I have been beside myself trying to figure out how I could possibly relay to you the impact of this trip on both our team and the Belizeans. We asked God to be glorified in every aspect, and He definitely was!
The BEGIN Team: I wish you could personally meet every person of the team. They were so amazing! We had a VERY full schedule---22 services in 14 days, not including the children's programs right before the adult services. Every single person was up and ready and positive and so willing to be used by God. No one complained about a thing. They loved the Belizean people, the country, the sites, the food, and maintained their senses of humor in spite of the heavy travel, pouring rain, mosquitos, and long services. I was thrilled and so proud to have each one along.
The Belizeans: WHAT A JOY! A 2-fold one: 1.) We were able to see how my Dad's work has not only continued on, but florished, and it was so incredibly touching to speak to congregations that have been faithful---and growing!---for over 40 years. My sister Debbie (who went, along with her husband Dennis) and I reconnected with old pastors, grade school and high school pals, members of my dad's 7 churches, and missionaries that have continued the work. 2.) We went to a lot of the new churches too, about half of them Spanish. There is a huge contingency in Belize from El Salvador, and the missionaries are responding to the need by planting churches all over.
The Gospel: We were able to present Christ and His gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins in all 22 services and give an invitation to accept Him. We don't have a head count of how many accepted Him, as Belize people are very shy and it is hard to even get them to raise their hands, so I always had them repeat the prayer if they wanted to accept His gift. So the Lord knows. But it was evident every time that the Spirit was moving in hearts. Such a sweet, sweet spirit every single time.
The missionaries and pastors: NT and Joy Dellinger took over for my dad when we left in '68 and have been there ever since! What an amazingly faithful, loving pair. They, along with a team of 4 Belizeans, planned our services and all the details of the trip. We not only got to minister with the pastors of the churches but with their trainees who were our drivers and interpreters when needed for Spanish churches. A lot of bonding and visiting with their families and seeing their work for the Lord up close.
Bibles and books: We were able to distribute all the Bibles, Bible studies, Magdalena DVD's, and the Freedom books we wrote everywhere we went. People were hungry for them. THANK YOU for your donations to make this possible.
You: Thank you MOST OF ALL for your prayer support while we were down there. There was not a day when we didn't feel very covered with prayer. And the stories of things that went wrong (a van that stalled every time we stopped! no dinner because of service times! losing a box at the airport of all my props for speaking!) and the way God smoothed paths and answered prayers were directly related to what we knew we had in the way of prayer covering and support. When we had yet another answer to prayer we'd look at each other and go: "Yep! They're praying!"
There was not one time I felt nervous or stressed, and that is the power of prayer. The God of Hope truly does fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him!
P.S. You can see pictures and read Lynn and Karen's blogs at www.easysite.com/begin