Thursday, December 1, 2022

Souderton Mennonite Youth team (with a few prized adults added in)

 Two weeks after landing on Belizean soil, Nathanael and I trekked to the airport in Ladyville.  On the way we picked up a rented green van. 

The youth group along with 5 adults arrived without a hitch, although the people in immigration gave them a run for their money.

One thing I really admired was the ability of both the youth and leaders in their fluidity. We discovered with regret that the rented van didn't have AC.  The team didn't grumble.  We are in the midst of rainy season. One of the days the team spent the entire day traipsing through mud, rain pouring in their faces while accomplishing manual labor.

Our work days looked like:  Half of the team worked diligently at manual labor. The other half went with Nathanael for a visit to someone in the Deaf community.  It was my job to set up for a Deaf woman to come, and get supplies for lunch.  Nathanael's team returned and worked on preparation for the noon meal.  ( and in the process learned a bit about Belizean cooking and some sign language).

In the afternoon I took a medical team for a check-up. A team would go with Nathanael on another visit, and the laborer's returned to the church building.  

I am glad that the youth got to spend time in people's homes. They saw the reality of life as a Deaf Belizean. The youth played games and interacted, which also was a good lesson in language learning. 

Thank you Souderton Mennonite for visiting, the blessing you were to the Orange Walk Deaf community, and the building of the church!!

This is the service that the youth led after being in Orange Walk

Saturday, June 11, 2022


Unlikely Partnerships(better known as giving praise where praise is due)

by Spring: In January, My sister Summer emailed me about being a part of a mud run. Her daughter later asked me why I signed up. My answer? I love your mom. I was NOT looking forward to the cold or dirt or even the running.  When we received the weather report (High of 54 and rainy), I was even less enthusiastic. I imagined myself shivering, uncomfortable and dirty for a few hours of torture.  Honestly it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  There were many obstacles, and an abundance of mud. At one point, we had to climb over a wall with only two places to step and a dripping muddy rope. I climbed to where I physically could. Then I was stuck, both in fear and due to my height. Nathanael and Summer stood on one side, ready to help, Isaac coming up from below. And yet I couldn’t move. Tears dripped, I insisted I couldn’t make it. They looked down at me, and assured me their strength in pulling me up wouldn’t toss me over the wall as I was imagining. I wish I had a photograph as three came together with my strength to propel me over. 

I don’t have a picture but I do want you, as our supporters, to visualize what has been happening the past year.  Many have come alongside us.  Their support allowed us to do what we wouldn’t have been able to do alone, and we didn’t go flying into the mud.  Some of this help came in little things: meals provided, childcare, mentorship, music lessons for kids. Others came as big packages: prayer warriors, weekly check ins, taking care of our kids, cleaning for us.  We want to thank all of you for the support you gave. It didn’t go unnoticed, and reached us in our deepest need.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

 Nathanael gives us a "guest post" about his recent trip.  To that end, we have printed and sent a paper copy of the newest newsletter. As soon as that hits mailboxes, we'll be sending the e-mail version. Be on the lookout there are some "big" updates :)

It was about 7pm and we were hungry.  Misael and I decided to go look for dinner.  We ended up at a pupuseria.  It was a long, tiring, good day.  It started early in the morning with the church.  After church, we dropped everyone off and headed to Belmopan, the capital of Belize for a short hike.  In Guanacaste Park, we saw a family of coatimundis, monkeys, and the normal tropical birds.

I knew the area where we were eating our pupusas, a kind of stuffed corn tortilla with queso and pollo, with a bunch of pepper sauce on the top.  Seven months prior I had dropped a family of 5 with a Deaf mom and dad off in the area so they could walk the rest of the way home.  Misael and I decided to try to find them after we ate.

We drove to the area and walked around in the dark asking people, in Spanish if they knew a Deaf family in the area.  With each response, we were closer and closer to finding them.  Finally after about a half hour a young guy who spoke English hoped off his bike and walked us down a path past many houses with dim lights and a lot of barking dogs, warning us of our intrusion.  The young man pointed in a direction where he said there was a house with a red roof.  The only electric in the area were a few personal solar panels.  Finally we found the house and called to the family.

The family was a little fearful and didn’t respond until I shined my flashlight on my face.  I then heard my friends Deaf voice say, “Tortuga.”  My nick name in sign language is Turtle, but that’s a story for another time.  Immediately they opened the door and welcomed us in.  After 5 minutes I had a 2-month-old in my hands to bless and kiss.  It was difficult to communicate in sign language with the dim lights.  I agreed to give them my rechargeable flashlight to help in the future with their communication.  Misael and I invited the Deaf man on a hike the next day.

