There are times when God sends people on mission to Africa, like Jill, or Croatia, like Rosilind. There are other times when God gives us talents and abilities and we take Jesus into the work force and minister to those whom we come in contact with in our profession.
And then there are times such as the season my friend Lance is going through. Lance and I went to high school together. He’s as energetic for Jesus now as he was back in the day. I am proud to know him and have him share his broken heart with you. While there will be no rich tenor voice singing (because he has a great one) or fumbled choreography from our high school ensemble days, you will be blessed. Enjoy!
Few words have to be said. She is wearing an FSU cheerleading skirt and a 1998 VBS shirt from some random American town. These aren’t the clothes she picked especially for today. It’s all she has. She has no idea what FSU is. Vacation Bible School is completely foreign to her – literally. She wasn’t alive in 1998.
My worst living conditions are her best. It’s deplorable. But, for His reason, God has allowed my family to recognize her need for a Savior and ache for this little girl….for all of them. My wife especially has heard the cry from miles away. And so we go on mission. To Belize.
This is not the opulent, tropical paradise side of Belize. This Belize is hungry, poor and wandering. The pictures show the difference.
I am broken hearted for the children of Belize. So I serve them in a unique way.
I go on mission – but I don’t really go. I’ve come to understand that God’s calling doesn’t always take me to the homeless or to the African desert or to the orphaned. But, it sometimes positions me so I can send someone whom He has chosen. I have been on trips where God has used me. Spoken through me. Used my actions as an encouragement. But this calling is different.
For this season I’ve recognized my role is to free up my wife so she can go to Belize and teach. Teaching is Jill’s gift. Touching the untouchable is her heart’s cry. Godly women are needed there. She’s never been afraid of sweat, dirt or tarantulas. For now, my role is to manage the family and the house. A role-reversal. What vacation time would be spent on a mission trip, I use it to hang with the kids while Mom’s away. Besides, I don’t do spiders.
As I write, Jill is in Belize. It’s difficult. My part – pray constantly! Women and girls in Belize are worthless. Prostitution is common place. Jill sees it all first-hand. She talks to the women. She comforts and helps them find joy. Today, while teaching a room of high school students the male teacher makes fun of her content. Her topic includes abstinence. Most don’t care. Boys treat girls like their fathers treat women. The girls accept it as how it should be. But I know through Jill’s influence, bold teaching, and my praying we will begin to change a people group. I don’t expect it immediately, but I know girls are noticing there is a different life.
This trip Jill brought 180 dresses to the girls of Belize. They’ve never had a dress. The little girl in the VBS shirt now has two dresses.
I’m at home rearranging schedules and removing obstacles because Jill called asking to stay another week. In the scope of eternity, it’s a vapor of time for us. For a Belizean girl it really could be eternity. We’re a team and this is what I do. I know the faces of those children. I know Belize. I know the impact my wife will have. I want nothing more than seeing pictures of lives changed. Our children anxiously await this day with us. It has become their prayer.
Pray for Belize with me. Claim Philippians 1:20 with me. “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now and always Christ will be exalted in my body whether by my life of by my death.”
Will you allow God to break your heart? Listen and live expectantly. He may send you…or he may send others through you.
When Lance isn’t killing spiders, he’s the Executive Pastor at First Baptist Church in Trussville, AL. He’s Dad to Max (11), Jack (10) and Lucy (3). Husband to Jill (age not listed for his safety). His CB handle is Paperclip and his favorite color is cornflower blue.