Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Celebrating our Savior

This Resurrection day was different than any we've had yet. Usually we are returning from Guatemala (and our Annual retreat), and gearing up for our time at the lagoon.

This year brought none of that.  Nathanael asked me what we usually have for Easter dinner. We don't usually have Easter dinner! (Our usual is lunch of rice and beans with church at the lagoon).

Thursday night we had a Passover Seder. (again something we haven't done in years). It was a good way to bring our hearts to remembrance with soberness. I love seeing the Seder through the eyes of Jesus!

Sunday dawned. I enjoyed 3 different online services. It was nice to commune with others online. Nathanael joined in as well for parts of it.

As a family we've been doing church together. When I was a child, vacation meant tenting through the US. Sunday's meant we compiled a service as a family. Prior to the pandemic, I don't remember family worship. (we may have, I just don't have the best memory).  This point of connection as a family, and sharing has been very meaningful to me. I am thankful that we were pushed into this.

We were able to have family church, followed by an egg hunt and dying eggs. I was so excited. I saved silk ties from a few thrift shops in the US to attempt to dye eggs that way. They didn't turn out as pretty as I imagined.  I hope next year we can do this with friends!

Thanks for sharing with us in this celebration of our Savior and his Resurrection. In the words of Andrew Peterson, this is something we have the privilege of celebrating all year!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

A time to celebrate

Amid the Chaos that has become common-place, It seemed appropriate to shed some light on more happy subjects.

While there is a nice little "ditty" in the newsletter, I wanted to give you a bigger picture of Elmer and Elizanie's wedding.  

After returning from furlough to Elizanie giving birth to Brieany; Nathanael, Elizanie and Elmer talked about making their relationship permanent.  It may look simple on paper but this wasn't the case in real life. They had to meet and discuss commitment. They worked through questions for Christian couples prior to marriage.  Finally they chose the date of Feb 8.

Koinonia gracefully allowed us to use the building. A wonderful woman, Eve helped Nathanael and Elmer decorate.  A couple from Grace Mennonite gave some money to Elizanie and Elmer for their wedding.  Selah made (one of) the wedding cakes.  

The ceremony was lovely. It was Nathanael's first wedding to officiate. Mrs Mesh interpreted from ASL into Spanish, an symbol of the multilingual culture we have the privileged of being a part of.

For their honeymoon, Elmer and Elizanie were nervous about leaving Brieany. Instead they stayed overnight in Orange Walk, visited her and took day trips.  Where did Brieany stay  you ask? At our house, more specifically in Nathanael's and my bed. She slept fine. She did wake a bit early. It was me, nervous about a baby in bed with me; that settled into a fitful sleep.  I was delighted to send her home after 3 days.  

As a side note, we discovered that the cheap diapers they had been using don't hold up at night.  I asked Elizanie what she does and she told me she puts plastic on the bed.  That day I went out and got some Huggies night diapers.  I may not have slept better but I wasn't sleeping in urine!  We have been giving them night diapers as they come to church. 

There was some non-wedding related stress. I was changing for the wedding and placed my glasses on the window ledge in the bathroom at Koinonia. I released my glasses and immediately realized my error. I had actually deposited the glasses into a hole in the cement block which ran 5 feet or so down. Rodel, who lives at the church, bent a hanger and got them out for me.!

Thanks so much and we anticipate this brightened your day a bit.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

fostering relationship

Prior to leaving in June,we visited Fountain of Life church in Spanish lookout.  We were able to bring people from our community as well as the Deaf in the area came. The purpose in the visit was to explore possibility of connecting for frequently.

having coffee before church

Since then, Fountain of Life supports Jesus Deaf church to come once a month.  We bring people in the van, Nathanael interprets, and they provide a lunch for us.  The monthly visits began in January. It is a "typical" non-denominational service" with worship, Sunday school and preaching.
the Deaf section

The exciting component is seeing both communities collectively enjoy fellowship and foster relationship.  Just as thrilling is that there are people at Fountain of Life who feel called to Deaf ministry.  We revel in the partnership.

Nathanael interpreting during worship

Please pray with us as we continue. Pray that the people of Jesus Deaf church and Spanish Lookout Deaf community would experience Christ. We long for it to go beyond a set of rules, for them to truly know and have a relationship with the Father.

a game of volleyball after church

Additionally, (and somewhat unexpectedly) our kids are flourishing in the relationships they are forming.

The kids also hung out and drew with chalk on the court

Friday, February 7, 2020

Restoration (and pictures of the past month)

I thought  a good way to sum up our past month and a half was to share some pictures.

Our cookie party this year was a bit small (by choice) but everyone had fun

On a personal level I started reading the book "Soul of Shame" it has been eye opening and hopefully life changing for me.  I am recognizing how much I do out of shame and the desire to protect myself from pain.

Everyone who was at the NYE party

One day while running with Zion. (she is my Friday workout buddy), God gave me my word for the year: restoration.  He also spoke to me about my heart towards it.

We have started to go to Fountain of life church in Spanish lookout, once a month. We bring people from our church, and Deaf from the area come while Nathanael interprets

  I have specific, good goals for what I want him to restore.  I don't think these goals in themselves are sin or wrong. The issue is when I have an idea of what  it will look like in my life. I have been seeking safety in God answering my prayers the way I want him to answer them.

