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Daily Narrative from the Belize Mission Group

Date and Time Posted: Tuesday June 26, 2007 - 6:27:09 pm

I just wanted to pass along some thanks and praise after the Lord has blessed the June mission team to return safely home after two weeks at Uriah. First, I want to thank Jeff Arrington who made it possible for us to communicate back home each day(even if some of us did use the wrong site a time or two!) I want to thank those whom God allowed me to serve alongside: Jeff Estepp, Jordan Estepp, Jerry McMurray, Nathan Hitchcock, Frank Waldo, Dwight Browder, Wayne Smith, Garrett Collier, Michelle Collier and Travis Salyers. I praise God that they were willing to take the time to experience a part of the Lord's teachings of the Great Commission. I praise God for the two precious souls that were saved. I praise God for Ralph and Penny Digman who have labored for several years now and if they had not been obedient we would not be there in the first place. I praise God for what I saw accomplished since last year by people who are concerned about preparing a place for an outreach for teams from the US and elsewhere. I praise God for my brothers and sisters in Hiltons, Va who have a heart for missions and show it by their actions. I praise God for the Belizean people who have made an impression on me(and us) with their kindness and smiles. I praise God for the younger Belizeans who have chosen to make a difference by their actions through education and lifestyle. I praise God for allowing me to serve and be touched by surroundings that cause you to appreciate the small things that we take for granted. I praise God for experiencing firsthand the joy of being able to minister to those in need and be touched to tears. I pray that someday soon we can see Uriah finished and be able to focus more on advancing the cause for the needy and win more lost people to him. I will never forget the 2007 team and the things that are etched in my memory. Thanks again for each team member, each one that helped support, each church that was represented, the smile on the faces of the needy and two new members of God's family. If I'm never privileged to participate again I can honestly say that 2007 made an impression on me for a lifetime! Praise God!

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Saturday June 23, 2007 - 7:26:23 pm

On Friday we arose, ate breakfast and headed to Xunantunich to view the Mayan ruins. This was a very interesting trip for the team and we left there and headed for Spanish Lookout for lunch ending with one more double dipper ice cream cone-it is the best in the world! We then headed for Uriah and an afternoon of relaxation. Frank, Ralph and Larry went to Teakettle after supper to visit a family and left them with some food as well as witnessing to them. The day ended with Joel Richardson and Frank Waldo combining on devotions with each focusing on the awesomeness of the God we serve. Thank God for another day and the wonderful blessings that he has bestowed upon us at Uriah during the last few days. God has been truly amazing!

Posted By:Larry Browder and Michelle Collier

Date and Time Posted: Thursday June 21, 2007 - 9:58:54 pm

Today, Thursday, was the last day of Teen Week. It began with the best breakfast yet-watermelon, cantalope, pineapple, cinnamon roll and juice and coffee. Rain fell as we started the opening session but God sent us 11 teens to minister unto. Class and drama sessions were the best yet. After lunch activities consisted of fields events and volleyball. Then it was on to crafts and today's project was a seven colored salvation cross construction and book markers. The closing session was special as testimonies were given by the staff with pleas made to avoid the world's temptations and serve the Lord. The teens were asked about their thoughts on future Teen Week improvements. Prizes were given out for activity excellence. Bro Ralph Digman called upon all that were there to stand up for Jesus and not be ashamed. He closed this first Teen Week with a very special prayer. As all left several personal items were given out and each one was given a KJV bible if they did not have one. The team's stay in Belize is quickly coming to a close but all agree it was well worth the time and effort made in giving two weeks of their lives to such a worthy cause as is here at Uriah. We hope we have laid the ground work for future weeks where many souls will be claimed for God's kingdom and where those astray will sense their need for a course correction and strive above all to make their lives count for Jesus!

