Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lucianna's guest post

Dearest Friends and Supporters of the Davis's

My name is Lucianna Alderfer and I have been a long time friend of the Davis's. The kids know me as "Aunt Lucianna" and even though we are not blood relatives, the connection we share is as strong as if we were. I had the privilege of spending my Christmas break in Belize with this amazing family and wow am I excited to share with you my experience!

My visit was a brief five and a half days, but I walked away with a very clear sense of what this family is doing, what their impact is and how God is using them and will continue to use them. 

We started my visit at the home of dear friends of the Davis's, a lovely Christian Belizian family who fed me a full course meal and welcomed me into their home. They also had Nathanael chop down a fresh coconut for me to enjoy! And boy did I! I was quite impressed with how quickly Nathanael is learning to use a machete! 

I arrived on a Saturday evening, so my first full day was spent at Jesus Deaf Church of Orange Walk (forgive me if I got the name wrong Nathanael!). What a privilege to meet the families that the Davis's work with and to get a taste for the ministry. Most of the adults were Deaf and most of the children were hearing, but there were some hearing adults and one Deaf child. It was clear they were a close knit community and had a strong connection with the Davis's.

After service we walked to by $1 tacos and as we walked to the taco shop it was amazing how many towns people knew the Davis's and wanted to talk with them or connect with them. I could see how the Lord had quickly knit them with this community.

While we were at a Taco shop we saw a family from the deaf church who I got to know a little (the hearing daughter). I found out later this family had great needs financially and if not helped would need to take measures that would put them in harms way.

While I sat at their home, people would come to the door asking for help or money. And clearly everywhere they went there was so much opportunity for ministry. They shared with me how it is so easy to just spend all day helping and to feel overwhelmed. They had to keep focused and be wise with their time to be effective in ministry and faithful to God's purpose there.

I went through bit of a culture shock while I was there. As you can see above, this is the Davis's make shift laundry room, on their roof. I watched Spring carry laundry up 2 flights of stairs and hang it all by hand. I took a cold shower every night and watched Nathanael take water jugs a mile away to a filling station (normally carried by bike) to get drinking water for the family. The kids picked up glass bottles on the road and exchanged them for penny candies and they have their favorite dogs that wander the streets. Many of the kids they know didn't get many Christmas presents if any and the living conditions are so much simpler than we have here. 

(we ate rat!!)

But it was a country of very loving and kind people. They are hungry for the gospel and the Davis's are clearly being used to reach a community for Jesus. What I love about the vision they have is that it's to work themselves out of a job. It's to establish a good work there that is sustainable and that is what I think missions should be.

When I returned home I was taken by how impacted I was by my trip. I wish you each could go down there and experience first hand what I saw and experienced. I'm proud of this family and so privileged I was a part of their lives for those brief five and a half days.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


We are having a guest post on the blog this week.  While you eagerly anticipate that, and I work on some BIG NEWS for our newsletter,  I have to do something I've been promising for a while.

Both Abigail and Selah have been very "into" youtube since going to Belize.  I personally have a love hate relationship with it.  I really like and honor the fact that both girls put effort into their channels.  They spend time taking and editing videos.  Abigail is particularly dedicated and if you subscribe, you'll be able to keep up with her weekly.  Here is her latest video:

Thank you to Greg and Lucianna who proved to be interesting and exciting guests for her channel!

Selah also did a video recently:

In addition Selah has worked on designing a Weebly website for the past 5 months.  Feel free to enjoy that as well:  

Selah's Weebly WebsiteSelah's Weebly website

If you need a viewing password it is rootbeer :) 

Thanks for supporting us, and our children :)  

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

New Years eve party

It has been a while, here are some pictures from our New Years Eve Festivities.

We had a good time of playing games and fellow-shipping.

It was such a blessing to fellowship and just spend time talking. We enjoyed many different types of games.  Apples to apples pictures, Suspend, and Bounce off

Some people who don't usually go to church also came. 