We picked Sandino up at 8 and headed to the jungle.  We spent the day exploring caves, cenotes, and cascading waterfalls.  I’m sure Jesus came up here and there, but I wasn’t intentional about it.  I focused on enjoying the time and building relationship.  At the end of the day, Sandino asked me about salvation and baptism.  Misael and I decided to invite the family for Pizza.  We 4 adults sat together as Misael and I laid out the gospel.  What an amazing conversation initiated by the prompting of the Holy Spirit to Sandino.  Please pray for Sandino and his wife Elena as we continue to find opportunities to minister to them. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Same, Same but different

  I had the privilege of working on a book launch.  The book focused on Third Culture Kid issues. The phrase that repeated itself was "same, same but different.", which is apparently a common Thai phrase. the book is set in Thailand)

the mighty group of people who served in the April Medical Trip

Same, same but different would adequately sum up my time with Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus.  This was my first post-covid trip.

Hannah preformed a puppet show for a darling Girl. Shirley was videoing it

Same:  The trip to the airport (with Zephaniah) on the bus was the same. It really was the first time in a year and a half I have ridden the bus. Of course the windows were wide open and our masks were on at all times.  We met those that came in to the airport and rode the Kidz Konnect bus to Stann Creek. 

Ava spent about 6 months at our house. She's a Coatimundi, she was wonderful and destructive. Thankfully the Carney's accepted her onto their property. Now she has the jungle to roam and still interacts with people regularly. Here Myla the youngest Carney lets Ava smell her hand

Zephaniah and I both stayed at the camp. Zephaniah was there to spend 5 uninterrupted days with his good friend and fellow TCK Tucker. From what I understand they spent their days running and playing around the jungle. (Tucker's mom Candace threated them with schoolwork or household chores if they came inside, I think she's awesome!) I was so thankful that Zephaniah had this time. He's been trying to get together with Tucker like this for a long time. 

Tucker, Zephaniah, and Solomon got to ride on the bus with the team on Saturday

Same:  We held clinics for three days at 6 locations. We worked well as a team to pray, minister, and add " a little bit of medicine"   

the clinic set-up in Silk Grass

but different:  obviously masked in 90 degree weather, reduced patients and using a device to call a doctor in the US is different. We were mostly doing medication refills. The people from Jesus Deaf church didn't come, instead I obtained their medications and did assessments from their homes. 

Nathanael and I did medical visits, with Nelly here

It was such a blessing to be able to bring needed medication and care to our community.  Although this was "different" it was the same in the level of care and attitude placed into the work.

Taking Alma's blood pressure

Thanks Kidz Konnect 4 Jesus for another "best  trip ever!"

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The phrase I really resent...

 We are currently able to have church at "half capacity" for an hour. The Spanish church Koinonia is offering "in person" services for the first time since August. As we have our own ministry, we don't attend every week. The shortened services also mean that we don't get prayed for every week. The first week we were able to attend we were brought up front to get prayer with much fanfare. One of the things often said from the pulpit is:

The most recent time at Koinonia that we were prayed for

"The Davis Family is doing something that we can't"

We took this picture in Belize City before Jeimmy left to go to El Salvador for a month.

At times when we share in the US, people change the phrase a bit "I could never do what you do"

Things have opened back up to a degree in Belize and we are able to travel to Fountain of Life church and interpret for Deaf there

Perhaps in a perfect mindset (mine with the Father) this wouldn't irk me.  I think the most difficult thing for me is that our prayer is and has been that others would come along to support and grow the ministry. We need others to walk with us, which is why Jeimmy has been such an integral part of our lives the past 6 months. 

The cycle of ministry: Nathanael taught Misael to change the oil, and Misael taught Abigail

Over Easter break, we got to spend time with the Groff family in the jungles of Belize. Two other missionary families serving with a different org came with us. As I talked with both Julie and the two other mothers in the group, I found a common thread. It was in living that our true ministry came out. If we stay foreigners, outside of the culture, ministry happens in a less organic way.


Nathanael celebrated his 40th birthday on the 5th of March

Yes we do ministry. Yes we disciple. Mostly we just live. I have to grocery shop, meal prep, wash clothes, paint the house, water my garden, pay bills, homeschool my kids, write blogs and prayer e-mails.

we got to visit Davis Falls. Thanks Tim

That being said, I didn't think I could do it either. There were (and are times) where I don't want to do it.  I think the phrase from The Free Burma Rangers movie paraphrased here captures it well:

"I don't want to miss God's call. I don't want to turn too far to the right and chase after the "good" but not my calling things, or turn to the left and chase after that which isn't of God. I want to go straight forward pursuing his will and the best for my life."