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Thursday June 21, 2007 - 12:36:55 am

Today was another wonderful day. We started the day with a wonderful breakfast then day 3 of teen week was on its way. We had 10 teens today, 3 new ones. We opened the days events with wonderful music by members of the team and by a lady named Hazel, from the Roaring Creek area. Drama was performed by Nathan Hichcock and Phillip Adkins. The theme for today was "How Jesus Heals". We gathered in the mess hall for hotdogs and corn chips. Joel Richardson took the teens out for a round of volleyball. I must say Larry Browder looked somewhat amusing playing volleyball. Then the teens returned to the mess hall to make bracletes with the colors of salvation. After the closing of the day, the team along with Ralph ventured out to Belize City where we were bless to meet a newer brother in Christ, Alajandro. We ordered some of the beautiful bracletes he makes and he was giving us a lesson on how to make them ourselves once we returned to the states. It was a blessing to meet this special man. He has so little yet he has the warmest smile on his face, and the cross neckless Frank gave him around his neck. He's got the love of Jesus in his heart. On the way back to Roaring Creek we stopped at Diamonds to eat some wonderful fried chicken. We returned to Uriah compound and continued our blessed day with devotions lead by Damaris Gregorio. She incouraged each one of us to spend time in the word of God. That if we want to help others, we too need to know the word. It was a very good conversation. We ended the evening with prayer lead by Frank.

Posted By:Michelle Collier and spell checked by Nathan Hichcock

Date and Time Posted: Tuesday June 19, 2007 - 5:32:47 pm

Monday, June 18 was the long awaited day Teen Week. We arose as normal to a Belizean breakfast of watermelon, cantalope, pineapple with beans and fried jacks. Preparation was made for our schedule consisting of classes, drama, lunch followed by recreation and crafts. We began with an opening assembly with a welcome by Ralph and prayer followed with welcomes by Frank Waldo and Joel Richardson, host youth leader. We were blessed with 15 attendees and we adapted our schedule somewhat. We split the group and the class was taught by Wayne Smith taught by reading from Matt. 4:18-22 with a focus on "Jesus Chooses Us". The drama session was lead by Nathan Hitchcock reinforcing the lesson. Lunch was hotdogs-had to have an American meal! The afternoon sessions started with "sheet volleyball"-I never heard of that before! This was followed by a craft session coordinated by Michelle Collier. We feel that God spoke to hearts today and several said they were living a life in a backslidden state. Supper consisted of some delicious homemade pizza made by our wonderful cook-Yvette Bush. After supper Frank, Ralph and I went to purchase groceries and on the way back God's divine plan had us pick up two fellows and with three preachers in the vehicle you know what would happen-the ultimate question was posed-"Are you Christains?" One readily said he was but the other said he wasn't. After asking if he would like to be and asking if he was aware that Jesus came and died that he could live eternally he said yes and we had the honor of leading him in the sinners prayer. He became the newest member of the family of God! His name is Gran Escobar. Breathe a prayer for him. A portion of a DVD called Holy Land Journey was shown at 8 PM and some of the day attendees came to see it. We were all ready for a restful night and thankful for a day to serve the Lord.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Monday June 18, 2007 - 7:14:32 pm

On Sunday we awoke to another beautiful day here at Uriah. Breakfast was watermelon, muskmelon, oatmeal and toast. Preparations were made to attend church at Faith. Wayne Smith taught the adult class reading from Isaiah 58 and done a wonderful job. A good crowd attended the worship service and Bro Delbert Rhaburn who brought a wonderful message on the need for fathers to stand up to their responsibility.He read from Genesis 22:1-2. The team had a delicious lunch at Dameons in Belmopan. Bro Samuel Gregorio brought a great message at the evening service from Romans 8:24-26. Bro Samuel spoke in Spanish and it was interpreted in English by his daughter, Damarius.Evening devotions was by Michelle Collier reading from Luke 15:4-7. She made some good comments as to what the Lord was expecting of the team as we start the Teen Week on Monday. Another great day at Uriah was coming to a close.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Saturday June 16, 2007 - 9:47:33 pm

Today the Lord awoke us to another day at Uriah and to breakfast of oatmeal, watermelon, avocado, juice and coffee. We had our morning devotions lead by Dwight Browder reading from Romans 8. He commented once again how God had brought this team together and how that each was used as God saw fit with their individual talents. We closed the last time with prayer with all team members and four of the team left at 9 AM for home-Jerry, Jeff, Jordan and Travis. We'll miss these guys but are assured that God will be with us as we prepare for Teen Week. The remainder of the team went over to the dear lady that we had befriended and took her some personal toiletry items along with a hammock and flashlights. She was absolutely overwhelmed and once again said she had never been treated this way. She said her heart was running much faster due to being touched by the team's generosity! We also took her some pineapple and she said she had not had pineapple for so long she couldn't remember. We then went over to Spanish Lookout for lunch and another taste of that delicious ice cream. We rode back to Uriah and had a staff meeting at 3 PM for next week's Teen Week. This was followed up at 5 PM with all the staff including the Belizean folks. We are excited about what we feel that God is going to do through his servants. After a delicious supper meal of watermelon, meat pockets, papaya and cinnamon rolls we were blessed with a good devotional by Wayne Smith reading from Judges 13.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Saturday June 16, 2007 - 9:16:25 pm