Krystal helped me wash dishes before people came over. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Taking a drink

I just started reading a book called Wild in the Hollow for a book club.  I have only read the first 4 chapters.  She is describing her life as a "rebel" (her word) and conversion.  She talks about how the Holy Spirit met her on a linoleum floor.   

The book comes alive in my hands.  I walk with her, in despair, failure, doubt.  I see Christ as the Savior and friend that he is.  It is an exciting read (so far!) 

As I read I recognized I had been "missing out".  As a missionary (really just teaching sunday school weekly and cleaning the church are my  main jobs), homeschool mom, and friend; I had missed out on being filled.  I had forgotten to seek him first.  I hadn't even noticed I was running on empty.

Thirst is like that sometimes.  Until we take that first sip of water cooling our throats, we haven't noticed we needed it.  I cherish water a lot more these days than I used to.  It takes work to get it.  Water isn't really expensive, but man is it important, especially the drinking water!

I have been reading through the Bible, but was really missing out on intimacy.  What a good reminder and a spur to continue to seek his presence.  I need to remember to be thirsty.   

Monday, January 11, 2016

Changing of the guard?

As I stated before the two weeks surrounding Chrismas were quite busy for us.  Ben Martin came and spent 8 days with us.  The satuday we drove him to the airport, we picked up Lucianna Alderfer.

What a crazy thing. By the time I got to Lucianna, I was crying!  The poor woman she should have been crying.. her luggage with all of her clothing was lost in Huston.  She had to spend 1 1/2 of her 5 days here wearing our clothes in 85 degree weather with high humidity.  Unlike us she isn't quite "used to" the temperature.

When we woke up Sunday morning, I felt fine. She assured me that it still felt sticky.  Oh dear. I guess we are somewhat more used to the climate than I imagined.

Lucianna coming was like a breath of fresh air.  She is our Child Advocate.  To sum up what this means, she is the one stateside who "keeps track" of our children's well being.  As parents we do it, but it is good and healthy to have another set of eyes and ears.  It was great for her to see firsthand a little of what our lives are like on a daily basis.

She also could see from a different perspective things we've gotten used to as well as things that may need to change in our house.  We are thankful for her insight!  I will include a few pictures of her time with us.  

She brought us a second Christmas!  What fun to have her bring some thing from church that didn't come with Ben.  She also blessed us tremendously, she had asked us to put our wants on a Amazon list and she picked from that.

She really went with the flow of things which amazed and comforted me.  I realize that living where we live and doing what we do isn't convenient.  She tried new foods and took cold showers.  She walked places with us. She put her toilet paper in the trash can.  She got to see some Mayan Ruins.  She experienced our sheer delight at going to Belize City and shopping at a "big air-conditioned" grocery store!

With all of her valiance, she was unwilling to try my Kombucha.  Oh well I can't win them all.  Nathanael and I both feel the kombucha has kept us healthy which is the important part right?

Here are some pictures:

poor kid missed the bed when he fell asleep.  He loves the sheets Aunt Lucianna gave him!! 

Selah talked Nathanael and Lucianna into a short game of Monopoly that lasted for hours..

Last cuddle session! 

Selah is delighted! Black Twizzlers.  

The climb down the ruins was more scary than the climb up

a walk through mosquito infested jungle to a "lake" that was too flooded to see. Lucianna took it all in stride, and was still smiling! 

After our climb and walk, they found a way to cool off 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Playing "catch up"

Ben Martin arrived December 18.  I blogged about the day he came.  Since then our time was busy with Ben, then Lucianna, Christmas activities, New Years activities, writing the newsletter and this week returning to our "regular schedule" activities".

I have not done a good job at updating the blog.  My usual goal is once a week and I didn't make it this time.

Ben came over Christmas.  We were so thankful he brought a suitcase and 1/2 of things for us.  Our church and homeschool group blessed us beyond what really I would have imagined.

When we were in training, we learned a little about the importance of gifts. An anthropolgist taught our class.  It was  interesting to realize that our culture not only welcomes gifts but they are an  important part of our society as a whole.