So...are you unable to move overseas and go on mission? Clearly I am not the authority to decide that. I would say what you are called to always should require a dependence on the Father. 

true Belizean life: a guy explaining to Nathanael how to go on a back road to find a fridge repairman

It will always be difficult, probably in ways you didn't imagine before boarding the plane.

Selah has been teaching Kristen how to play a few songs on ukulele

I challenge you: find your call, pursue it wholeheartedly, and entrust the Father to come alongside you. Don't limit  your options to the ones that seem "doable".

This sits on our wall as a reminder to me

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

2021 comes with little fanfare

First the news: in a modified confusing quarantine. Two districts (with the current least COVID cases) aren't allowed to travel within the country; Orange Walk being one of them. This started December 20th, and under new administration, we are unsure of when it will end. We also have a curfew of 8pm-5am.  This restricts our ability to have Friday night Bible Studies. 

Jeimmy leads a devotional for two women, during a house visit

In place of Bible study, more home visits are happening. Jeimmy as a Salvadorian has natural experience and stamina which helps motivate Nathanael and I. 

Normal busy Friday night with the kids (spring's job) Jaziel and Brianny create chaos ;) 

What we did during December:

Gianny was tasked with making flood icing. To her detriment, our powdered sugar was quite chunky! 

Over the Christmas holiday, we invited 2 friends over (we were unable to have more than 3 people over due to restrictions and one said no). Cookies were decorated, and baked.  

This was a Friday night prepping the same treats to share with the Bible study kids as well as church that night,  in between this picture and our cookie party, Covid restrictions changed. 

They were packed with pretzel treats (We special ordered the flat pretzels to make this treat:) and Hershey kisses.  

Zion and Adrene put the m&m's onto the melted kisses. another reason we are thankful for Harvest Aviation, who made it possible for us to share this treat with our Belizean friends

Nathanael shopped for some Belizean staples (rice, beans, flour) and delivered them to the villages. Apparently the most exciting part of their visits was the cookies. I will not attest to the quality, but one of our visitors stated "it looks like 3 year old's made them!" oh well we are learning...hopefully next year we'll improve our "flood cookie" game! 

Krystal and Jeimmy stop at Selena's house. Selena is Deaf and has 5 children

Misael and Jeimmy stop by Alma's house to bless her family with staples and cookies

Ringing in the New Year involved watching Star Wars, eating snacks, and traveling to the roof for fireworks at 12am.  It was the lest spectacular NYE party we have had.. ever! We are thankful to have been together, and anticipate God's goodness in the coming year.

I made whoopie pies, Jeimmy got her first taste of a whoopie pie She liked it despite the face she is making

One final small note, I was privileged to be interviewed in Revelation Wellness for their end of the year giving project. If you would like to listen, here is the link. (obviously downloadable on any podcast apps, the podcast number is 527)



Thursday, November 19, 2020

a new not normal

 Things are settled. That is what my heart keeps telling me. Seven months into this uncertainty, we are finding a groove. While restrictions came off quickly our first time around; they have "stuck" much longer this time. Friends I watch in Kenya, Honduras, and the like have been much more confined than we are, so we find ourselves thankful.

Alma leads the people in prayer

At the same time things have opened up; the government still refuses to allow church meetings greater than 13 persons.  There have been multiple arrests, mostly of pastors. Nathanael had to prayerfully consider what this meant for us. Our numbers don't usually increase over this amount since COVID.  It is a frustrating place to be in when casino's, bars and busses can be open but God's house can't.

Last week Nathanael spoke on the "rocks crying out" and placed some rocks in the center of our meeting

As a leadership team, (Jeimmy, Nathanael, Elizanie, Elmer and I) have been feeling a greater pull to fast and pray. Specifically last weekend we were fasting for marriages in the Deaf community.  Thanks so much for those who prayed with us.  We broke fast as a team last Saturday evening.  

Brianny is delightful especially this night when she and I ended up covered in chilli (She was thus given a sink bath!)

Next week, (November 27) Elizani and Elmer will be in charge for our monthly time of "getting away so that leadership can be trained". This time Jeimmy will travel with us to visit some friends in Spanish Lookout.   Please pray that this would be a time of learning and growth for all!  We are excited about what is doing in Elizanie and Elmer as a couple and as leaders.  

Zephaniah turned 10 last week. He chose to make an ice cream cake. bonus points to those who know the character on the cake! 

Individual discipleship and visiting continue to happen. Two weeks ago Nathanael, Selah and Jeimmy met with a woman who has now tested COVID positive.  While we believe we are out of danger, she is struggling with fear. Nathanael was able to provide assurance to her over Facebook messenger.

Reynalda and Yalitza during "turn-taking church"