June 2016

This past month for our international mission trip to Belize, we partnered with a ministry called CALMS. We went to several villages and met with the leaders and pastors of those villages. In our meeting with them, we learned about their ministries and their culture.
We also met with some pastors in Orange Walk, which is located in the northwest of Belize, to discuss the challenges that they face in their churches and also things that they do in their churches that are successful. From my observation, these pastors are very gifted, but they don't seem to put much emphasis on making disciples. It is good to be gifted, but it is better to disciple people to do what you do. Christianity should be about kingdom growth, which can be done by making disciples. When a pastor is doing everything in the church, he is not only putting a burden on himself, but he is not pleasing God because he is not doing what he is called to do. Jesus didn't do everything by himself, as he could, but he selected a team and discipled them.
Apart from that, I was so impressed to see how dedicated, passionate, and proud they are in doing ministry. One of them said when you love what you do, nothing can stop you from doing it. This is a true statement. The church that we went to on Sunday morning during our trip was a perfect example of discipleship that we saw. They got the children involved in the service. Some of them were chosen to read scriptures from the Bible, sing, and play instruments.
During the entire mission trip, the story that I am about to tell has been the most impactful to me. It's about a pastor that we met who shared his story with me. He has been a pastor for more than 25 years. He grew up in a poor family; his parents could not send him to school because of finances. One night, in a vision, God called him to be the pastor of a church, but since he couldn't read, he refused the call. Another night, God called him again and he said, "God, I don't think that I will be able to lead your people because I am illiterate." God said to him, "Even though you are unable to read or write, I can use you." After thinking about it, he accepted the call and decided to be the pastor of the church. When he just started, a few members of the church were making fun of him because he couldn't read. They were underestimating him, but in spite of all, he didn't give up. Instead, he kept on doing what he was called to do.
One day, when his nephew saw how they made fun of him, he asked if he could teach him to read and write. After a year of learning, he was no longer illiterate. On a daily basis, he read the Bible and went deeper in the Word of God. He became very knowledgeable of the Word of God, and now he is known as the best preacher in his entire area. Isn't it amazing? Most of the time we find excuses when God calls us, but we need to remember when He calls us, He has His plan. He is a God of order. Can you imagine what God can do through us if only we listen to His voice?
It was such a blessing and a wonderful experience to be part of that international mission trip. I want to thank you all for your continuous prayers and support.
Blessings in Christ,

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