Amado and Nadia at church one Sunday

This is so entrenched in me that disentangling it is a huge process.  I am trying to enjoy the messy middle of it all. I want to be thankful that Jesus doesn't let me stay in the same place.
Elizanie and Elmer came over one day during Christmas break. Nathanael interpreted so Elizanie could enjoy the movie

In talking with a good friend recently, she reminded me that my writing often brings out a different side of me. In the past year or so, the writing has mostly been geared towards " this is what is happening with Jesus Deaf Church"
Nathanael taught Misael about spark plugs

I am taking this snippet of time to just share what God is doing in my life, and to admit that currently it ain't pretty.  Coming face to face with sin of any kind isn't a walk in the park.
Elizanie practiced doing a Bible Study that she made up

The day Zion and I were dripping in sweat, plodding our steps through the grass; God started with reminding me of his faithfulness. This year he has not only answered a lot of my prayers, he has gone above and beyond. For one, I didn't think that Revelation Wellness would be more than a way for me to bring health to the community around us.  In addition to that, it was also a way that opened up more freedom for me personally. In that journey to freedom and health, I pray it is spread to others.

Misael and Elizanie doing announcements 

Today it is my prayer for restoration. When He does it, he isn't restoring to the former. It is something new. I am asking him to come, and for him to work in his ways. I am trusting he will do it in the coming year!

Nathanael interpreted for a well child visit

these are just a small glimpse into what we have been "up to" 

Monday, December 30, 2019

A licence to drive

One of the things Nathanael has been doing as a part of discipleship; and to aid in ministry, is teaching to of the younger guys to drive.

I have to admit, I am glad I was out of the country for the initial lessons!

The Belizean government was willing to give the licence before we were ready to allow them to drive alone.

That being said, We are very thankful that both Elmer and Misael now are "road ready".

Saturday, December 7, 2019

opening our home to guests

We have been so blessed this summer and into fall. After returning from furlough, we had a number of visitors.

Out for ice cream and watching a Bible Study in ASL

 Interestingly enough, I have been praying for helpers for over a year.  Tim Groff introduced us to a lovely young woman, Sarah. She finished her time in Vida 220. She is looking to see what her next steps will be. She is Belizean, which means a big part of her working with us will be easier. She knows her way around, she can have a job, etc.  Please pray with Sarah in the decisions she has to make.

Sarah did some homeschooling with the Davis kids

After we had Sarah and her friend Lydia, we were visited by the Charles family. Luke and Sherelle came with their 3 children: Caedmon, Derick, and Corrie.

The Charles Family

 The family joined in ministry with us in the community.
Luke helped with the kids while I stayed in Bible Study, a rare treat!

They were also kind enough to take us on a 3-day excursion visiting tourist attractions in Southern Belize. What a blessing to share in serving in this way!

Sherelle stepped into a lot of Deaf ministry

Carissa, a senior at Dock Academy arrived for her senior experience. I was extra thankful that she came during this time.  At the beginning of her time, Zion and I were at Kidz Konnect. (She braved a 4-hour van ride each way to help bring some from our church to the doctors).  We adopted her as our fifth child for 2 weeks. We really feel like having her was a positive experience.

Carissa riding in the back of the minivan home from Kidz Konnect

Carissa stayed 2 days after I had to leave for my Revelation Wellness training retreat. Those days were weekend days, full and intense.  It was a blessing to have Carissa help when I couldn't.  Thanks, Carissa for all of your assistance, and love.

Carissa had a youth night they made bagel pizzas

A week before Thanksgiving my parents and brother visited.
The token "Belize sign" picture with my parents and brother

It was my father and brother's first international trip.  It was a joy to share our lives with them. The previous two times my mother visited were dictated by other activities: Kidz Konnect in October 2016 and Abigail's quince in May 2019. 
Walking in a cave 

We found it helpful to be able to have a schedule based solely on our activities.  They also were able to take us to a few favorite places in Southern Belize. My parents insisted on helping around the house which included helping fix screens in our home. That was awesome since it was Six days felt like such a quick trip. We hope now that my dad and brother have their passports they are able to come and visit again. 
They participated in drama Sunday

This week rounded out our time of visitors. We had Two couples a day apart.  One couple were missionaries in Orange Walk 30 years ago.  The other couple was Kathy who lived here (in our apartment) to interpret for Sulmi.  Kathy brought fun games, including cup stacking which has since been a huge hit in the Davis household and Jesus Deaf Church.

Kathy with the youth that came to game night

While not a "full" explanation of our busy lives, perhaps there is a greater understanding of what we have been up to the past few months!  We feel beyond blessed to have had visitors.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Not old hat

There are times when we do something so often it becomes "old" to us, not as exciting. When I finally stopped to count, I realized it was officially my 10th time of joining the Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus family.  Was it old hat?  Actually I have found if I listen to the Holy Spirit, he always has something new for me to learn.  It is also exciting to see how God is growing their family in Southern Belize.  We are blessed to work alongside of them, and the Deaf in Orange Walk have received help through their ministry.
our suitcases all ready to go

Zion was the child who came with me this time. We left for the airport Wednesday morning. What a joy and a privilege it is that they let us ride in the Kidz Konnect bus with them!
unloading for the days work

Another thing that is growing in me is meeting with the same patients over and over again. This is especially true when i have the opportunity to work with the Spanish speaking population.
Nathanael interprets for one of the people from Deaf Church

The people of Jesus Deaf Church were able to come on Saturday. It is such a blessing to talk to the doctors and coordinate medications. Anna got a massage. She felt so much better! Marta and Anna also got glasses.
Tables set up for triage

It was such a refreshing time for Zion and I as well as the people of Jesus Deaf church. I am enjoying the role of being more involved medically with the population we work with.

Thanks Kidz Konnect for how you serve Belize!

sitting with someone from church and reviewing their medications after returning