than the fact that we are going to be there by our belief. Are you not glad that God has a special place prepared for you; God pours our his Spirit on the believers, and they are never the same from that point onward, forever and ever and ever. In the midst of Layton’s sermon, a humorous incident occurred when a chicken entered the building. A little girl was trying to catch the chicken after it had entered the building, resulting in “chasing it” further into the structure. Someone had indicated that a chicken was about to enter the building to the pastor, and he left the building to go around and try to prevent it from entering. He failed in this task, as the chicken was in the building under one of the Team member’s chair. The child scared the chicken, and it “hopped up” to the pulpit. Pastor Bentley’s was talking about heaven at the time, and as he was telling us that believers have a home in heaven, he responded to the chicken, indicating that “even it has a place in heaven.” Layton then referenced the verses of Leviticus, chapter 7; this chapter indicates that the offering of the blood sacrifices for the children of Isreal offered salvation because “life is in the blood.” It is the blood of Christ that washes away sin – not by earthly works; not by thoughts or deeds, but it is by the shedding of the blood of Christ that the salvation is possible. Our best works is still failure in God’s eyes . Galations 2:16 states that “…man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believe in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Isaiah 40:31 tells us that “those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not e weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Our lives are not a “bed of roses,” but are filled with troubles and trials. Christ can help us overcome all difficulties. Praise to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the “Over-comer,” who has told us to not fear things of this world; put your trust in Him who never fails! Pray for this team as they endeavor to bring joy to the children of Belize in the coming week.


Posted By:Jerry McMurray




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