During Holy Week our Deaf Church welcomed Nathanael and Spring Davis into our community. Some of our members joined the trek to the airport to pick them up. Nathanael, (center, green shirt) is a professional interpreter and Spring (on Nathanael's left) is a nurse with a desire to be a midwife. They live in the Philadelphia area and have 4 young children that stayed at home.
Last November Nathanael and Spring investigated the possibility of doing a short term mission trip with EMM in Belize. We began corresponding by email. The more I learned about Nathanael, the more I sensed that God was calling him and his family to come interpret for Sulmi...eventually. Maybe when she would enter high school. I suggested they come do various types of ministry during the week prior to Easter when he had a holiday from his job. While they were here and after they left we all prayerfully sought to find out if God is calling them for longer term (at some point maybe beginning 2014).
They ministered among us in many ways.
Nathanael joined Edgar and I for Bible study.
Spring and Nathanael led a workshop for mothers about child rearing. Brittany interpreted while Sulmi, Kristel and I took care of the children. They also led a workshop for couples about Godly marriages.
Nathanael and Spring invited Angelica to their apartment for a meal and games. Brittany went along to interpret for Spring.
Selena and Wayne's family came to my house for a meal and the Davis' tried to get to know them. During this time Nathanael had a good conversation with Wayne about faith and God's forgiveness.
Mid-week we took the families and Deaf children from our church to Bacab to swim. Bacab is a nice resort about an hour south. It was a chilly day, but fun to be together and fun to play in the water.
On Good Friday, our church joined the Catholic "Stages of the Cross" procession through our neighborhood. This is decidedly a Catholic thing but I still appreciate walking past live dramatic scenes that make me think about Jesus' suffering and death. It went right past my house this year so we were able to get some photos from the roof. You can't see from the picture but it is always has 2 to 3,000 people participating. That's quite a lot of walkers. Before the procession we played some games at my house.
When Nathanael and Spring left on Easter Monday, they were still undecided about whether they would return to Belize in July 2014 to join our ministry team and interpret for Sulmi in high school.
But about a week later they emailed me saying, "We think God is calling us to Belize." Hooray! I look forward to how their gifts will benefit our ministry with Deaf Belizeans. Please pray for their preparations, application process, fund-raising and wisdom to sort all of it out.