On Friday we arose and ate a wonderful breakfast by the staff here at Uriah. They have been so nice to us by preparing such wonderful meals. We had been working physcially all week but today it was time to serve. We started by dropping by an elderly lady's home where we had been previously to check her roof to get specifics about what was needed for repair and then on to the hardware store. After getting a tarp and a few items to anchor it we proceeded back to put this in place and what a blessing we all got by seeing firsthand the actual condition of the surroundings and then hearing this dear lady praise the Lord for everything she had. She stated this was the first time anyone had befriended her. Some of us chatted with her while the tarp was being put in place. We then took a picture of her with the group. We certainly gained a new Christian friend and she assured us that she would meet us in heaven one day! Please pray for her, Josephina Castillo, as other plans have been made to assist her. She has a ten year old grandson living with her and they live in this shack sleeping on a wood frame bed with only cardboard as a mattress! We left for a place called Franks Eddy for a feeding, where we distributed 100 lbs each of beans and rice. You can see pictures of this visit on the Uriah website. After coming back to Uriah we bagged another 100 lbs each of beans and rice and took them to a church at Armenia, where we were greeted by Pastor John Briceno. We toured his church and then chatted with some 15 youngsters to whom we gave candy. We left with a joy of helping some families who have needs far greater than any of us. We returned back to Uriah and soon ate a good meal then ended the day with devotions in the usual place-the mess hall. This was a rather moving devotional period as this was the last night for four of our team that we had drawn so close during this week. A scripture was read from Jeremiah by Jordan Estepp and he gave a few words on how we served this week only through God's help. I have seen this young man grow in the Lord this week! It is all of him and none of us! The Mission Fellows quartet sang along with Travis Salyers. We ended the devotional with prayer thanking God for allowing us to be servants for HIM this day.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Thursday June 14, 2007 - 11:55:22 pm

Today, Thursday, started with a delicious breakfast and we left at 7:30 for an all day trip to a place called Lamineai. This included a 1 and 1/2 hour bus ride and then a 1 and 1/2 boat ride up the New River. As we traveled by boat we were able to see lots of wild life including crocodile, many different kinds of birds and lizards. We then took a jungle walk where we saw several Mayan Indian ruins, one of which most of the team walked up to the top-a vertical height of 110 ft. We got to see some monkeys during the jungle walk. We then feasted on a delicious meal prepared by the guide's mother. We made the return fun boat ride to our bus and made our trek back to Uriah, recalling in our minds God's wonderful creation. While we were gone a team of 20 people were working at Uriah under the supervision of Ralph and Frank. Devotions were lead by Jerry McMurray as he read from Luke 16:1-13. He commented on how each of the team had been called to serve this week and he could see that being done in various ways by each individual. Frank commented about Friday's schedule during which two feedings are planned and a roof repaired for an elderly lady. The devotional period ended with prayer lead by Travis Salyers. It was indeed a wonderful and exciting day.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Thursday June 14, 2007 - 12:13:44 am

The Lord continues to bless the team and our work as we strive to show the love of Christ to those here in Belize. The day began with daily devotions, as we do on all days, and the presence of the Holy Spirit strengthened our spirits in preparation for the physical labor of the day. Brother Ralph has been surprised by the labor of the team...today we formed the foundation for the new building in preparation for a group tomorrow that will finish the preparation for the concrete pouring at a later time. In addition, the team formed and finished a new walkway between the church and the training center. The walkways that were constructed this week will be blessed during the rainy season, which is just beginning. Tonight, the "quartet" sung again, follwed by a great message from Brother Frank. The day ended with devotions lead by Brother Wayne, and singing by the quartet and Joel and Travis. We look forward tomorrow to a trip to the ruins, and the opportunity to fellowship and continue to praise God for all of his blessings.