What a humbling thing then to not be able to "repay" the kindness shown to our family.  We know that thank you cards, e mails, facebook posts aren't good enough.  We are just so thankful for the thought and effort put into making our Christmas a special one!

We are STILL enjoying the presents.. except of course the black licorice and some of the other food.. that has been consumed ;)

We pray you feel as blessed as we did this Christmas!

Here are some pictures of Ben's visit  At the end is the video that was shared the week before Christmas at Hopewell.

Some Christmas decorations around town

At church every year there is a pagent.  Everyone got to be in it, Even Ben.

Walking down the street

 We got Ben a special treat for Christmas!  I think most of it arrived intact when he reached Philly!  


Friday, January 1, 2016

Check out our Newsletter!

Holiday Greetings from Belize!

What a privilege it has been to be here.  We now have 4- 4 and 1/2 months "under our belt" so to speak.  We have settled, worked, and done school.  We have found new routines and new friends.  We are learning and growing.  We pray you and your family are also enjoying this time to celebrate Christ's birth.

We have participated in many church activities. This was the 10th anniversary of the church.  There also were some movie nights, Sunday school, Bible Study, and game night.
We spent a day seeing the Maya Ruins.  Our Regional Representatives were able to go with us.  Nathanael also visited the Cayo Deaf school on this trip.
Searching for Treasure
As with most things, we have found that life isn't what we expected.  This can be a good and difficult at the same time.  We navigate through change, culture and language. Life is messy. Life is fun.  Life is difficult.

Both Nathanael and I have been to other countries.  I lived in Mexico for 8 months. He spent a month in China.  Neither of us had "done missions" as a family.  There are unique benefits and challenges to this.  We are able to create a space of our own; our home where we can have a culture of our own without the worries of offending or language difficulties.  At the same time, this can be a hindrance to learning language and integrating into the culture.

The children continue to adjust.  They socialize with the other children at church Sundays, Friday nights and sometimes other times during the week.  Sometimes our children simultaneously have fun and are frustrated when interacting with others.

About a year ago, I started to read the book 1,000 gifts.  The premise of the book is to find 1000 things to be thankful for.  Here it has been like a time to find a hidden treasure.  The other day while at the pet store; I found a Rod and Staff book... ones I have been trying to get from the US to use with Zephaniah.  How exciting! Now to see if I can find some in English!  The man who Nathanael had the privilege of breaking his window told us he used to live in Nicaragua.  He had a good job doing rap music.  Last week we got to see him preform.  We were all impressed!! The stores here are like most developing countries. If an item is there, you should buy it; especially if it is rare. Next time you return, it probably won't be there.  Nathanael and I had to search through 4 different stores to find some popcorn.  The next time he saw some, he got every bag in the store. We have about 10 pounds of popcorn, and 4 bags of tapioca balls.. you never know when you'll run out!

Living in a different country with different rules, laws and boundries is exciting and tiring at the same time.  We love finding treasures in our daily lives
Update on Nathanael's Job and Discipleship

For about a month there was a lot of confusion and waiting.  Nathanael thought things were set in place for him to start a job with the ministry of education.  We waited.  He worked some for free.  Then he was told not to work at all until they could pay him.  We have learned to be patient, to pray, to work on relationship, and to enjoy time as a family.

 Since the last letter, Nathanael has been asked to teach a 6 week ASL course.  He is quite excited about the opportunity to educate, bring awareness, and advocate.  He will start teaching in February.

Previously Nathanael was meeting 1 on 1 with Deaf men for discipleship throughout the week.  However recently these meetings have changed to small group Bible studies with a handful of Deaf men 3 days per week.  It is a blessing to see God work.
Kids Corner
This month we are interviewing Zion

What has been your favorite thing about Belize? Chocolate Bananas at the corner store. New friends.

What is the most interesting thing you've done in the past 2 months? Ben coming here.

What do you miss most about the United States?  My friends and the snow.

What things are different about Belize that we don't have in Pennsylvania? Lots of things, like Chuck E cheese. Not having a car.  The food we eat (tacos).  People say "good night" or "Noches" as a greeting.