Posted By:Jerry McMurray

Date and Time Posted: Tuesday June 12, 2007 - 11:41:44 pm

Our day on Monday ended with devotions by Jeff Estepp who read from Col 3:14-17. Jeff has beeen such a blessing to this team and his servant attitude is one of the best. We awoke Tuesday and enjoyed a good breakfast of pancakes and then was lead in devotions by Michelle Collier and she done a wonderful job reading from Phil 2:11 and Isaiah 55:8-11. The day was once again focused on sidewalk construction from the new mess hall side near the church. Walks were made joining the church entrance and the clinic entrance. Two yards of concrete were poured via wheelbarrows and this was finished just before the rain came! Continued preparation for Teen Week and we rescheduled the food distribution til later in the week. A visit was made to The Baptist Training Center at Camolete later in the afternoon. Supper was great with stew, watermelon and chocolate cake being served. The day ended with devotions being lead by Travis Salyers who done a wonderful job using scripture references tying his thoughts of faith, hope and charity. He also read from Mark 2 and shared how the faith of those who brought the man sick of palsy was honored by Jesus as they took the man through the roof of the house so that he could be healed! The "Mission Fellows" quartet blessed us with some songs as well as the Joel/Nathan duet, the Ralph/Rosito duet and Travis Salyers. We were blessed with a special visitor, Pastor John Briceno, who shared some woderful words of how the Lord had answered prayer in his life. He closed the devotional period with prayer in Spanish.

Posted By:Larry Browder

Date and Time Posted: Monday June 11, 2007 - 9:47:35 pm

A special hello to all from the Uriah compound and from the Heritage Baptist mission team. I appreciate Jeff Arrington creating a site so we can respond and let you know how things are going. We are team of 11 from 7 different churches-Heritage, New Hurland, Blessed Hope, Hiltons United Methodist, Pleasant View, Antioch and Homeland. Our trip began on Saturday and we landed safely in Belize City at approximately 2 PM(US). After a delicious meal at Cheers we arrived at the Uriah compound and proceeded to get located to our new quarters for our stay. The new members on the team got acquainted with the facilities here. After a typical meal of beans and rice we had a team meeting and then devotions handled by Larry Browder who used the parable of the vineyard in John 15 and encouraged the team to bear fruit this week by using the talents that they were blessed with of God. This was done in the beautiful new mess hall. What a glorious addition this is to the Uriah compound! After a restful night we arose, had breakfast and proceeded to make preparations for the morning service. Jerry McMurray taught the adults and done a marvelous job by teaching from Genesis 37 as he compared the life of Joseph to the life of Christ. He indeed has a God given gift to teach God's word! The morning service was a blessing as Travis Salyers blessed our hearts with a beautiful song entitled "Love Made a Way". Larry Browder brought a message on "The Simplicity of Salvation" by reading from John 3 and sharing how Nicodemus was touched by the miracles that Jesus did and taught and ultimately came to his need as all of humanity does if they are to receive salvation and a home in heaven. Faith Chapel experienced a Sunday afternoon funeral for a dear sister in Christ during which members of our team participated including a quartet singing-Dwight Browder, Travis Salyers, Jerry McMurray and Wayne Smith. On Sunday night we had a wonderful service as the quartet sang again and Frank Waldo spoke to us via an interpreter from Judges 6 with a message entitled "When God Speaks-Do You Listen" He shared how Gideon ask the Lord for confiramtion by asking for two special requests which the Lord answered. Two people came forward for prayer for personal needs. For devotions Frank Waldo spoke to us and encouraged us to once again listen and obey God when he speaks to us. What a special day it was at Uriah! We were welcomed to another day of servanthood as the Lord awoke us and we were treated to another breakfast meal by the Uriah kitchen staff. Morning devotions were led by Jerry McMurray with scripture from Psalms 90 and brought some very encouraging words.There were some wonderful words given by members of the team as each shared how they had been touched so far by the events so far. One special sharing was from our youngest team member, Garrett Collier, who shared how he was so happy to be here and share with people and with each other. The morning work focus was on a new sidewalk from the side of the mess hall to the showerhouse with connections made to the residence of one of Ralph's helpers, Joel Richardson and the end of the mess hall. After completion of this project after lunch we loaded onto the bus and went to Spanish Lookout for a delicious ice cream cone-the best in Belize! After picking up 100 lbs each of beans and rice we returned to Uriah for supper.

Posted By:Larry Browder on behalf of the entire Mission Team

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